Alois Hirnich

* 1931  †︎ Neznámý

  • "He walked along the road and they caught him somewhere near Hořovice and arrested him. Dad then asked for his release... Brother had worked in graphite mines before, and Dad had to send some petition and documents in order to get him released. Brother was detained after they had caught him. He wanted to walk home. He planned to hitch a ride when possible, and get home this way. He should have stayed there and he would have been better off."

  • "One of them died on the western front and the other one was doing training in Gliwice in Poland, and then, when he was sent to the front, he has not even reached it. He probably died somewhere on the way... He was drafted in Poland in 1943. He spent a year there, then they sent him to the front and that was it. Missing. Nobody knows what had happened with him."

  • "The received the notification some three weeks beforehand. They had to go to the train station, and then there were others who went three months later. If I remember correctly, in Vrbno it happened three times. They were all gone before Christmas." Interviewer: "As a fourteen- or fifteen-year-old boy, what did you think about it?" A. H.: "We were still stupid boys. We had been told that we would follow them in February or March, and go as a group of all the miners. They said we had to stay there by that time. And I am still here, even now."

  • "We were feeding the goats left behind by the Germans. We felt sorry for them. The goats were bleating. Cows had been taken away. I don’t know who took them. They slaughtered them somewhere, but I don’t know where. Everything was a total mess at that time. The goats were bleating and so a friend of mine and I – the friend's family had also remained there, but then they moved away in 1950 – put them into a barn and began feeding them. We had enough hay, because the Germans had prepared it. They didn’t know that they would be ordered to leave. And so we were feeding the goats, giving them water, and so on. Later, we were even paid for it. There was a pastoral cooperative, and they were paying us for it. We had some twenty or twenty-five goats. We were feeding them, but then they took them away from us and we had nothing to do. We applied for work in the forest, and thus we began planting trees and things like that and that's how we spent the time."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Staré Město pod Sněžníkem, 11.09.2012

    délka: 01:34:17
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu German Minority in Czechoslovakia and Poland after 1945
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

Only two remained

Alois Hiernich in September 2012
Alois Hiernich in September 2012
zdroj: Vít Lucuk

Alois Hiernich was born in 1931 in the village Velké Vrbno (Gross-Würben in German). His parents were German nationals. He spent his childhood and youth in this mountain village at the foot of Mt. Travná in Rychlebské Mountains (Reichensteiner Mts. in German). His three brothers joined the wehrmacht during the war and two of them lost their lives on the front. Thanks to his father‘s job in graphite mines, the family was excluded from the forced removal of the German population from Czechoslovakia after the war. Apart from a few exceptions, there were no new settlers coming to Velké Vrbno due to the village‘s mountain location. After the Hiernich family had left, most of the houses in the village were torn down. Nowadays, the only remaining original buildings are the former school, gamekeeper‘s lodge and customs guard station. Alois‘s two brothers, his sister and mother left for Germany in the 1960s and 1970s. Out of the family of eight, only Alois and his sister Anna thus remained in Czechoslovakia. Alois Hiernich now lives in Staré Město pod Sněžníkem.