“I came down to the cellar and I had the feeling that there is somebody there. I shouted: ‘Is anybody there?’ There was no electricity and it was really dark. I came in to take the beetroot and suddenly I heard a male voice. ‘Dievotchka, look, it’s me, I’m hiding here.’ I thought: ‘Oh my God, the Germans are here in the house.’ And he said he would escape in the night. I didn’t tell anybody but the Germans put the horses to the barn and kept on coming to feed them. They were sleeping in the house and he was afraid to come out. So he stayed for six days. And of course I couldn’t leave him there without anything to eat.”
“As we were leaving to Czechoslovakia, we saw them [returning Ukrainians, Byelorussians or Russians] on the train stations and stops. They had giant portraits of Stalin on the wagons and they were scolding us that we are leaving to Bohemia and that we are betraying the communist ideals and we would have to work a lot and maybe not even have enough to eat there. They came because they promised them farms after the Czechs. But they didn’t give it to them and sent them further east to Russia where everything was burned down and where there were only collective farms. They took everything from them, mostly cattle and the horses. They really had nice horses. So they were hanging themselves or trying to escape back to Czechoslovakia. But most of them were caught and sent to gulags.”
“So we were there. My husband was a mechanic and locksmith but I wanted to have a farm. It grew on me during those three years when my father had been gone and I had to take care of the farm. So I wanted to have horses and land. There wasn’t anything available for a long time. Some of the newcomers were not experienced enough and left their farms but those were just shags in such a bad shape that we didn’t want to move in there. My dad went to Žatec where his brothers and his sister were. Tatiana from the Messner family said to Alexander: ‘Come, you can have a workshop here and it would be easier.’ But I didn’t want to go to the city and live on food rations. And around Christmas (we had come on 11th April) an older lady came to ask us if we wanted a farm. And of course I was very happy about it.”
“The boy came and asked for something to eat and started to cry and my mother told him to join us at the table. He begged us if he could stay and work at the farm. He said he would do anything. I thought: ‘I’m sixteen years old and we have eleven and half hectares of land.’ And of course we had to work on the land and hand out supplies of wheat and meat and everything else. So the boy stayed and he stayed with us for two years and a half – until we left to Czechoslovakia. My mother let him stay in our house after we left but they took it and moved in some people from Russia. Even though that the houses were supposed to be given to Ukrainians and Slovaks who came to Volhynia from the Subcarpathian Rus.”
“When the soldiers came, they took everything they could. A few days after the men in our family left, my mother was baking bread and I looked out of the window and saw a soldier carrying something out of the barn. So I ran to the barn and I saw that the hey was swept apart and they were taking the oats out. My father’s brother used to have an inn next to our house and the soldiers set out a headquarters there. I ran there and told the officers that their soldiers were taking the grain. They sent a soldier back with a machinegun. But they were taking it for the poor horses.”
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.
I could not imagine living without a farm
Ludmila Klejšmídová, nee Messnerová, was born on 11th March 1928 in Kněhyninky near Lutsk in a part of Volhynia which now belongs to Poland. She witnessed the Soviet occupation in 1939-1941 as well as the German occupation in 1941-1944. Towards the end of the German occupation she helped a Russian soldier who was hiding in the cellar. After the area was liberated by the Red army, the soldier was sent to the front where he died. The same thing happened to one of Ludmila‘s uncles. Another uncle went missing. Ludmila‘s father and her brother were also drafted but they both survived and after the war they settled down in Czechoslovakia. Ludmila also moved to Czechoslovakia together with her husband Alexander and her seven months old daughter. She settled in Eastern Bohemia and run a small farm. Later she was forced by the communist officials to join a collective farm. Currently she is currently retired and lives in Jaroměř.