Helene Klier, roz. Fischer

* 1933  

  • “They separated us right at the border. Everyone who had any relatives in Germany, had to go to them. We had no one here so we were transported to Rehau and from there people were divided into separate camps. We went to Selb into an old porcelain factory that used to belong to the company Heinrich. Selb had a long tradition in this field. There was 25 of us in one room, we slept on bunk beds and I was all the way at the top. There was a family from the Cheb region as well. They had five children and for the first time I heard the Cheb dialect. I even asked my dad: “What language is that?” And he replied: “That’s a dialect from around Cheb.” And then I married a man from that region.”

  • “All the men from Králíky had to line up at the square and they all got beaten up. Even my cousin who only had one leg. Later he said, however, that he was lucky because it was a woman beating him and he only got 25 blows with a stick.”

  • “All the orders always came from the national committee and the Germans had to obey immediately. The Germans had to hand over their radios, music instruments. Everything was taken away from them. But also valuable things like paintings. The state took everything away, even our factories. Everything was nationalized.”

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I had to grow up when I was twelve

Helene Klier, roz. Fischer
Helene Klier, roz. Fischer
zdroj: Teresa Babková

Helene Klier, née Fischer, was born on the 10th of December 1933 in Staré Město in the Šumperk region as a single child in a German family living in the Czechoslovakian border region. This had a lasting impact on her whole life. Her childhood was over when she was twelve and the World War II ended and deportation of Germans started. At first, she and her whole family were sent to a camp in Šumperk where they stayed in an old factory, which was followed by a stay in Selb and Hamerrau, towns located in Germany. The life in the camp was very difficult, there wasn‘t enough food and no one knew where they would end up. Helene‘s journey led her and her family to several Bavarian farmers who let them stay for free in exchange for work before they ended up in Schwäbisch Gmünd (east of Stuttgart). She married Emil Klier in 1955 there. Helene doesn‘t feel any hatred towards Czechoslovakia and later Czech Republic - she often and happily comes back.