Edith Kroupová

* 1927

  • “She always swore she'd get revenge one day, but... That's the kind of thing I've been through that's characteristic of my mom. Mom didn't get ration stamps during the war while she was still home. Someone from the city administration used to bring them to us. There were no stamps with meat, and they were pre-printed with the inscriptions: Jude, Jude. And the man before us would always cut out meat stamps from my father's ration stamps. Mom took it terribly, we were hungry, and dad was still at home. She swore she would take revenge on that man once it turned around. And I remember going to town with my mom, and we met him. I was curious what mom would do. We passed, and she didn't even notice him. She said he wasn't worth bothering with. He was later displaced anyway.”

  • "Mother returned right away in May 1945 on a Russian tank. They fled Terezín because typhus broke out there. They tied a rope from the sheets, roped down the wall and escaped. The Russians helped them and brought them to their homes on a tank. Dad was in the west of Germany, around Hannover. They locked him up in a salt mine there in 1943. He was a hundred meters underground, and he didn't even know what year it was when the Americans freed him. He was emaciated, and they called him Gandhi. They fattened him up in a sanatorium, where he stayed until June. They brought him to Cheb, where they handed him over to the Czechs at the border. He had all the documents about what he had experienced. He had a lot of money from the Americans. When he went to buy tickets at the station, they didn't sell them to him because he spoke German and didn't have a white armband. So he walked to Bílina."

  • “Our life had completely turned upside down. We were the first in our neighbourhood to have a radio. We put up a pole, and a wire ran from that pole to our apartment. The radio only worked with headphones. When Hitler took office, that was the first thing that affected us and made my father feel terrible–that they took away our radio. Persecution began. I attended a German gymnasium, and in 1942, they expelled me because mixed-raced people (I was half Jewish) were not allowed to study. Overnight, from that class where I had friends, classmates... When the principal announced to me that he had to expel me, I know that I was surprised and that he had tears in his eyes, that he was sorry, apparently, that he had to say goodbye to those students who were not of Aryan origin.”

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    Ústí nad Labem, 30.05.2022

    duration: 01:27:12
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - Ústecký kraj
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The Father was German, the mother was Jewish. We suffered during the war and after it.

Witness, Bílina 1939
Witness, Bílina 1939
photo: witness archive

Edith Kroupová, née Mayerová, was born on February 21, 1927, in Bílina in Teplice region. Her father was German, and her mother was Jewish. As a mixed-race person, she had to leave the gymnasium after the arrival of the Reich Germans in the Sudetenland. She had to work on a farm near Duchcov. In 1943, the father was taken to forced labour in the mines in Germany. A year later, they took her mother to the concentration camp in Terezín. Edith’s aunt looked after her. After the end of the war, the mother arrived on a Russian tank from Terezín. Since then, the witness has had a warm relationship with the Russians. Her father did not return until a few months after the end of the war. He went from Cheb to Bílina on foot. After the war, both Germans and Czechs hated the family. Father Karel Mayer worked in glass factories for the lowest wage after the war. The family could stay in Czechoslovakia. Edith married her Czech teacher and moved to Meziboří, where she taught mathematics, and after some time, she became the secretary of the local national committee. She later divorced and moved with her second husband to Litvínov, where she worked for the city’s national committee. After November 1989, as a pensioner, she accepted the offer and returned to the city office. In 1990, she founded a branch of a German company, which she ran until she was seventy-seven years old, until 2004. In May 2022, she lived happily with her husband in Litvínov.