Anna Lašová

* 1933  

  • “Our village was located on the main road and the guerillas therefore wouldn’t visit it too often. It was mostly the Ustashi and German troops who came to our village. At first, the guerrillas would only dare to come to our village at night. But once, later on, the guerrillas seized our village and they walked from one house to another and took the village men to the war. They took everyone they could get hold off, all of them, regardless of whether they wanted or not. My brother Petr had been adopted by a village couple that had no children. He loved horses and the spouses made him their own, he didn’t even have to change his name. They gave him all they had, their entire belongings. The partisans took him away from them. They walked on the road - it was a long line of conscripted men. My second brother, Štefan, was getting ready at home because he heard somebody talking that if the partisans will find somebody at home they will shoot him. So he was getting ready, dressing up. It was in the autumn. He wanted to go with the partisans voluntarily. He stepped out in front of the house and now, such a girl, I'll never forget that as long as I’ll live. She said: ‘Why are you going there? They have already taken one son, he’s on the road’. The partisan said: ‘And which one is it?’ ‘The one in the fur coat’. They left and the youngest brother stayed at home.”

  • “Behind our garden there was a Serbian village and the Germans moved all of its inhabitants out, they drove them away. I was just a kid then but I remember that one of the Serbian women had just given birth to a baby and that she was wearing it in her apron. She had just given birth and she immediately had to go on the road. They were not allowed to take anything with them. The villagers were driven out and some zágorci – zagorji were installed there instead – the Germans let them take the houses of the Serbs. As far as I know, none of the Serbs have ever returned. They were definitely sent to the gas chambers.”

  • “In the Jelisavec village, there were many Ustashi fighters. The Ustashi tortured my cousin. He was a remote cousin, but a cousin nevertheless. There was a feast, a nice karmaš, marry-go-round and all sorts of things. The Ustashi went rambling among the people and they would occasionally shoot their guns into the air. That cousin of mine approached them and told them: ‘my brother is also an Ustashi but you shouldn’t do things like that’. They took him away, tortured him, burned him and drove nails into his body. He was badly battered. Although he recovered from it, he was suffered a nervous breakdown and hanged himself.”

  • “Our neighbor was in the German army. He was a Croat but his mother was a Slovak originating directly in the village where my parents came from as well. His father was a Croat. Slovaks normally didn’t have to enlist for the two-year military service, but as he was of Croatian nationality, he had to enlist; he had to join the German army. He just went to the training. He had never really been in the war. He hadn’t even seen any dead. And then he just got home and was supposed to later go to war. He came home, but it was already at the time when if you met someone, you didn’t know whether he was a German or a partisan, because they went around in disguise. He slept at his aunt’s place because he was too afraid to sleep at home. And the next day he had to leave for the war. Behind our garden, there was a train station and a river right behind it. And he went along the tracks to his aunt’s place. On the tracks, he met a bunch of partisans disguised as Germans. As he was in the German army and because he thought that they were Germans, he joined them for a chat. They asked him about how many partisans he had killed or seen being killed. He told them that he had killed many partisans because he thought they were German soldiers. But they were partisans disguised as Germans. They let him go, but our village had been already occupied by the guerrillas, so they came for him later, took him on the outskirts of the village and shot him.”

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    Nové Lublice, 31.07.2013

    (audio)
    délka: 01:57:29
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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In those days you couldn’t be sure who was who because they were often disguised. You couldn’t trust anyone.

Anna Lašová
Anna Lašová
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

Anna Lašová, née Ligdová, was born in 1933 in the village Jelisavec (Jelisavac in Croatian) in Croatian Slavonia. Both of her parents were Slovaks and they left to Slavonia during the times of the Great Depression, just shortly before Anna‘s birth. Although the native village of Mrs. Lašová is located in Yugoslavia, its inhabitants used to be and still are predominantly Slovaks. In Jelisavec, Anna Lašová spent her childhood which was heavily affected by WWII. After the war, the family took the opportunity and re-emigrated to Czechoslovakia in 1949. They settled in the village of Martin pri Senci, which became the safe haven for a number of Slovak families also returning from Yugoslavia. Those re-emigrant families established one of the first collective farm (JZD/JRD) in Czechoslovakia. In the mid-fifties, Mrs. Anna married Vincent Láš, who spent his childhood in Slavonia as well (Mali Rastovac) and during the war fought in the Yugoslav partisan units. She moved with him to Nová Lublice near Opava, where they still live today.