Elvíra Rábková

* 1934  †︎ 2020

  • “They blasted the church and demolished it. The rocks flew nearly to the forest down there. Soldiers blasted the building. There were two pubs. There was a newly built pub in the lower part of the village which had a big hall, almost like the one in Vojtovice. In the upper part of the village there was the gamekeeper’s lodge and another pub next to it. But it only had a taproom and no large hall. Guys used to go there on Sundays for a beer or soda. Behind the gamekeeper’s lodge there was a road which led towards Vilémovice (Nové Vilémovice). There was the local administration office, the church and the graveyard there.”

  • “The deportation was the worst of all. They deported everyone, and they left only us here. My father always regretted it. We were among the last families that were to go away. Everybody was already gone, and they still kept us here. My father and the four families that lived in the upper part of the village all worked in the forest. There were no engine powered chainsaws at that time, everything was done manually. The forest manager from Petrovice did not let us go. We had already packed everything for the transport, but they stopped it and they did not let us go because they would have no forest workers if we left. We thus stayed there. My father and the four families went to the forest administration office in Petrovice, but it was too late and they did not allow us to go. It would have been bad, anyway. My grandpa was over eighty years old and my sister Erika was two years old, and my brothers were little boys, and it would be difficult to move. The families from Červený Důl did move out later, but they had to pay for it. Where would we find money to pay for it? We thus stayed at home. We remained here alone.”

  • “The Greek people came and we had to move out. The national committee forced us to leave Hraničky. We had to go to Vojtovice where they gave us a house. We had to repair it. We had to move everything, including potatoes, wheat and hay. Grandpa and grandma were old and we had to transport everything to Vojtovice on a cow-driven wagon. My brothers had to go with the cows down to Vojtovice and back here many times. Later we had to leave the house in the lower part of the Vojtovice village. Again, we had to move everything out and load onto the wagon. It was in winter, at the beginning of November. We arrived to the other house, and there were no windows and no stove. None of the rooms were habitable. A first we had to repair the stove and one of the rooms in order to have somewhere to stay. Everything was broken.”

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The were the only ones who stayed

Elvíra Rábková (Schlegelová) as a bride
Elvíra Rábková (Schlegelová) as a bride
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

  Elvíra Rábková, née Schlegelová, was born June 10, 1934 in the now defunct village Hraničky (Gränzdorf in German) in the Rychlebské Mountains (Reichensteiner Gebirge). With its average altitude of 696 m a.s.l., it was one of the highest inhabited places in the region, and Elvíra lived there until 1963. Her parents were German nationals, but unlike the other people from the village, they were not included in the deportation of Germans from Czechoslovakia. Together with four other families they were assigned for forest work instead. However, these four families had to relocate inland in 1948 following an order for the dispersal of the remaining Germans. The only reason why the Schlegel family remained in Hraničky was that they had little children who were unable to do hard agricultural work. The aforementioned four families later applied for subsequent emigration to Germany, and their petition was granted. The family of Franz Schlegel thus became the last people from Hraničky who remained in Czechoslovakia. Nevertheless, they had to leave the village Hraničky already in 1948, because the authorities ordered that the village would be offered to immigrant settlers from Greece who were fleeing the civil war there. The Schlegel family thus had to move to a dilapidated house which was assigned to them in Vojtovice six kilometres away. As soon as they reconstructed the house, they had to move again into another house which also needed many repairs. This happened again in May 1949 before the family was finally able to return to their farm in Hraničky in autumn of the same year. From then on they lived there alone until 1970, with no electricity and far away from the neighbouring villages. They thus witnessed the demolition of the remaining houses by the soldiers of the Czechoslovak army in 1959 and 1960. Elvíra left Hraničky with her husband and children in 1963, and her parents moved away in 1970. The only remaining testimony of the past life in Hraničky is now the viager house of their former farm.