“They stood on the appelplatz every day… for hours, every day. It was horrible. One night some noise woke us up, so we went to take a look. They were throwing prisoners onto a truck. Like... excuse me... like logs – they were frozen. I mean, they were stiff because they were dead, and frozen as well. It was horrible… really. We saw that every day, every day… They lived among us. When the air raid came, the prisoners ran too. They ran out into the fields with us. I saw two prisoners leading one SS guardsman. His face was all blood; they were dragging him in... and I thought, ‘Why are you helping him? You should have left him there.’”
“Then it was the fifth of May and they expelled the Germans who were accommodated at the Marie mine. The men from Březové Hory raided them. I saw a German soldier with a bleeding head, supported by another, and they ran to the forest. Then they collected those German soldiers who had scattered... it was quite cruel... and they took them to Příbram barracks. Horrible things must have happened there… Interestingly, the people who had suffered during the war were not getting their revenge – those who went to get their revenge were those who did not suffer during the war...”
“Then Karel Horák came, he was her boyfriend, and he said, ‘Dáša is lying down at the ward, she is badly hurt.’ We went to have a look. She was lying on the ground... she was not injured... her lungs were ruptured. She had clotted blood by her mouth, ears and nostrils. She was moaning faintly... like a hurt bird... then the sirens sounded again... a new raid... and bombs again...”
“Grandma gave them the biggest room and they lived there, Mr Neumann, his wife and their three daughters. Helena was about fourteen years old, Lilly was aged ten and little Alenka was five. They lived with grandma until their departure to Terezín. Alenka was cute; my dad used to tease her when they were playing in the garden. He drew an “X” on her back with his finger and she said, ‘Mr Lánský, if you draw a cross on my back I won’t take you to Terezín.’ Then they actually met in Terezín… because my dad was kept in Terezín for quite long and the Neumanns were still there at the time. He drew a cross yet he got to Terezín… and they were later deported to Auschwitz, the entire Neumann family, including Alenka…”
Magdalena Toufarová, née Lánská, was born in Březové Hory (a neighbourhood of Příbram today) on 16 July 1924 to the family of a business owner. The Lánský family owned a print shop in Březové Hory. Her father Josef Lánský along with her brother and brother-in-law made anti-Nazi leaflets there during World War II. The Gestapo arrested and imprisoned them for their resistance effort. Josef Lánský died of the consequences of his imprisonment in Leipzig in March 1945. After his arrest the family met with shows of solidarity on the part of Příbram citizens. The family also showed courage and compassion, accommodating a Jewish family during the Nazi persecution of Jews. Magdalena Toufarová left for forced labour deployment in Germany in early 1944. She worked close to the Dora concentration camp and witnessed inhumane treatment of the prisoners by the Nazis. She experienced the massive bombing of Germany towards the end of the war and an air raid of Nordhausen where she worked, which killed many people around her. She decided to flee and took a difficult journey home. She witnessed the liberation of Czechoslovakia in Březové Hory and the arrival of the US Army and the Soviet Army, and also of the Vlasov forces leaving Příbram to help Prague. She also witnessed the cruel treatment of German soldiers at the end of the war. She was married twice and has a stepdaughter. Magdalena Toufarová died on July 31st, 2023.