„Potom když tam byl ten pogrom, to bylo v tom roce 1943. Některým Židům se podařilo utéct. Jeden lesník se na to připravil a v lese si vykopal zemljanku. Jeho zastřelili, ale maminka s dvěma dětmi to přežila. Češi jí nosili jídlo v noci. My jsme bydleli na rynku. Další žena, která se zachránila, se jmenovala Janklovka, a ta si k nám v noci chodila pro obživu. Vždycky zaškrábala na okno a maminka jí tam něco vyložila. Ale pak přestala chodit, protože Ukrajinci ji zavraždili.“
"We used to have one Czech teacher who taught small kids at school. The school was voluntary, but most of the kids went to school. The teaching itself was held in different houses, in cottages. Everyday it was in different house. But we learnt something. We could speak Czech. Our Czech language was more like the combination of Czech of the 19th century and Ukrainian, Polish and Russian words. Basically, as the expressions were coming, we either accepted them or simply adjusted them as we pleased. For an example: instead of saying veranda for porch we used gánek etc. When we get together with our friends and we start to talk ´the Kupičov language´ we always have quite some laugh."
"Whenever we thought it would be dangerous for us we took our horses and the cow and went to this solitude chalet. This time we saw about thirty of airplanes coming. We recognized the red stars on them and also the soldiers were shouting: ´Those are ours.´ People who stayed in the village also confirmed that they were sending the signals. They started to fire; even there in the solitude. I was responsible for the cow - our food source. I was just pasturing the caw with other kids not too far from the campsite. When the attack began, we knew we had to lie down and pretend we are not there. We lay down under the bushes; we could see the grass turfs flying around. Afterwards we found some bullets too. Then al of a sudden it was quiet and we noticed that the village (Kupičov) was on fire. We were worried about our grandma who stayed there. My mom didn’t want to let go by myself and she didn’t want to leave herself, so we decided to stay there. Nobody from Kupičov came to us, so we didn’t know if everything was burned out or if everyone was dead. The fire remained until that evening; even at night we saw it smolder. It felt like I’m the only one there. It still gives me goose bumps when I remember it. It felt like it’s only me and the cows there, nobody else. I was just walking slowly around and crying: What am I going to do when I get to the village? My mommy will be dead and Mirek, Ann...Grandma is not here, daddy is far away, I’m the only child in the whole wide world.´ What can I tell you - I was ten years old girl."
"Everyone was in kolkhoz. The local secretary was coming in every day to send the people to kolkhoz. ... My mommy was just recovering from the labor, so my dad said she will not go anywhere. That’s how our names appeared on the Siberia deportation list. The mayor told my dad about it. They would arrest the people during the night secretly; they wouldn’t dare to do it on public. Firstly they deported owners of the mills, followed by rich farmers. Despite the fact that we weren’t any rich farmers, my dad decided that we find another place for us to spend the nights. Several nice people, friends and relatives provided the place to sleep for us. When the spring finally came we used to sleep outside under the bushes. Sometimes we slept in the grain field. My baby sister was still too young so mommy had to calm her down frequently. But this way we saved ourselves from going to Siberia. It was sometime around June 22nd when the Germans came. We were not crazy about their arrival, but we were glad that those that threatened us the most were gone."
"After the February of 1948 I felt sad all of a sudden. Nobody was laughing anymore. Everyone used to be happy here before, but now it was sad here. Nobody from my neighborhood was shouting. In school we used to have this professor, who led us through to the graduation, but he was constantly walking on a tine ice. He was very sad. Personally I’m very disappointed from the revolution. You wouldn’t find anything funny in the newspaper or magazine. Everything was rather serious. At least that’s how I felt."
We were ideating Czechoslovakia as a paradise on Earth
Mrs. Miloslava Žáková, PhD. was born on October 11th 1933 in Czech village called Kupičov, which was located in Ukrainian Volhynia. Her father, grandfather as well as most of their ancestors came from the carpenter‘s generation. Miloslava Žáková remembers the war, bombing attacks and hidings from them, but also she recalls everyday life in Volhynia from child‘s point of view. Her father, who served the army in the past, stayed in Czechoslovakia and settled down in farmstead near by Dvůr Králové town. In the spring of 1947 Miloslava accompanied by her mother and her younger brother left with the Volhynia Czechs transport to Czechoslovakia. After she graduated on gymnasium she started to study Czech and Russian languages on the faculty of Philosophy in Olomouc town. After five years of teaching in Moravia she moved to Prague and here she began to work at the Educational Research Institute. She was involved in the 1968 happenings, but unlike her husband, she didn‘t suffer any consequences regarding this. Being independent, she had some difficulties to defense her candidate‘s work. She was able to succeed only at the beginning of the 90´s. After her retirement she became one of the main organizers of the Kupičov village Natives reunion. She is publishing the Kupičov newsletter. She also participated in writing and editing of two anthologies about the history of Volhynia Czechs living in Kupičov.