Božena Zůbková

* 1935  

  • “Kovář, as he returned, explained it to Mrs. Špičáková. She had a lodge behind Salaš, as the guerrillas were there, so they came to them once and took their daughter from them to cook for them. And they took another girl from the village. The two girls from the village cooked them there. And she: 'Well, our Zdenka is there, I won't leave her there.' But Kovář said he didn't like it. "You know what, Mr. Kovář, I'll take the eggs in the basket, go as if I was going to go to the lodge to replace eggs from the hens." At that time they have already been shot dead, as she approached Vápenice around the time the shooting happened. She was not shot at all, just cut and stabbed. No one even saw her, except Mr. Peták, who put her in a bag and took her to the cemetery in a pushcart. So she was buried in that bag. And our guys in a mass grave. She has a small memorial statue right at the end. There were no coffins. They were buried next to each other and covered with spruce twigs, and buried that way.”

  • “My mother used to cut the grass in the woods, and as she used to go far every time she went by Vapenice, she stopped in Vapenice and always went to see where they had been shot. There was a woman there. Mommy cried. And the woman asked her if anyone died there. And her mother replied to her, that almost the whole family did. Ten guys got shot there. And she says if they blamed anyone. And my mother said: 'Yes, we blamed some Mlýnek.' (But where would he go? I got it in that letter. Let's see later.) That was Mlýnek´s mother. '-' How did my mother respond? ' “She said nothing at all. Only then he wrote to the National Committee. That they blame him for this, but that he really saved himself, that he didn't even know how he escaped...”

  • “When mum washed them all, we went down and there, in the middle of the hill Pepa with Olga and another partisan, they went three, they went as if to the cemetery. If they wanted to look at that place, I don't know. He yelled at the mother: 'Woman, what have you got to do here? I said under the death penalty that no one was allowed to come in!‘ And my mother said: 'They've shot them all, so shoot me and the little one and there will be peace!‘ That is what she told him. He no longer talked to her. They went around us. So we stayed there for a while and went home.”

  • “There was a guerilla, who rode a horse with a man tied to his horse at the back. It was such an experience, I still see it in front of my eyes. It is the worst always in the evening before I fall asleep. There are all sort of memories, even though they took place seventy-seven years ago, they will never be forgotten. Although I was a kid that, but they are kept in my mind without erasing. The guerrilla fled with the horse and so he was beaten to death. He was said to be a German caught around the district. They found his box with hooks to pull nails and torment people. So they killed him that way. And I saw where he was buried behind the district. You could see your little spruces; nowadays there are big spruces there. There they buried him. Not too deep down. They threw ground on top of him. I know I used to go there to watch it slowly sink until it was flat."

  • And when I go to the graveyard or church, I still see myself on the third step, where I sat. Mum herself was washing all the guys lying on the lawn next to each other, because they were all covered in blood. And I was crying there. I can still see myself there. That was unforgettable...

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I see daddy in everything

Božena Zůbková, née Pravdíková, was born on 13 August 1935 in the village of Salaš near Velehrad in the region of Uherské Hradiště. As the youngest child she grew up with two sisters and a brother. Together with their parents and grandparents, they lived in a small house and made their living at a small farm. Since the establishment of the guerrilla troop called Olga in January 1945, which was subject to the 1st Czechoslovak guerrilla brigade Jan Zizka and operated in the area of Salaš, František, the father of witness, and her brother were involved in helping the guerrillas. On the basis of not yet fully understood circumstances, both of them became along with eight other members of the extended family, became the victims of the so-called Salaš tragedy. On April 29, 1945, 19 men were shot and one woman stabbed to death. They probably fell into the trap of Gestapo members disguised as guerrillas. Under the cover of recruitment to the guerrilla troop and the training of firing weapons they were brought to the forest, called Vápenice, and all shot were on the spot. The only female victim was Aloisie Špičáková, who took part in the event as an unwanted witness. Bozena lost ten relatives. After the war she graduated from the secondary school in Velehrad and apprenticed seamstress in Uherské Hradiště. She got married and raised three children. Nowadays she still lives in Salaš.