We thought we were going home, and yet they were taking us to a prison camp
Matthias Wraneschitz was born in 1927 in Frélichov to Jan and Anna Vranešic. They spoke Croatian at home, but because the Vranešices lived in a part of the village where several German families lived as well, little Matthias also spoke German. He learnt Czech in his first year at a Czech primary school in 1933. In September 1944 he was forcibly drafted into the German army and was deployed on the western front. After the war he found his way to Pilsen, where he was interned in a camp for Germans; he was put to clearing up debris from bombing runs on the city. After three months, this work duty was transferred to the mines around Ostrava. Matthias Wraneschitz worked there until 1948, when he managed to escape, return to Frélichov, and then flee to Austria the next day.