“There was this thing that annoyed me. Students had been going to factories. And they would drive us to a canteen and this maybe eighteen-years-old boy would start telling us that we led a bad life. And I just... well I didn´t say anything. But there was this woman, she was around fifty. And she said: 'A bad life? We were working, we brought food on the table and took care of our families.' So I was just... The girl had the courage to speak out, to say what I was just thinking. What could such a boy know about life? Well, they could have sent a grown up person, not these half-children. I guess that if a grown-up would come and he would explain the situation to us, like how it was or how it had to be or what had just happened, it would be quite different. But this thing I found quite annoying.”
“It was even worse here during the war as my mother wasn´t really accepted by the German community. As they blamed her for my father being Czech. And as a result, I had often been abused by local children. I just had to stand aside, and if I would show myself off too much, I would be punished. And it was just the same after the war in fact. As they found out that I can´t speak Czech, that I was in fact this half-inferior being, so they attacked me again. But at least I learned how to fight.”
“During the war, when were you most afraid? - “When there was an air raid, when there was an air raid. You could see such a thing on film or in cinema. But if you were the person who had been affected, the experience was much worse, much more brutal. But we were lucky as the cellar where we would run to hide was just across the street. So we would go there. But a single bomb didn´t fall here, on the outskirts of town. The city centre was where all the bombs fell. But it had been a horrible experience still.”
When they said on the radio that Hitler was dead, I was rolling with joy
Kristina Balcarová, née Honsová, was born on June 24th 1936 in Mimoň in the Česká Lípa district. Her mother was German wile her father had Czech ancestry. Due to that, she was being abused by both Czech and German children during the Second World War and its aftermath. Even her parents lived through some uneasy and unpleasant times due to their ‘mixed marriage’. During the Second World War, her father, Josef Hons, had been totally deployed in Berlin. Kristina Balcarová witnessed living conditions in Mimoň during the war years and beyond. As a teenager, she wanted to become a nurse, however, in 1950, a Communist delegation convinced both her and her classmates to join the ranks of the builders of the new republic. Due to that, she trained to be a lathe operator. However, she spent just few months doing blue-collar job. As for most of her career, she had been working in the office. At first she was employed in the Mitop Enterprise sales department in Mimoň, after that, she spent more than thirty years in the sales and purchasing department in the Local Industry District Enterprise in Mimoň. From 1991 to 2014, she had been working in a private enterprise purchasing department and also as a translator. She spent her whole life in Mimoň, where she also passed away in May 2020.