Zdena Bartoníková

* 1950

  • "It's obvious. A young man came after the war and the German was pretty... So he fell in love with her. But she was also married and had a husband in the army. She hadn't heard of him for two years; she was told he had been killed. She actually got an official letter that said that. She wanted to stay; my dad was a young guy and they hit it off. Then my sister was born in '46." - "What was her name?" - "Božena. Then, all of a sudden, just when they were about to get married - since the German woman got pregnant again with her second child - she got an official letter saying her husband was waiting for her in Germany. Being pregnant, had had no choice but to be deported." - "Did she leave her daughter behind?" - "She left her daughter Božena here. She was one year and a bit [old]. So my mother actually raised her."

  • "I remember I was a little girl when they came to get the cattle. My father was very fond of horses, and there's nothing that I remember so well as that time he looked at the horses - and I saw him crying for the first time ever. Being a little child, I was wondering what was going on. I forgot everything over time, but I remember this."

  • "Groups of Bandera's soldiers used to go there. They worked in the fields during the day. A young man worked at my mother's place, tending horses and helping her. One evening, he came with a gun and asked for money. Mum said she didn't have any at home and would have to go borrow from the neighbours. She knew if she showed him where she kept the money he would take it all. She had two small children. She went to the neighbours' house and when she was by the gate, the Ukrainian fired his gun at her. If it hadn't hammed she would have been dead; as it was, she only got shot three times in the lungs."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Šumperk, 04.03.2023

    duration: 02:05:27
    media recorded in project Stories of the region - Central Moravia
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

She ran us all out, then stood there for about 20 minutes crying

Zdena Bartoníková (née Končická) in 1968
Zdena Bartoníková (née Končická) in 1968
photo: Witness's archive

Zdena Bartoníková was born in Rapotín on 13 November 1950 to parents Vladimír Končický and Františka Končická. Both parents were Volhynian Czechs and came from Volhynia, a region in today’s Ukraine territory. Serving with the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, her father came all the way from the Dukla Pass to Moravia. Having been demobilised, he settled on a farm in the Sudeten village of Rapotín in 1945. He fell in love with German Anna Hilbert. They had daughter Božena, and when they were expecting another daughter, Anna Hilbert received a letter to the effect that her husband, formerly registered as a killed Wehrmacht soldier, was waiting for her in Germany. Still pregnant, she went to her husband and left daughter Božena with Vladimír Končický. A year later, Vladimír Končický met Františka Čechová, a mother of two children and a widow of a Czechoslovak Army Corps soldier who had been killed in action. From their union came Zdena and Vlastimil. Zdena spent her childhood with her four siblings in Rapotín where her father was forced to surrender his farm and join a cooperative (JZD) during the collectivisation era. She met her German-born half-sister Helena for the first time in 1975 and has kept in touch with her ever since. After not completing her studies, Zdena Bartoníková worked at glassworks in Rapotín for thirty years. She married Květoslav Bartoník in 1970 and their only son Milan was born a year later. At the time of filming in 2023, she was still living in her native village.