Olga Bílková

* 1923

  • "We didn't come to take anything, we thought ... they promised us they would pay us something. And when they pay us that we would buy something, we didn't want to. That's why the man left because he didn't want to get involved when he saw them fighting over it. So we thought we were going to buy something and they had not given us money yet, so we were like intruders. "

  • "Those very neighbors who had not greeted us very nicely, you know, behaved in various ways. Suddenly a car arrived, and they brought them coal, and neither one or the other had any money, so who do they go to - Mrs. Bílková. Quickly. One came up: 'Mrs. Bílková, would you lend us a thousand?' She hadn't even closed the door yet, and the second one came to me as well. Well, I lent them. But on the third day was the currency reform. And I wasted no time and ran to the first one and said, 'Please look, there is a currency reform - you say you have no money, take some money from me.' And she took my money for three people, you know, for the exchange, so that was nice. And I immediately ran to the second and just like that, for two people, so I had money for five people and there was four of us, exchange for nine people so I had 9000 right after the monetary reform. And it was a lot of money, who had this much? And they [the neighbors] said, 'We will pay you!' - 'No, keep it, use it for heating, I'd only have a few crowns for it ...' So I forgave both of them the thousand, and we had money. That's how the monetary reform paid off for us."

  • "We came, we had ours, we had our equipment, we had two boxes, while they came, such as in our town of Píšťany, neighbors, five children, each child a bag in their hand, the grandfather supposedly had a bag on his back, I didn't see him, but those who were there said that. The old settlers lived opposite, and she told me, they are over seventy today, not many people left these days. They came to a furnished house, there was still lunch on the table, I don't know if they kicked them out or what, but they just still had their lunch cooked in pots, but they were afraid to eat it in case it was poisoned."

  • Full recordings
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    Litoměřice, 25.05.2019

    duration: 01:11:10
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We take life as it is

Olga Bílková, née Glajchová, was born on October 5, 1923 in Český Straklov , in the district of Dubno in Volhynia in what was then Poland. Her grandparents moved to Volhynia in 1868. Her father worked as a carpenter and her mother took care of the household. When the war came, German soldiers shot and killed her father, allegedly by mistake. As an “apology” the wife and two orphaned daughters received from German soldiers a washtub of lard. With one month left until Olga’s graduation, the occupation authorities shut down secondary schools. The witness was then able to teach children at a Ukrainian school. At nineteen, she married Vladimír Bílek, who later enlisted in the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps. After the war, the family re-emigrated to Czechoslovakia, in the year 1947 they spent two weeks traveling by train with their daughter Zdenka. For thirteen years the family lived in Píšťany near Litoměřice and according to the witness they felt like intruders. Olga started sewing clothes and had a number of satisfied customers. After some time, the family moved to Litoměřice where the witness lived in the time of filming an interview in the year in 2019.