„It was great until the Henlein party [German nationalists] became prominent, and then the beauty changed into a horror. When I was around four, my parents were sitting on the school porch and the road, nothing would drive there, neither cars nor horse carriages, they sent me to the shop across that road so that I’d practice my independence. On the road, I was attacked by Henlein supporters, they were thirteen or fourteen and they kicked and beat me brutally until my parents ran to me. Mom started to chase them but she did not manage to, they hid in the cornfield. Maybe it was better that way that she didn’t catch them. I’ve born this trauma for all my life. Even now I feel… because the wounds healed, bruises dissolved but my soul still hurts.“
„We used to walk. I love water and I would go swimming on every occasion. We walked from the Jánuš pond up the road leading from Chotěboř, there’s a ski piste nowadays. My aunt said: ‘Oops, it’s going to rain tomorrow. It’s said that when the sky is red in the evening, it’s going to rain the next day.’. And it was not red sky, it was Ležáky on fire. I get shivers down my back when I see the fire in the sky, the red clouds. We would never think that it would be such a big fire. This is how I saw Ležáky with my own eyes.”
“Because language and literature are cultural treasures that nobody can deride. One student had to write something about what he read but he wrote to his notebook: ‘I did not commit any crime at home and I’m not going to speak the language of traitors.’ So I wrote that he would probably remain dumb because in every country, traitors abound.”
"I am neither Jan Hus nor Comenius. I‘m just a tiny miserable worm and I was aware that I was committing a treason and I’d spit at my feet because we had to, in front of some symbol, Czechoslovak flag or Comenius, claim aloud that we agree. My two children were at a college at that time so I did this despicable thing. I regret having left the church and I regret that I didn’t protest. This is not an excuse, though, and I’m really ashamed.”
There are still scars left after an attack of German nationalists
Drahomíra Brychtová, née Heindlová, was born on the 18th of March in 1932 in the village of Raškov at the foot of the Jeseníky mountains. Her father, Jan Heindl, was the headmaster of the local school for the Czech-speaking minority [in a predominantly German-speaking region] and her mother Marie taught at the same school. In Sudeten, the fanatic supporters of Adolf Hitler frequently attacked the Czechs during the 1930’s. One of their victims was the child Drahomíra. In the 1938 mobilisation, Jan Heindl, as a Czechoslovak reserve officer, was conscripted to Uzhhorod and his wife and daughter moved to Pardubice. In summer 1939, the Heindl family permanently moved to Hlinsko where the witness’ father joined the underground resistance. On the 17th March of 1941, he was arrested and sentenced to 16 months of imprisonment. He served most of his term in Bayreuth in Germany and he was left with compromised health. He still became a member of the Jan Kozina resistance brigade and took part in sabotages. The witness graduated from high school in Chotěboř. After obtaining a teaching certificate, she took distance courses at the Faculty of Arts from which she later graduated. She taught arts, ceramics and foreign languages. During her teaching career, she got into clashes with the Communist regime. She taught in Vysoké Mýto, Litomyšl a v Hlinsko. During the normalisation interviews, she was pressured to proclaim her approval of the occupation by the armies of the Warsaw Pact. She deservedly retired aged 75 and even then, she was active in a choir. During the time of the recording (October 2020), she lived in Hlinsko.