Taťána Bubníková

* 1931

  • “In 1939 Hitler came, I remember the occupation very clearly, how the Germans came into the streets on their motorbikes, all covered in their coats, and how afraid we all were… And this was actually the beginning of all the disquiet, as they beset in Terezín, which is one kilometre far from us, so there they beset all the caserns. And there was a cinema in our village, so Bohušovice were always full of German soldiers. And parents feared for us of course, they went to school with us, they led us from school, so all this started to be quite uncomfortable. Then it was heard that they wanted to do a ghetto from Terezín. So they started to buy properties and set up rooms for Jews there. My aunt had two beautiful houses there, a sweetshop and a coffee house, and she also had to move out from Terezín. In the year 1942 when I was 11 years old, the transports were gradually starting already. Transports of Jews when the houses were already ready. Everything was happening so that there was a railway station in Bohušovice and there they were getting off the trains and gradually all the transports were going through Bohušovice, were they Jews, were they prisoners taken in, all was going through our village. For us they were terrible moments because it was actually happening all day sometimes when they were taken in from the whole Republic. And they were terrible moments when you saw for example how the whole family was marching and each had his own bundle, a little baby in the pram or the older kids were loaded onto those even platforms, so there they put them and rode them on the platforms. If one of them could not go further, so those walking alongside them, the Germans threw him into the ditch, some of them survived, some did not and in the evening again the cart came and loaded the people, alive or dead, loaded them together. And we were actually allowed to go up to Terezín, for some time Terezín was open, so we could go even into Terezín, but none of us was brave enough to go there. But we were allowed up to Terezín, so many times we went and carried for example water to give it to drink to the people lying in the ditches and so. So then we had an overview about what was going on as well. So it was quite unpleasant…”

  • “But the biggest trouble which was done by the Russians, that when they came, I don´t remember on which day of May, on the third or fourth, they arrived earlier and just a few, a group, and they immediately opened the Little Fortress and immediately opened Terezín. And the people who were terrible bony poor fish, mainly those in the Little Fortress in the striped cloths, so them they set free and they poured into Bohušovice. And now it was a terrible horror for the men from Bohušovice who had to stand guard in all the streets through which they would have been coming and they were not allowed to let them in, because the typhus would have spread through Bohušovice, and mainly they wanted food what they were not allowed to get. And now explain to the people that they could not eat, so they took clubs and started to beat our men, because they couldnt or didn’t want to understand that they were not allowed to eat, that their intestines would break. So these were terrible moments at that time, or when the Germans were fleeing, because again from Central Bohemia it all went a lot over us. And when they set the prisoners and the Jews free, so as I was saying that they had been going and there had been the ditches there, so the prisoners there assailed the Germans and they slaughtered there a huge amount of Germans, and then Germans lay in the ditches again. So the end was then quite horrible for us…”

  • “Well, and with regard to the fact that some people from Bohušovice were afraid, some were not afraid, so our family was just the one who was not afraid. So my Mum worked as a contact man, prisoners from the Little Fortress used to go every day with such a barrow to the railway to pick up post. Among them was, I don´t remember exactly if he was a representative, Dr. Jína. They stopped at the dentist and there in the cellar they had a box and they put messages into the box. About when which transport would be going, who would be in the transport, when Czech policemen would be going or when Germans, because when Czech policemen were going, so we were already preparing food at home. The Czech policemen had namely no objections when we ran into the transport and handed out the food. So because we were less striking than adults, so me and my friend, always when we knew when there would be a transport, we stayed at home and we got two bags each and we ran from our street into the transport and handed out food. And we were getting the food so that again in the villages connected to our road there were farms where they still had some food. So it was agreed always for instance with the owner of the estate or with the bigger farmers or even in our village of Bohušovice, that there were for example many of the transports going. And they said, so come with a barrow. And so we again with my school mate took the barrow and went to the next village or one more village further, there they loaded our barrow full of bread, grease, cucumbers, and this all was then cut, spread and prepared in our village for the people who were leaving Terezín… And this connection lasted for the whole time of the transports. So in this way we had the connection, that my Mum was going to the dentist to pick up things from the box…”

  • “Well, and one day we got the message that in Roudnice they had arrested a lot of Sokol members and also for instance the director of the bank my aunt worked for. Completely by names it was always known who would be in the transport. So my Mum again, she was disabled so she walked badly, … so they wrote letters, gave me addresses and I went to Roudnice and rang at the families and gave them the letter. So in the morning the families, not only in Roudnice, but anywhere else where we got the message in time, we quickly wrote messages to the families to come and say goodbye. So I remember that they were those from Roudnice and that they were many. And that we went with the transport to the railway station and I remember that the families were many there when they saw their members for the last time. And once during the transport it happened that we had a message that there would be Czech policemen. But the Germans discovered that this was happening and they changed the guards and instead of the Czech policemen there were Germans. And we as children still didn´t have the observation so we ran into the transport and our Mum was waiting with the other bags some way further and handed them to us, so they took Mum too. They led us all with the guns into the station. There they put us in a line into the waiting room with the remark that they would shoot us all. And their commandant, I don´t know how it happened or what the reason was – they were shouting at us terribly, it was horrible, I can remember those moments until now – suddenly he waved his hand and did so, so that they drove us out. So they drove us out from the station, thank God nothing happened to anybody of us. We came home, my Dad was very angry with my Mum that she was linking me up to it, that it was dangerous, that one day we would both stay there, my Mum and I… Well, in this way it went on anyway. The food was scraped up further, it was done over and over again. And I have one remark to it, that if we had dared to take even one small piece of bread from what was prepared at home, so our parents wouldn´t have permitted it. They said: ´It is for the poor. You have your own and you have honey butter or damson-cheese,´ as there was no butter at that time. But they would never have let us take anything from the food…”

  • “Well, and once a friend came and he was looking for a Jew, a friend in Terezín. My Mum took the star, went through the guards, as those with the star didn´t have to identify themselves, so she went through. She found the friend in Terezín and came back, gave report that she had found him and how he was. And he was there for the whole war because they were keeping skilful craftsmen and such for the whole war, there were whole families there. So he stayed there and then after the war he still made contact to my Mum… It is about the memory of what we were all living through. How terrible it was… There is also such a memory, when we were going from school and there was a transport probably of a Jewish orphanage including the sisters, all were clothed in violet, they had four or five kids in the pram so they were pushing it just like that, some prams even didn´t have wheels any more and so they let them walk on foot to Terezín. They had no regards if old or young, sometimes they put the possessions of the old ones to platform cars, they mostly didn´t see it again then, and so they drove there the whole groups from the towns. There were always so many people… And there was a Jewish family in our place, the lady had five children and both were Jews. So he went to Terezín and she with the kids was left in Bohušovice. But she couldn´t stand it that her husband was there so she did so that she helped the Jews, gave reports and then somebody lodged information against her. So she was taken in too and the children were left in Bohušovice in charge of the community. We couldn´t understand it, one of the girls was in the same class with us and then after the war we were still discussing it how it was possible, when Germans had such a perfect record that they let the five kids completely exposed. So families looked after them, one of them had those 12, 13 years olds, in 1945 we were 14, it looked after the children also with the help of other people. And that they were not taken away, nothing, stayed there, it was such an exception…” (interviewer) Was it happening that parents were taken away and kids were left on their own, then relatives took them and looked after them? “Well, then my husband will tell you about the Rebecs, kids stayed there standing in the street, they locked the house and took the parents away and so it was…”

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    Mělník, 09.02.2008

    duration: 01:20:05
    media recorded in project Portraits of Prague citizens
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We live for each other and for the family around and also to see happy people around us

P5204468.jpg (historic)
Taťána Bubníková
photo: Archiv paní Bubníkové a Jana Černá, Post Bellum

Taťána Bubníková, maiden name Kalinová, comes from Bohušovice, her father was a tailor, her mother a couturier. The occupation found her in the primary school. As an eleven-year old girl she used to go to Terezín with food for the transported and used to carry letters from there with information for the families of the transported. These illegal activities were practiced also by both her parents, especially her mother (in 1940 and 1943 she gave birth to two more boys!). In 1945 Taťána went to the business school to Litoměřice (business school in the building of the military academy). As a daughter of a trader she had problems to find work, she got it only in September (as an expedient in the egg department of the dairy in Bohušovice). In 1953 she married Bohuslav Bubník. She moved to Mělník and started to work in the Vitana company. After the maternity leave she entered the accountant position in a state farm. To get a place in kindergarten for her two children, she signed the membership in the Czechoslovak Women Federation. In 1960 she started to work at the district agriculture authority in the financial department, later in the school department. She never reached the leader position and that only because she refused to enter the Czechoslovak Communist Party. In 1986 she was retired. After the Velvet Revolution she and her husband joined the efforts to renew the activity of the physical training institution Sokol and until now she is still active in it.