Zdeňka Calábková

* 1937  

  • Q: “Do you know how Josef Calábek, the father of your husband, was arrested?” A:“They came to extinguish the fire. And everybody who was there was arrested. First they had a list with names, but it got lost, so they just needed to have a certain number of people. They needed nineteen men. They just took them and did not care about the names.”

  • “Us children, we didn’t know anything. We had a servant who also didn’t know about it. The family hid during the day and came out at night to have some fresh air. They slept during the day. Nobody knew about it and there was smoke coming out of the chimney.” Q: “And where were they hiding?” A: “There was a room from which they could only get to the yard and nowhere else.”

  • “It was a day like any other. In the evening, our mum put us to bed as always and my father went out for a night watch. Then he ran down the street and shouted to put out the lights because there was something happening. And suddenly shouts and shooting could be heard everywhere and they set our neighbor’s house on fire. My father ran into the house and he was hit by a bullet at the door. He was shouting: ‘This is the watch! This is the watch!’ and they shot him.” Q: “And where was your mother?” “Our mother was with us at home. As the neighbor’s house was on fire, and our roof also began to catch fire, so she was trying to put out the flames with buckets of water. The house was suddenly full of soldiers.” Q: “Did the neighbors help to put out the fire?” “All in an instant the fire was gone. Then they threw the plates into the windows. It was all over the place. People came to extinguish the fire, they came from the cinema in Tršice. The soldiers captured everyone. They had a list with names but that got lost somewhere. So they caught 19 people and locked them at Mrs. Závodníková’s house. And they kept them there until the other day. They no longer went by the name list, they just wanted to arrest a certain number of people.”

  • “They shot all the pigs that night. The next day, the butcher, Mr. Pospíšil had to come and boil the water to steam them. My mother had to bring white sheets and each half of a pig was wrapped in a sheet. She also had some wine. They forced her to taste it first to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. Then they put everything on trucks and took it away. We didn’t have anything to eat. My mother milked the cow and that was the only thing we had. Before that one of the soldiers came and asked my mother who killed the pigs. She said that it happened during the shooting at night. He said: ‘You liar!’ and pointed a gun at her head. We were standing there with my sister each on one side. Another soldier came and threw my mother aside; then he dragged the one with the revolver out and told him that it had been them who killed the swine. So in fact he saved her. If he hadn’t had come, the other one would have shot her and they’d have killed us too. They would have hit us with something and we’d be dead as well.”

  • “We didn’t know what was happening. In the morning they put the men in two lines. My mother took off the wooden shutters and they lead the men into the yard of Mr. Ulma, who had horses. My father was injured and couldn’t walk, so Mr. Ulma had to hitch up a cart and they put my father on the cart and took him to Újezd. They didn’t let him be because of the injury; they just took him with the others. The others had to march but he was on the cart because he couldn’t walk.”

  • “They took the men to Velký Újezd, where they interrogated and tortured them for two days. Local people later told us what happened there. Then they put them in a lorry with petrol and took them to Kyjanice. There was a wooden cabin with a ground floor about two to three meters. It was a storage place for equipment. They threw them in, sprayed everything with petrol and set the cabin on fire. That was how our poor men had ended. The place was guarded until the end of the war when the Russians came. Nobody could come near. They even brought a German priest to consecrate it. And when he saw the atrocities he broke down and wasn’t able to do anything.” Q: “And they had all broken legs?” “Poor guys, none of them had his legs unhurt.”

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    Zákřov, 01.03.2011

    (audio)
    duration: 52:03
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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My childhood was sad. The death of our father was a great loss.

Ohera family in 1941 involucre (father Oldřich with Ludmila and mother Marie with Zdeňka)
Ohera family in 1941 involucre (father Oldřich with Ludmila and mother Marie with Zdeňka)
photo: archiv pamětníka

Zdeňka Calábková, born as Oherová, was born in 1937 in Zákřov near Olomouc. By the end of the war, her parents were hiding a Jewish family, called Wolf. As a small child, she witnessed the Zákřov massacre. On 18th April 1945, soldiers of the 574 Cossack battalion captured 23 men accused from supporting the guerillas. Two days later, 19 of the men were executed and their bodies burnt in a cabin near Kyjanice. Her father Oldřich Ohera and Otto Wolf, who was hiding at their house, were among the victims. After the war, Zdeňka stayed at home to help her mother with the household. In 1956, she married Josef Calábek, whose father was also killed at Kyjanice.