Libuše Chourová

* 1924

  • “She was educated, she was a Communist of course. It's true that we all accepted Communists at that time because they were forward-looking people. And we mixed up Communism with Pan-slavism. It was something like that. But the truth is she was a very nice women and I did like her very much.”

  • “Well, it was not that terrible. First of all a Czech policeman came so that nobody could leave. Then a Gestapo man came, he spoke German. But German was a piece of cake for us during the war. And the only thing the Gestapo man said was: 'How old are you?' And we proudly said we were eighteen. And he replied: 'Das geht schon.' '(It's all right.)' So we girls got there because we were eighteen years old. And it was a coeducation class, which meant there were both boys and girls. It lasted for a while. And finally we were taken downstairs and there was a bus in front of the grammar school. And there was an anton so we got into it. And there were doctor Svět and my father standing next to each other across the street. And I waved at my father from the window and I can see it like today, he had some newspaper in his pocket and he went like this... And they scattered them already and we went off to Terezín.”

  • “Understand that we were originally sixteen there. Then the relatives of the Gabčíks and the Kubišs. So we were at least forty there. At the same time there was just one toilet and one basin there. So when we were there by ourselves we managed somehow and it was all right. However, when we were twice or three times as many as before it was much worse. ('So they placed the relatives of the assassins with you, girls from Roudnice grammar school?') “Yes, they did.” ('And those were women without children then?') “Yes, they were women without children.”

  • “('And how about the first interrogation when you had no idea what would happen to you?') You see, I just remembered. The commissioner from Kladno Gestapo was called Völkel and he spoke Czech. I remember he said... the whole interrogation was based on the sentence: 'You knew about it!' Just enough was the fact that they were on formal terms with us. And I said: “No, I didn't.” And he said I don't know what, some revolver and the head teacher and such and I replied: “So do you want me to say 'yes' or shall I say the truth?!” And he turned me out without beating me. And I was standing with my head against the wall again.”

  • “Some men prisoners were doing something in our courtyard. And she came to them with a slice of buttered bread. Just think of that, to come with a slice of buttered bread among the hungry. And she, the bitch, let it fall down and she was waiting who of them would pick it up.”

  • “We were the first women in Malá pevnost in 1942. They were absolutely unprepared for us. We were taken at the 'women courtyard' and we were placed in some kind of a cell. We were there and we could see out at the yard. There were some stakes there, probably for fastening horses or something. It looked just terrible as such. Then there were those buckets that you had to empty. We were sitting there then having absolutely no idea what would happen to us.”

  • “And on the contrary, Rojková came at our courtyard one day. We were still there as well as the women from Lidice. Then there were some more women but really only a few from Kladno Gestapo. And we were there. And she came because we wanted... I know I asked her for some cloth. And I didn't know the German word 'Lappen' and I said: “Bitte, ein hadr. (A cloth, please.)” And she went: 'What is hadr?' Well, it took me so long to explain that we needed to wipe something there. And she came and it was very nice, she said 'hadr.' She put it on the window sill and it stayed there. There was a jar of some jam wrapped in it, which was very nice.”

  • Full recordings
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    Ústí n./L., 24.04.2009

    duration: 02:58:50
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“Even ten years after the war when I had a bad dream at night, I dreamt of being there having nothing to eat. I was always frightened and my husband used to tell me: ‘Relax, you’re at home, little one.’”

Libuše Chourová - 1942 - A short time before her arrest.
Libuše Chourová - 1942 - A short time before her arrest.
photo: archiv Libuše Chourové

Libuše Chourová, nee Šimková, was born in Prague into the family of legionnaire Josef Šimek on June 8th, 1924. The family later lived in Ústí nad Labem . She had two brothers, one of which died as a child. After the Sudetes occupation of the border area in 1938, the whole family decided to relocate to Roudnice nad Labem. Libuše Chourová started her fourth year of school at the local grammar school there. She studied there until her arrest on June 20th, 1942. She and some other students were formally accused by the Gestapo of planning the assassination of a head teacher of the German primary school in Roudnice and the assassination of an active Nazi Alfred Bauer. All of them were imprisoned in Malá pevnost, many of them were later sent to other jails and concentration camps. Many of the students didn’t live to experience the end of the war. After half a year of hardship Libuše Chourová, one of the last girls still imprisoned, was released. From that time she worked as a displaced person in industrial and chemical production in Roudnice nad Labem till the end of the war. Libuše Chourová returned to Ústí nad Labem after the war, there she married Jaroslav Choura in 1946. The couple’s only son Petr was born in 1948. Her husband Jaroslav Choura tragically died in a car accident in 1971. She married for the second time in 1976. She married Vlastimil Mastný who worked as a bookseller. Libuše Chourová had mostly secretarial jobs; she worked predominantly as a clerk. She decided to join the ‘Club for Committed non-Party Men’ (KAN) in 1968.