Private First Class Marie Chudá

* 1920  

  • "There were Germans fortified up on the hill and we were under it. Naturally we stayed there for weeks. The soil was mixed up with blood and corpses. It was horrible there. I even got wounded, at the dimension 538."

  • "There was a bunch of our people in Russia to work but a lot of them died of hunger. There was a huge famine after the war since the Germans plundered everything and left nothing behind. My step-mother had a sister at Ural. She then wrote us that she’s still alive but that they would drive for some twenty kilometers in a goods-train to woods where they picked idle pears and apples which they dried. And also birch and oak crust and they would grind it all together. That’s how they made their living and survived."

  • "We had the same training as the men. Jumps, crawling, everything. We did the shooting, learnt how to throw grenades, everything. Like soldiers. We shoot from antimechanized weapons. And there were even girls – Carpathian Ruthenians who were already in Russia and fought at Sokolov and Bílá Cerkev. We had one whole women’s flak squad at the artillery weapons. They shoot down number of aircrafts. It was no bliss."

  • "The Polish army was beautiful at sight. But it was not good at war. It was a pleasure to look at the cavalery – everything was just shining on them. But in war, they were done for in thirteen days. They were no fighters."

  • "What should I tell you, some of the Slovaks were scum. They would give us away to the Germans. We’d for example moved to another place, weren’t even dug in and the Germans were already bombing us. Then in Nižní Poruba we were accommodated in some cabins. I and a neighbour of mine were sort of well known and she said: ´Be ware of that guy you accommodated, he gives away to the Germans the Czechs‘ position.´"

  • "Here I later got married and we had a small grange. We held horses, a cow, goats, pigs – here in Vestec. My husband worked at the railroad as a driver and I did more for the grange – I was at the field, did everything. Mowed, bungled, drove dung, everything."

  • "There were such moments when there even wasn’t anything to eat. The providers couldn’t get to us through the front. And when we for example saw potatoes somewhere – it was already in the summer – we would go for them in the evening. But unfortunately the German snipers were after us. So we couldn’t even dig out the potatoes."

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 25.09.2003

    duration: 38:37
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“At Banská Bystrica there was soil mixed up with blood and corpses”

Marie Chudá
Marie Chudá

  Marie Chudá was born in 1920 in Volhynia. Her father was a cabinet maker who stayed in Volhynia after the WW I. Many Volhynians including women joined the Czechoslovak army after it was founded in Russia. Ms. Chudá went through a tough one-month training and then joined up straight to the front. She took part in the bloody combat at Krosno and Dukla. There she was wounded by a German grenade so she spent two weeks in a hospital. In Slovakia there was a problem with the locals who gave out the Czech’s position to the Germans. At the same time there was a huge hunger since the providers couldn’t get to them. By the end of the war Marie Chudá got to Ostrava. After the war along with other Volhynians she emigrated to Czechoslovakia. Here she worked at a grange and later in an Agricultural Cooperative. She never joined the Communist party.