Emílie Chválová

* 1934  †︎ 2012

  • “We heard the rumor that they were killing them. So when they picked the 9 of us, we thought that they’d kill us. So we said to ourselves: ‘Boys and girls, hello, they’ll probably kill us, but there’s nothing we can do about it’. We didn’t expect them to pick us 9 and kill the rest.”

  • “They brought a photograph from second grade at school. The inscription ‘Lidice’ had been erased. They asked me if I knew who it was and where it was. I told them that I knew. That it was the children from the school and the teacher Šimandl. They asked me where it was. I told them that it was in Lidice nearby Buštěhrad. But I didn’t speak Czech so I replied in German.”

  • “We didn’t take him too seriously. He would always give us ‘peanuts’ when we did something to him. For example, he’d sit down on a bench and tell us a story. While, he was talking, we would nail his coat to the bench. He didn’t even notice and when he got up, he was furious about it. He was looking for the villain. But we weren’t scared of him at all.”

  • “About 4 o’clock or maybe 4:30, pick-up trucks arrived and the women and children were ordered to get on them. We drove through Buštěhrad. The citizens of Buštěhrad already knew what had happened in Lidice. My uncle and my cousin, who was a bit older than me, approached Lidice and saw the village being surrounded by Germans. They also saw the Germans taking us away. My aunt stood in Buštěhrad at the station and said: ‘we saw you being taken away by the trucks to Kladno’.”

  • “When they brought me back to Lidice, I saw all the horror there. This really made me hate the Germans. I kept saying to myself that, they can’t be that bad. But they did this. I somehow couldn’t explain this contradiction to myself and I suffered a nervous breakdown.”

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    Lidice, 06.11.2011

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    duration: 01:55:46
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Boys and girls, hello, they’ll probably kill us, but there’s nothing we can do about it

Emílie Chválová
Emílie Chválová
photo: archiv pamětnice

  Emílie Chválová, née Frejová, was born in 1934. Her mother died during her birth and her parents weren’t married therefore, she was raised by her relatives in Lidice. In June 1942, at the age of 8, the Nazis deported her, along with the other children from Lidice to Łódź. She was lucky because she was chosen for re-education, along with 8 other children. She was placed in the family of the Nazi officer, Otto Kuckuck. After the war, Emílie was located and brought back home by a special government unit, tasked with the repatriation of abducted Czechoslovak children. Since 1954 until her death in January 2012, she lived in Nové Lidice and worked in the museum of the Lidice memorial.