Marie Cigánová

* 1936

  • “My mum and our neighbor took baskets and went to the field to collect grenades. When the baskets were full they dug up a pit, dumped the grenades there and covered it with soil. I don’t know if all the grenades were functional but nobody got hurt. Potatoes had to be planted on that field so the ammunition had to be somehow removed. Then again, in the forest, there were panzerfausts. Such large shelters were dug out there, containing perhaps up to five panzerfausts. There were also plenty of smaller holes where the panzerfausts were then being buried.”

  • “Do you recall the moment when you, your mother and your sister found out that your dad was killed?” – “I remember that my mum went to church in the morning. On the way back she would always drop by at the post office and ask whether there was a letter for her. The postmaster told her that there was no letter for her but have her more documents to distribute around. In the very bottom was the notice that dad was killed in action. He didn’t want to see mummy cry.”

  • "They broke off the golden edges of our dinner service, thinking it was gold. They also removed the doors from all the sheds and brought them to the field. There they dug up holes from which they were shooting, using the door as shield."

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    Hlučín, 12.04.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 02:01:23
    media recorded in project Silesia: Memory of multiethnic Region
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One’s language is irrelevant. It is about what kind of person one is.

Cigánová_01.jpg (historic)
Marie Cigánová
photo: dobové foto / archiv Marie Cigánové 60. léta + současné foto / Post Bellum duben 2016

Marie Cigánová was born on 7 June 1936 in Hať in the Hlučín region. According to the October 1938 Munich Agreement the whole region became a part of the German Reich and all of its inhabitants including Marie have received German citizenship. In 1939 her father was enlisted to the German army. Marie recalls his visits home from that time. Four days into Hitler’s June 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union, Marie’s father was killed in action in Ukraine. In April 1945 Marie Cigánová saw the battles of the Ostrava-Opava Operation and also witnessed a situation when a Soviet soldier intended to shoot dead her mother. Later she graduated from an economics school in Ostrava and went to work in a chemical plant.