Antonín Činka

* 1923  

  • I was leading a nine quintal bull, pulling him by the ring in its nose. The Germans chose us, the boys of Malín, to go and pillage cattle, they looted a lot of cattle. They were taking all that was in the households – lard, flour, whatever people had – and were loading it onto a wagon. But it started to rain a lot, and the Germans were running from the rain, they did not like it at all. The roads were muddy; there were no paved roads then. So there were seven or eight of us leading the cattle, boys, but also some young married men. I was leading my bull towards the village of Olika, to pillage there as well. But since it was raining, we turned from the main road and none of the Germans followed after us. So we ran the cattle to one little village near Malín, and hid in some garden there. I tied my bull to a tree. Suddenly we see that Malín is burning. So we left the cattle there and went away and thus I saved myself. Everything was on fire, and we almost went wild, we feared that someone would follow us again and shoot us...So we slept in a field, in a hayloft, even outside. We were so scared...

  • Vašek Uhlíř was also shot, and when he saw what was going on, he pretended to be dead, he just laid there. His leg was badly wounded, but it eventually saved his life. It was July 13th, so there were heaps of hay in the field. And as we were returning, we left the cattle in that garden there, it was early in the morning...so this Vašek Uhlíř heard us, he was hidden in a heap of hay. "Boys, come here, I´m in here." He was injured, so we took him home, dressed his wound, and so..."

  • In the barn there was for example a mother with a child, both bodies burnt, she was still holding the child under her arm. And this happened in early spring, so there was not too much straw left in the barn, and thus you could still find some burnt pieces that remained on the ground. Once in a while you could recognize the people, her lying in the dirt in the barn, according to the sweater or skirt she wore the day she died. They also shot many dead in the cowsheds...

  • The Germans, as I say, they were good stewards, but barbarians. They should not have done this. And Malín came out even worse than let´s say Lidice, or Ležáky. More people survived there. But here they burnt everything, so that only very few people stayed alive. That is the way it is.

  • When the Germans arrived, they kept repeating all the time: "Documents, documents, documents," they wanted everybody´s documents. Then they selected the young people, the women, and the old people, each group separately. There was a "gmina" in Ukrainian Malín, that was a schoolhouse as well, a community house. So they made everyone gather there.

  • And my stepsister. She saved herself during the burning of Malín. There was a shed, with some agricultural machinery, a fanner, a thresher and such. They were bringing grain to the barn...and when the Germans were setting it on fire, they ran the people into the barn. My sister together with one Ukrainian woman jumped into that shed and hid behind the thresher. The shed was poorly constructed, of bad bricks and mortar, so they managed to dig a hole through the wall. Meanwhile, the Germans shot all the others, threw in a hand-grenade, put the barn on fire and closed the door. The two of them, my sister and the Ukrainian, climbed down the shed and thus escaped the fire. And she said she heard the whizzing sound of a bullet behind her ear, but she saved herself.

  • They shot them dead, threw grenades on them, burnt houses. Some people managed to take cover under a bench, and thus they saved themselves. Some tried to save their lives by breaking a window and escaping into the garden. But as they jumped down the window, the Germans were already waiting behind the house, so they shot at them again and killed them, right outside the house.

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    Nový Malín, 26.04.2006

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At Dukla, they chased us like sheep, so many men died there in vain.

cinka_antonin1945.jpg (historic)
Antonín Činka
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Antonín Činka was born in Český Malín in the Volyně region to the family of a small independent farmer, and he is among the small group of his fellow citizens of Český Malín who survived the burning of the village by Nazi soldiers in 1943. Antonín Činka had two siblings: one brother, who died during the burning of the village together with his parents, and a stepsister, who was also saved. Mr. Činka’s salvage came by coincidence, when German soldiers ordered him and some other young boys to lead the cattle out of the village. In 1944 he joined the Czechoslovak army, where he served in the sapper unit. His first combat experience came at Dukla; After several days of fighting in the Slovak territory, Mr. Činka was hit by a grenade splinter. He was hospitalized in the military hospital in Lvov; after his recovery he was transferred to the artillery division. The end of the war found him in Boskovice. After the war Mr. Činka settled in Nový Malín in the Šumperk region, where he worked in agriculture and where he has been living ever since.