“Q: When did you first meet with your mum and dad after you were deported?] That was for the first time since 48, in 62. My husband didn’t go, and all I remember is that I flew there for three weeks. And that only dad came or drove to pick me up. [Q: Where?] To Tirana. [Q: Can you describe the first meeting, when you saw him at the airport?] I’ll tell you, that’s the tragedy, the tragedy of our upbringing in children’s homes. I was terribly embarrassed to have a priest for a dad, that wasn’t fashionable, if I’d said that in the children’s homes – because we were only brought up there in an atheistic, Communist manner – and do you know what it would be like if I said I was the daughter of a priest? But why am I saying this, as far as Dad goes, I denied that I came from this family, from such a family, no one knew about it. I didn’t tell that my dad was a priest until I was an adult. Even in my CVs I’d write that I was from an agricultural family.”
“[Q: Do you have any specific memory from the transport? Did part with your family in some very emotional way? You were eight years old?] Not even that, seven and a half. [Q: What did they tell you?] I don’t remember that, but I’m sure they told both our parents and us that we would come back soon. That they wanted us to be safe, and I have terrible memories of that journey. After three or four days... there was some food in the little bundle we had with us, but I remember there were some partisans with us, they were even hungrier than we were, so even the little we had, they... we didn’t give it to them, they took it. I guess they were hungrier than us, or they thought that we would get some food soon whereas they wouldn’t. And it was awful for us also because I got a double middle ear infection, and all that I remember from the journey was how we hid and how I kept crying and crying and crying. And we mostly travelled in the night, so we wouldn’t be seen, because they used bombs, the royal army, if it was them, it might have been the British, who came to their help. So I don’t know who bombed us, but someone did, and I remember we only travelled in the dark. [Q: You stayed hidden in the day?] We were hidden somewhere or slept somewhere in the day. The journey was terrible because I fell ill. [Q: Didn’t you have penicilin?] We didn’t have penicilin, we didn’t have a doctor, my eardrums ruptured. Even today, one of them is scarred and the other is ruptured.”
“My worst memory, I’d say, was that bullying. [Q: Who bullied whom?] The children. There was a daughter of one of the carers, already in Nové Hrady, a Greek carer. And I don’t know why we wanted to get our revenge on her, I was there, I didn’t stop it. I didn’t do anything, I just watched how two girls held her by her legs and arms and pretended they’d throw her out of the window. They wouldn’t have done it, but for that five-, six-, seven-year old child, or how old she was, it must have been a shock... And like that in this way. [Q: And was there any bullying of the children by the carers?] There was. I remember there was a girl there who would wet herself She was the same age as us. Ten, eleven, twelve perhaps. She was certainly ill. I don’t know where the carer found it in her, such anger and hatred to that little thing, she was really just a child still. I don’t know how she did it, she [the carer] couldn’t force us to mock her. But she made it so that the girl had to... that we mocked her; I don’t know if I did as well. But the girl must have suffered terribly. I have dreadful memories of that. [Q: And the carer incited you to do it?] Yeah, that too, when she swore at her.”
Angelina Čmolová, née Lafazani, was born on 22 May 1940 in northern Greece into the family of Macedonian patriots. As the youngest of five children, she grew up under the strict guidance of her father, an Orthodox priest. As an ardent patriot, Kristo Lafazanovsky worked with left-wing partisans and was then forced to emigrate to relatives in Albania during the Greek Civil War (1944-1949). The government forces took revenge on his wife and son, whom they put in prison. The seven-year-old Angelina and her one-year-older sister Theodora were in the first group of Macedonian children to be removed to friendly Socialist countries. The sisters arrived in Czechoslovakia in spring 1948, and the family was never fully reunited. The witness grew up in children’s homes and only saw her parents once, in 1962, when she visited them in Albania. After fourteen years of separation, they did not manage to renew the familial ties. She married Michal Čmola in Czechoslovakia and had two children with him. She has not maintained any contacts with either the Greek or the Macedonian communities since she was fifteen years old. She worked as the headmistress of a nursery school in the Karlovary Region for thirty years and still works with children today.