Mariana Crhounková

* 1931  

  • “A German civilian used to take them to the mine, hand them over, and bring those who were finished back to the camp. A Russian from the Crimea, named Voytenko, used to cook for the Russians. I only learned what he cooked for them after the war. He would make them a mash in cauldrons. When I saw it after the war I wanted to vomit. Voytenko cooked for Russians and Nikolai cooked for Germans. They treated him very nicely. When they were thirsty Mr Kappel [the witness’s father] would bring a spirit from the farmers and mum would cross herself. When he needed something he went to us. I gave the Russians silver Mark coins and they made me rings from them. I still have them. We got on very well with them.”

  • “A law came that said that mixed marriages would not be deported. We had already things packed in boxes. The oldest sister knew someone in Libina; she took care of his papers; and she found that they were looking for people for work at a factory in Oskava. Dad went there to ask, and we moved to Oskava the next day. Apartments were vacant. Many Germans had been deported.”

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    Oskava, 05.11.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 02:20:52
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We had our things packed in boxes, but then an ordinance arrived and said that mixed marriages would not be evicted

Mariana Crhounková v roce 2018
Mariana Crhounková v roce 2018
photo: Vít Lucuk

Mariana Crhounková, née Kappelová, was born in Třemešek (Timischl in German) in the Jeseníky promontory on 19 September 1931. Her father was a Czech and her mother’s family came from Austria. During World War II the family lived near the train station in Troubelice, right next to a Soviet POW camp. Mariana Crhounková may be the last surviving witness of the situation in the local camp, and she still owns rings that Russian POWs made for her using the German Mark coins. In her recollections, she mentions particular Soviet POWs as well as the German wardens. The family was to be deported after the war. They all had their 50 kilo pieces of luggage ready. At the last moment, they were excluded from the deportation and stayed in Czechoslovakia. The family then moved to Oskava where the witness married Josef Crhounek and worked at the local Moravolen textiles factory until her retirement. She still lived in Oskava in 2018.