Marie Čtvrtlíková

* 1938  

  • “I have to tell you this. When they were to come to move us, mom sent me to Drnholec to bring something from there. I could already hear cars coming, we knew that they were to come for us that day, and when I was returning from Drnholec, I didn’t walk on the road but I went through the field straight home. I came home and mother was baking a pie, she finished it and told me: ´Go feed the cows!´ So I went to give them some hay, but the men who were moving us were just throwing the hay onto a truck. One of them said: ´Take her with the pitchfork and throw her in, too!´ This stayed within me…”

  • “I was going to Frélichov when a permission was still needed. I would always have to go to Rýmařov to get the permission to go there. One day I arrived late in the evening and I was lucky that Fana Musil came to meet me, because there were many soldiers on the railway station in Frélichov, they detained us and they nearly took me to Novosedly where they were garrisoned. But luckily Fana was waiting for me and he told them I was going straight to his place.” “That was in the 1950s?” “Yes, it was forbidden to go there. It was a border zone and we were not allowed to go there, nobody could get there without a permission. But we were going every year to visit our grandma, and our aunt then lived there as well, so we were going there.”

  • "We cooked normal food. We didn’t have meat very often, there was a slaughter about twice a year. But as children, we didn’t much care for meat, we preferred sweet stuff. And so Mum cooked lots of sweet dishes. Pasta with poppyseed, we loved that, or pasties filled with poppyseed, plum jam, or curds, sprinkled with poppyseed or semolina and breadcrumbs. We’d grease it, and that was the best. Bean soup was every Friday, bean soup with noodles. I cook it to this day. I think it was like that in every family. We never had meat on Friday, this was the real Croatian food."

  • “Did she still wear Croatian folk costume?” “Not for long, just for a short time. Because people here thought we were Gypsies or Slovaks.” “We know who we are.” “Shortly after she began wearing normal clothes.”

  • "When Hitler came and started locking up the Czechs, then because Grandpa used to be on the Czech side, some of our people had at him, they were against him. Grandpa was ill for perhaps half a year after that. When we came for a visit, Grandma would say: ‘Children, you have to be good so as not to wake Grandpa. He’s very ill.’"

  • “What we ate on Christmas? We didn’t have fish, none of us ate fish, we always had just grits. And boiled dried plums with dried apples.”

  • "Mum went with the wagons, and they took her to Dětřichov; we stayed with Grandma and Grandpa. It wasn’t until later that Grandpa took us by train to Huzová. Mum said she waited at the station in Dětřichov for three days until some cars came to take her to Huzová. When she came there, we didn’t have where to go. There were Czechs in the house they’d assigned to us. They assigned us [another] house two, three weeks later; until then, we stayed with Grandma and Auntie Jurdičová, we didn’t have our own place. When we came to Huzová, it was all snowed up, and we weren’t used to that. There were a lot of Croats in Huzová, people who’d been deported in 1948. My mother’s sister was there, Auntie Jurdičová, then Grandma Slunská, quite a lot of people from Frélichov, and many more families from Přerov. The whole of those three weeks we ate and slept at Grandma Slunská, and our Růža went to the Jurdičes. It was very sad. Well, and that house! I can’t even say what it was like. The facade wall collapsed immediately, it was kind of a ruin. Uncle Musil had to build it up again for us in the spring. We had a pretty house in Frélichov, which my parents had built in 1934. And here we were in this decrepit shack."

  • “When did you realize that something was happening? You were still a little girl when the moving took place...” “I realized it when I saw that they were moving uncle Jurdič and grandma. When they moved Jurdič, his daughter Anna was two years old. She was crying when they were loading her cot, taking the cot away. One realizes that something is going on. All our relatives left, only we and grandpa remained.” “And you hoped you would stay there.” “Yes, we thought we’d stay, because there was no moving in 1949, they only began with it again in autumn. In autumn there were only two families, including us, who were moved.”

  • “When we came to Huzová, we didn’t even have a place to live. People were still living in the house that was assigned to us. If my grandma and aunt hadn’t been living there, we would have lived on the street or I don’t know where. We stayed with them for two or three weeks before these people moved out.” “Who were these people?” “They were Czechs. They had to know that they would leave, that was probably why this house had been assigned to us.” “That was not easy.” “No, it was terrible. For two to three weeks we stayed in our aunt’s place, they had come to Huzová already in 1948. We came a year later.” “Many people told me that they knew beforehand where they would move, that they went to see those houses before moving in...” “My mother was a widow, she was alone. We were to go somewhere to Hradec near Opava. But since she was alone, uncle Wolf went to see the place for her, and found out that the house was somewhere by the forest and there would be nobody else nearby. Mother was afraid and wanted to go somewhere else. Thus they eventually placed us to Huzová.”

  • "As children, we liked it the most when the sparrows had a wedding. We loved that! The adults would always prepare something, put it on a tree, and say: ‘Children, come and have a look, the sparrows had a wedding!’ Mum or Grandma would bake cakes, they’d put ‘spritz’ water there, soda water, we loved that."

  • Full recordings
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    Bohuňovice, 18.11.2010

    (audio)
    duration: 45:08
    media recorded in project History and language of Moravian Croats
  • 2

    Šternberk, 06.06.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 54:42
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One of the men who were moving us said: ´Take her with the pitchfork and throw her in, too!´

Marie Čtvrtlíková 2016
Marie Čtvrtlíková 2016
photo: ED

  Mrs. Marie Čtvrtlíková (née Slunská) was born in 1938 in Frélichov (present-day Jevišovka) in a family of Moravian Croats. She was the middle one of three sisters, her father died as a German soldier and her mother thus became a widow when she was only twenty-nine. In 1949 the family was displaced to north Moravia to Huzová. Her mother’s father (Mate Šalamun) was a respected mayor of Frélichov in the First Republic era, and he was also one of the few Croats who managed to stay in the village even after 1948. Marie Čtvrtlíková talked Croatian to her mother till her death, now she speaks mostly Czech to her sisters. She lives in Bohuňovice.