Brunhilde Dörer-Nimmerrichter

* 1936

  • "Then we could go back to the house when the Russians left. Back in the living room, Grandma cleaned up again and we slept in our beds. But it wasn't for long. One morning, perhaps at ten o'clock, suddenly there was a great noise. Grandpa says - my God, there are so many people coming in with armbands and batons, banging on doors and breaking in. And they came to us. They banged on the door and came in. So many Czechs came in. What did they want? We only understood in Czech - get out now, get out of the house now! And then Grandpa opened the door and they came in. I only know it as a child. We had to leave the house immediately and we were running up past the church. And taking only what we had on our bodies. It was May. We were only wearing thin clothes, it was the warm season. And Grandma ran to the larder, there was no fridge in the old days, goose livers and things like that were in these lard pots, Grandma ran and got a lard pot with goose fat and Grandpa ran and got a winter coat and put it on the table. And the Czechs hit him one more time - that´s enough! And then he wanted to take his silver watch, which the Czech immediately took away from him. There weren't many watches anyway, because the Russians had already taken them from everybody. The Russians used to have up to ten watches on one arm! And my mother ran into the black house, where there was no light, and wanted a suit for my father when he would return from the war. My husband has no suit! And then the Czech said - he doesn't need a suit anymore. He can be hanged even naked. All Germans are hung naked."

  • "The first Christmas was the worst for us. The first Christmas in 1945 we were in Wetzelsdorf, ten of us, we were still together with our grandparents. It was still a nice Christmas, it was our last Christmas all together. We had two rooms with Mrs. Haas, she was in Wetzelsdorf, her husband died in the war and she took us in. There was also a woman from Brno, she always made handicrafts and we had a tree, a Christmas tree, and there were decorations in these colored papers. My brother and I were so happy, but inside there were only pieces of bread, not even a piece of sugar. And then we went to the warehouse in Poysdorf and my mother said - the first winter is coming, we have nothing. One glove had five or six colours, each finger was different. We got what had been collected for the soldiers, we got yarn and we knitted something. That was the first Christmas."

  • "In all the time Hitler was in power, it never happened that someone would come from Rakvice making noise here, or that someone from Prittlach would go to Rakvice and make noise - it was a peaceful border. The railway station was in Rakvice and then you went to the train, you travelled via Lundenburg [Břeclav] or up to Brno. I don't know, I was a child, but I was supposed to go to grammar school either in Mikulov or in Břeclav, but that never happened. In those days we all had to greet everybody "Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler", and because they were treating my mother so badly in those days, I used to hide around every corner when I saw those people, the mayor or whoever, so that I wouldn't have to greet them. I was a little girl who could see that there was tension somewhere. And we had Volksempfänger [people´s receiver], they were like little radios, and in every house - everything in the village wasn't electrified yet - but in every house there was a little 'people receiver' and every day there was news and whatnot. Now there's a war in Ukraine, and as I said, people who experienced the war then are traumatized. When there is war in Ukraine now, they switch the TV over because it's too stressful, you can't sleep when you hear what's happening there."

  • Full recordings
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    České Budějovice, 11.10.2022

    duration: 02:08:07
    media recorded in project The Removed Memory
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Exiles should not be at least exiled from history

Brunhilde Dörer-Nimerrichter 2022
Brunhilde Dörer-Nimerrichter 2022
photo: Post Bellum

Brunhilde Dörer, née Nimmerrichter, was born on 4 March 1936 in Přítluky ( Prittlach in German) in South Moravia. The daughter of a Viennese father and a Sudeten German mother with Czech roots, Brunhilde felt from an early age that she had two homelands. During World War II, her father was with the German army in France and Hungary, and Brunhilde lived with her mother’s side of the family in German-speaking Přítluky. After the end of the war, all residents feared the Soviet army and during May 1945 the Nimmerrichter family and other German-speaking residents of Přítluky were expelled to Austria twice in succession. During the next ten years, the family moved around several internment camps and villages in Lower and Upper Austria. Although they were lucky not to have been forcibly deported to Germany, Brunhilde and her family members faced poverty, hunger and insecurity. It took a long time before Brunhilde felt well accepted in her new home. It was not until 1968, during the Prague Spring, that she was able to visit Přítluky for the first time after the expulsion. Brunhilde Dörer-Nimmerrichter now lives near Linz.