Libuše Durdová

* 1928

  • "They called to him: 'Joseph, lie down!' But he didn't hear it. The grenade fell and tore his lungs. The guys brought him in, it was afternoon or evening. I remember, I asked, 'Daddy, are you alive?' He said yes. Even after so many years, you can't forget it. He stayed in the basement, moaning there. I went out towards evening, Ostrava was burning. Everything was bombed, planes were flying. I asked my father who would go with me for the doctor. Nobody wanted to. So, I finally went to my dad, I told him I was going to get a doctor and he said: 'Don't go anywhere. I have torn lungs, nothing will help me.' I remained in the antechamber between the cellars, and when I heard him moaning, I prayed for him to die."

  • "In the Czech school, when the teacher came, we said 'good morning' and started studying. The Polish school came, so we had to bless each other and pray. We all prayed and began to study. But then the Germans came. We had to raise our hand, do 'Heil Hitler,' and then we started learning. They made fools of us. I remember as kids we took it with humor. But German language was difficult for us, especially for some. Putting those sentences together."

  • "Nothing was allowed to be brought from the protectorate to Germany. Except that it was Christmas, dad worked there, we were children, and there they had such beautiful Christmas decorations for the tree. Dad and everyone already knew that there were some at the border who didn't look at them that much. And guys used to wear underpants that had ties at the bottom. And one day my dad came and in those underpants, poor guy, he had those Christmas decorations wrapped in bags. So, he brought them to us. My little brother and I were so happy to have such beautiful Christmas decorations!"

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Ostrava, 21.07.2022

    duration: 02:01:12
  • 2

    Ostrava, 01.08.2022

    duration: 01:45:16
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The grenade tore dad’s lungs. I prayed for him to die

Libuše Durdová, beginning of 1960s
Libuše Durdová, beginning of 1960s
photo: Archive of the witness

Libuše Durdová was born Knapíková on March 17, 1928 in Vrbice. Back then it was an independent village, since the 1970s it belonged to Bohumín. She grew up in the Vrbice mining colony. The parents claimed Czech nationality. After the Polish occupation of Těšín area in October 1938, she went to a Polish school. From September 1939, when the area was occupied by Germany, she had to attend a German school. Between 1943 and 1945, she worked in the wire factory in Bohumín. She intensively experienced the first American bombing of Ostrava and Bohumín in August 1944. Her father died just before the liberation by the Red Army on May 1, 1945, as a result of grenade shrapnel injuries. After the war, she worked again as a worker in a wire factory. She got married and had a son. She worked as a shop assistant in drugstores and groceries. In 2022, she lived in Bohumín.