Gabriela Ederová

* 1946  

  • "She chose to find her way through the woods from the last village before the border. Because there were all sorts of rumour about the Russians guarding in the woods, hardly anyone dared to venture there. Mom grabbed the pram - that's a thing I can't understand even now - and went right to the forest. She walked down a path across a little stream and then she heard hoofbeats in distance. She hid in the bushes and prayed that I cry not. That I be nice and quiet because six Russian soldiers came riding, those atamans, so to say, those Cossacks, and they watered their horses at that stream. But nothing happened, little Gábinka kept quiet, so did mommy, they cantered away and mom went on her way with the pram until she got to Aš."

  • "When I was twelwe and my sister was six, we decided to run away. That we would run away because we didn't want to listen to it all any more. Because there was actual violence happening. Mom would regularly grab the broom and started beating dad. And we did not want to watch. We were soulmates with my dad so I wrote a letter to him, that we would leave. That we wouldn't want to live like this any more. And dad wrote back. Whenever I was feeling really bad, I wrote a letter to my dad and he always replied. And he calmed me down and he explained me everything. That it is the way it is, that people do not have the same views. And that he would strive to avoid any sort of violence or major arguments. Truth be said, he did manage to calm mom down and it was not happening that often and we came to terms with that."

  • "I returned from school and mom was lying in bed, a small bottle of some such poisonous something, what was that liquid there. I was shocked - I was thirteen - I was so shocked that mom was dead! I ran to grandma's, at that time, we weren't living with them any more. Dad had, few years before, in a garden that had belonged to gradmother, built a small house. A sort of cottage but it was masonry all around so it was an actual small house. I ran to grandma's, grandma phoned dad and then they brought mom back to life somehow. They called the doctor. Then it happened again and again, not by that poison, but we found mom on the floor and we always thought that she had hurt herself. At the end, later, when we [me and my sister] got older, we realised that it was just an act. It's terrible to just think about it. She must have been so unhappy!"

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    Nebovidy, 10.09.2014

    (audio)
    duration: 58:17
    media recorded in project Soutěž Příběhy 20. století
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Smuggled in a pram

Gabriela Ederová, née Jarkulišová, was born on the 25th of August in 1946 in the town of Zeulenroda in Thuringia. There, her mother Marianne was a baroness (Freiherrin) from the German family of Van Pohlens and Neupert. Her father, Jiří Jarkuliš, was born in the Silesian community of Oldřišov close to Opava and during the WWII, he served in the Luftwaffe in Germany. Gabriela‘s uncle on her mother’s side was taken prisoner in the Battle of Stalingrad and got imprisoned in a labour camp in Siberia and only in 1952, he was released and settled in West Germany. In 1946, Gabriella’s mother travelled from Germany to Czechoslovakia with baby Gabriela in a pram and then settled with the Jarkuliš family in Oldřišov. Later the family moved to their own house in nearby Opava. Gabriela finished basic school and then enrolled to a boarding nursing school in Brno to study for a pharmacy lab technician. She graduated from school in 1965 and then returned to Opava where she worked as a pharmacist. The family was well connected so during the 1960’s they were able to travel to West Germany to visit relatives. In the 1970’s, Gabriela Ederová married to Brno and then she worked in the university hospital. She was living in the Brno region at the time of recording.