Anna Fischer

* 1927

  • My parents with my other sisters had to get on a cart, which brought them to Furth, where they were supposed to be deloused, but whether or not they actually deloused them I have no idea. Then they divided them up between different places such as Dingolfing, Franconia, Württemberg, all different places. My mother wrote me a letter at the time, I was in Haselmüde, saying when they got a room somewhere they would be let out of the camp. So I asked my husband at the time and he said we have empty rooms in the lean-to and that they can come live with us. Yes, then my sisters and parents came home to us. At the time my father said: “We’ll stay right next to the border. Surely they can’t just run people out of their homes like this!” And he said: “Let’s stay here, we’ll be home soon.” They waited years and years for it, but never returned home, so they later moved to Württemberg where they had found something.

  • Yes, lots of people did it, many of them crossed at Jägershof or Heuhof and so on. Lots of people were crossing the border back then and at night they were secretly moving their belongings such as duvets, flour or whatever they could, like I said. My mother got back the sewing machine she owned this way, and it’s still standing in my daughter’s dining room to this day. And also one crockery basket which is full of dishes, plates and similar things, that was also my mother’s, that was also hers. That’s what they smuggled at night. It cost some of them their lives. When the Czech’s shouted: “Stůj!” if you didn’t stop, they would shoot you.

  • In 1990 the border was opened and we wanted to go through Všeruby to Hyršov. My sisters came with me, that time we went to the cemetery and looked for our father’s grave. The cemetery was full of stinging nettles and rocks, completely overgrown. So we didn’t find the grave. And when we were about to leave, it’s as if I heard him speak: “Turn around, you can find the grave!” So I went there alone and found the grave. A little miracle, don’t you think? As if he’d told me to go back and look some more, that he was sure I could find it. And that’s exactly what happened. And then we dug up a tiny plant from next to the cemetery, a lime-tree. That lime-tree now stands next to the chapel I had built and it’s almost thirty metres tall today.

  • It was clear that since the war was over, the Czechs would get the upper hand. They were able to pick out houses in advance, they rode to Domažlice and got the property transferred. But not everyone got what they wanted… And now some of the Germans from our villages like Neukirchen, Eschlkam, travel to Hyršov and till the fields and meadows which used to be German. Where’s the justice? They go there and buy up and till the fields. The world is upside-down. First they chase people out and now they’re trying to be friends again. The old people are still full of hate, but the young ones are starting friendships.

  • Full recordings
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    Neukirchen, SRN, 05.09.2019

    duration: 01:20:29
    media recorded in project The removed memory of Šumava
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The old people still harbour hate, but the youth are building friendships

The house in Hyršov, where Anna Fischer spent her childhood
The house in Hyršov, where Anna Fischer spent her childhood
photo: Pamětník

Anna Fischer, née Brown, was born on 16 July 1927 in the village of Hyršov (Hirschau) close to Kdyně near Domažlice, which was fully German at the time. The family owned a large farm and the local fully operational modern mill, where a lot of Czechs from the surrounding villages came to grind their corn. Before the war, Anna went to the Poor School Sisters’ girls’ monastery school in Hyršov, which included compulsory Czech lessons in the afternoons. In 1938 the nuns were forced to close down the school and Anna started attending the local boys’ school. After school she completed her so-called “mandatory year” in Furth im Wald, after which she worked at a kindergarten in Všeruby. However, she was soon transferred to the ammunition works in Klenčí pod Čerchovem. At the end of the war she returned home to Hyršov. Afraid of working in Bohemia or Russia, on All Saints’ Day 1945 she decided to run away across the green border and settled in Stachesried. Anna visited her family regularly, undertaking great risk with each secret border crossing. Her family was only deported later. In 1990, Anna and her sisters returned to Hyršov for the first time since her family’s deportation. She found her father’s grave in the cemetery and took home a small lime-tree, which stands next to her private chapel to this day.