* 1913 †︎ 2015
“The function made rounds. If you went along, it’d jump you. I told my husband: ‘You have to do it.’ We’d already paid half, and they left him [the Sudeten German - ed.] there and whenever he went by in the morning, he said: ‘Boo, shame on you.’ So he said: ‘I should smash his gob and be done.’ My husband said: ‘It’s his. Why should I smash him? If they wanted to do it like this, they should have put them all away, not like this. I’m supposed to fight with them? Stuff that!’ And off we went. We sold what we had there to the Slovak, he took it all to bits, and that was that.”
“When he divided it up, he wasn’t left with much. He couldn’t buy [anything - ed.]. Then they started [saying - ed.] that they were selling houses, buildings and fields in Siberia. For cheap. When they got there, it wasn’t just one person, so Dad signed up that he’d buy something there as well. So he went to Siberia, but he didn’t know how things went there. When he arrived in Siberia, they were already wearing gloves and furs for the harvest, and Dad didn’t have such clothes. So he said: ‘I guess we’ll go back again.’”
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I helped so many people, maybe that’s why I’ve lived so long
Marie Fousová was born on 6 August 1913 in the village of Dembrovka in Volhynia, which was under Russian rule. She experienced the end of World War I and clashes between the Bolsheviks and the Polish army, which were only brought to and end by the Peace of Riga in 1921. Marie then moved from Dembrovka to Chomout, and then to Ozerany, where she married in 1929. She was a housewife until World War II, and after the Soviet and Nazi occupations of Volhynia, she remigrated with her whole family to Czechoslovakia in 1947. She settled down in Bitozeves near Žatec, before moving to Žatec itself. She remained a housewife for the rest of her life. She died in 2015 at the age of 102.