Mája Fricová

* 1927  

  • “They were standing there and the boss told them: ‘All right, guys, weld it and it’ll be fine.’ One of them replied: ‘I cannot weld it, because it’s aluminium, and I cannot do it.’ So I approached them and I said: ‘Gentlemen, I will weld it for you if you like.’ They started laughing, you know, a crazy woman, they thought. I told them: ‘I am not kidding, I really know how to do it. Just get me a pencil and milk.’ The welding wire was called pencil, and you had to apply a thick paste to it, which we called milk. They brought it and I started welding it… All men from the workshop came to see it and they could not understand it, and my husband who worked in the office ran there from the office and they were all watching if I would make it or not. And I did make it and they were all clapping hands and applauding me.”

  • “The manager said: ‘Girls, each choose your place to sleep here, and I will come for you in the morning and take you to your work place.’ Each of us then sat down on a straw-bed and there was grave silence in the room and we were all afraid and thinking what would happen to us… But it did not take long and the manager came again and said: ‘Girls, everything’s changed, we are going back to Prague, and in the morning I’m taking you to Křivoklát.’ We thus thought that we would be at the Křivoklát Castle, and we even joked about it... Well, we arrived to Prague, we stopped in Letná and since we lived far away from there in Pod Cibulkama in Košíře and there was no public transport at night, I walked from Letná and I came home around eleven at night. My mom opened the door and her face was swollen from crying... In the morning she took me there again... I would nearly forget one more thing - there was an air raid that night, and the pub got a direct hit, and it was totally smashed to pieces!”

  • “One day we rode a train and we heard a roar of airplanes. The engine-driver suddenly began braking, and the noise was terrible as he was braking rapidly, and he stopped by the Zlíchov Rock. The engine-driver ran over the railroad tracks toward the rock and he pressed his body against it. I followed him and I ran like mad, because I was scared. I could hear the airplanes and I was pressing myself against the rock and we were watching the bombs falling on Prague.”

  • “There were many of us, and I was the only one who got to do some welding work in the factory. I welded airplane fuel tanks by oxy-acetylen torch for twelve hours a day, from seven till quarter past seven, including Saturdays... The fifteen minute break was for lunch; they cooked for us there and we were receiving food ration stamps for hard working persons. At that time the standard ration was 300 grams of meat per week, but we were getting twice as much, and I was thus happy that I could give something to mom and that they could have some proper meal at home. I don’t even know how I learnt welding… It was a circular plate about two meters in diameter and we had to fit two sheet metal pieces to its edge. We had to turn the plate, weld it, turn it again, and weld it again. I was very thin and I did not have much strength. The director was coming there to watch if the people were working properly, and he was pacing there in the army style and when he saw that I struggled with it and I could not do it, he came to me and helped me move it. Later I got a little box from him as a keepsake; there was a picture of the Křivoklát Castle on the top, and on the bottom it was written: ‘In memory from Wehner.’”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Pod Lipkami , Praha 5, 20.04.2015

    (audio)
    duration: 01:02:47
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    byt pamětnice, Praha 5, 02.05.2017

    (audio)
    duration: 50:11
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Hitler lost the war because I was producing airplanes for him

Older photo
Older photo
photo: Archiv pamětníka

  Mája Fricová (née Teuschlová) was born May 31, 1927 in the family of Antonieta Teuschlová-Macourková and Václav Teuschl, who was an employee of the Melantrich company in Prague. She has younger sister Eva. In 1942 she began studying at a trade academy. After two years of her studies she was selected for study in a German college as the only one of her class. In 1944, she was ordered to do forced labour in a labour camp in Křivoklát, where she worked in the company Stein Co. Werk II, Purglitz, Protektorat, which produced aircraft fuel tanks for the German Luftwaffe. After the war she worked as a clerk in the general secretariat of the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party in Prague, and later she worked as an assistant in a lawyer’s office. From November 1951 she worked in the administration department in the production cooperative Drutex, and from August 1952 in the company Autorenova, this time again in a position of a production worker. Her son Pavel was born in 1958 and her daughter Eva in 1961. During her maternity leave Mája worked for the so-called Sentinel (State Publishing Company of Technical Literature), where she eventually continued until her retirement. Her work consisted in copying of texts. She was happy to be able to participate in the protest rallies in 1989. She lives in her family home in Prague 5.