Maja Fundová

* 1931  

  • "Our family was lucky because my mom had set her mind on changing the wallpapers during the summer. Somebody had advised her that instead of buying a special wallpaper glue, she ought to buy pea flour which was allegedly also good for gluing wallpaper. She did so, and purchased several kilos of this flour (...). It was good for us because every day my brother and I would get a full cup full of pea mash. We ate it with bad bread, which was not only scarce, but was also made of bad ingredients...there was very little flour in it, and sawdust or would pulp was added into the dough."

  • "There is a widespread opinion that there were countless cannibals in Leningrad. That’s not true. There were cases of cannibalism, that is without a doubt. (...) There were three men in Leningrad, possibly from the NKVD, and as soon as it was proven that they were cannibals, they were shot. As for myself, I saw it only once, in front of the bakery as I was walking to school. I saw a man lying there in his clothes. When I was returning from school, the man’s buttocks were not there. They had been cut off. That was the only time I saw it during the entire siege."

  • "Today is the 9th of February, 2012. We are in Třeboň and I’m ready to talk about the siege of Leningrad which I have experienced. My name is Maja Fundová, my maiden name was Maja Zakirovna Evelit, I’m a Latvian and I was born in Leningrad. My parents divorced early, and there were just three of us who lived through the siege together: my mom, my younger brother and me."

  • "One thing that stuck in my head and that I still remember is when my mom brought bread home, and she was cutting it and my brother and I were standing by the table and looking at the pieces of bread. We wanted to eat all of them at once. But that was out of the question. Our mom has saved us, because she observed this rule always."

  • "Gulags were never discussed, and I later asked my mom why they had not been speaking about them. She told me: 'How can you ask such a stupid question?' How could they talk about it to a child or an adolescent, when the secret police was everywhere, and one could be sent to a camp just for mentioning it? There was no talking about it, not at home, nor within our family."

  • Full recordings
  • 6

    Třeboň, 09.02.2012

    (audio)
    duration: 02:44:29
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I have survived the siege of Leningrad

Maja Fundová shortly after the war
Maja Fundová shortly after the war
photo: archiv pamětnice

Secondary school teacher of foreign languages Maja Fundová was born in 1931 in Leningrad. Her parents were of Latvian origin, but at home they spoke only Russian and never used the Latvian language. She lived in Leningrad throughout the siege of the city from 1941 to 1944 with her mother and younger brother. Their father had left the family. She was decorated with the Medal For The Defence Of Leningrad for helping on a sovchoz farm in the summer of 1943. She graduated in Leningrad with a degree in French and Spanish. In 1958 she met Luboš Funda, who was a Czech student of veterinary medicine in Leningrad at that time. They married a year later. She has been living in Czechoslovakia since 1960. She has been teaching foreign languages and living in the towns of Kadaň, Jičín and Třeboň (since 2000).