“The Germans already knew they lost the war. There was a deaf tailor in our village. He ran somewhere, not knowing where, and the German shouted at him to stop. But he couldn’t hear him and so the soldier shot him dead. It was just at where we were hiding in the cellar. He wore a strip but I don’t know what his rank was exactly. A man came and asked him whether he realized what he had just done – killing a man who couldn’t hear him at all. But the German didn’t give a damn. ‘We have already lost the war anyway,’ he said and waved his hand.”
“The Russians had established an office in our house. One day, some high-ranked officer arrived on horseback and mummy told him that at night Russian soldiers come over and knock on doors looking for girls. He took a piece of paper and wrote something on it in Russian. He gave it to mummy to show them if they come again at night. Mummy asked what was written there. ‘That I will have them shot,’ the officer explained.”
“The Russians were leaving and we all ran to the main road so that we could see ourselves. It was as if all the Russians who were still present in the region gathered at once. They rode on horsebacks in the direction of Opava and it was as if in a movie. We stood by the road when one of the soldiers pulled out a coin from his shoe – a Ruble, probably – and threw it to us. They were dressed as Cossacks. This was the end of the war; one that I’ll never forget.“
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Where are those people who used to live here? Have they left nothing behind?
Charlotte Galambošová was born on December 19, 1938 in Dolní Benešov in the Hlučín region which was only shortly before annexed by the Third Reich. Its inhabitants had automatically become German citizens. In the course of the war her father and two brothers were along with thousands of men from the region drafted to the Wehrmacht. In September 1944 Charlotte began attending a German school and in April 1945 witnessed the heavy fighting of the Ostrava-Opava operation in the Hlučín region. After the end of the war it was reconnected with the Czechoslovak Republic. Charlotte regained Czechoslovak citizenship and began attending a Czech school. She had lived her whole life in Dolní Benešov, honoring with the regional traditions and speaking the local vernacular.