Alena Gecse

* 1957  

  • “They seized several families who were on their list and told them: ‘You have to pack up some things and come with us. You have to go down to the Danube, embark and come with us.’ Nobody told them where they were going or why only certain families. They packed what they could in two, three hours. They left for the Danube on foot, some took their cow and cart, everyone took what they thought best. They loaded them up onto trucks and these were driven to the Orșova train station, where they packed them onto a train, into cattle cars. There was livestock and people, luggage and other stuff, whatever each person had brought. I they had no idea where they were going.”

  • “My aunt, Aloisie Jágrová, told me she was there [in the Bărăgan area] with her daughter. And that some families were so desperate from what they’d been through, that they just took their children, and carts and livestock and just drove them all into the river to drown. So they didn’t have to survive there.”

  • “Later, when the revolution came, of course we were very happy. First of all it meant freedom. We got passports and first of all food – milk, sugar, flour. We could cook, buy whatever we needed instead of foraging. Unless you’ve lived through that, it’s unimaginable. If there was a queue somewhere, you stood in line and asked people what they were selling.”

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    Svatá Helena, Rumunsko, 20.10.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 01:36:17
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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The militiamen occupied some family houses in Eibentál and the deportation to Bărăgan started

Alena Gecse, r. 1977
Alena Gecse, r. 1977
photo: archiv pamětníka

Alena Gecse, née Fiklová, was born on 12 October 1957 in the Czech village of Eibentál (Eibenthal) in Romanian Banat. After the Communists took power in Romania, in June 1951, her grandparents the Fikls were deported from the village to the area called Bărăgan together with other family members. Three years later they were allowed to leave the inhospitable area, but not to return to Eibentál, and so were expelled East to Moldavia, where the witness’ grandfather died shortly thereafter. It wasn’t until the second half of the 50s that the family was allowed to return, meanwhile their farm had been thoroughly ransacked. Her father Viktor worked as a miner in the neighbouring anthracite mines and the mother and children took care of the household and farm. This witness completed eight classes of school in Eibentál and starting in 1972 she studied at the pedagogical lyceum for Czech and Slovak teachers in the border town of Nădlac. After completing her pedagogical studies, her first job position was in Svatá Helena, where she was a teacher for 13 years. After the Romanian revolution in December of 1989, she began teaching in Moldova Nouă, where a few children from Czech or mixed families also attended, and for them she set up a Czech language club, which was subsequently expanded to tutoring adults. From the 90s onwards until just recently, she lead the Czech children’s choir called Moldavská holubička (Moldova dove). This witness spent a total of 41 years as a teacher and at the time of recording was living in Caransebeș (October 2021).