Růžena Grubrová

* 1934  

  • “My husband was a gamekeeper. Sometime in 1988 or 1987, still under the totalitarian regime, there was a bark beetle plague. We were helping them process the wood. It first had to be sprayed before it was taken out of the forest. But there was no water and we needed to fetch the water from behind the wire fence. The border guards went with us and we were not allowed to say a single word. We drew some water and walked back. It was a terrible feeling when you saw the wire fence, and the soldiers. Terrible.”

  • “Many people here were guiding other people over the border. They would bring the people from Prague to Zadov, for example, and somebody would then take them over the border. But the repercussions then affected everyone. They thought that my father was involved in it as well since he was using horses for work in the forest. They were coming to see him all the time. They claimed that he surely must have guided somebody over, that he must have been involved in something. He was not. Still, one day they drove him off to Vimperk. There they interrogated him for the whole day and then they made him walk back home. Father came home totally exhausted, with only a little bit of strength left. There were others in Kvilda, too. They watched him daily in the forest.”

  • “Some eastern as well as western Germans arrived here to the Olympie hotel; it was still during the communist regime. They exchanged their cars and documents and the eastern Germans drove off to Bavaria with the western car. Every time when western Germans were to come to stay in the hotel, you were scrutinized and you had to report them immediately and give a notice to the immigration authority. Here (in our guesthouse) we were already letting rooms for lodging at that time. One day some eastern Germans arrived, but there was one man from West Germany among them. But I didn’t know this. The reservation request was for eastern Germans. They have not even arrived and I already had the cops from Prachatice here. How is this possible, they asked. I told them that I did not know anything about anyone from West Germany. The Germans eventually arrived and as chance would have it, the one from West Germany turned out to be employed in some research institute for atomic energy. I had the cops here three times a day during that time. Or for instance, western Germans would arrive to the hotel and bring some Czech girls with them. The rooms were bugged. The cops would be sitting at the bar, drinking, and listening what the two were doing there. This was awful. I remember that one day one of the cops got so sloshed that he remained lying there under the table.”

  • “My father and my two uncles slaughtered some cattle. They buried the skin in the forest. However, the postman who was coming here saw them and he turned them in. There was a large peat bog here close to the weather observation station, and we would go there to make so called borka out of the peat, which we then used for heating. That day we were riding there with a cow wagon to dig some peat. They arrested dad there and took him to the police station in Stachy. It was on November 1st 1942. My sister was just one year old and I was eight. In the morning they brought him back home to change clothes. He had been so beaten and bruised everywhere that we could not recognize him. He got sentenced to fourteen months. One of the uncles was acquitted, but the other one was sentenced to two years in prison. Later they transported him somewhere to Germany and he died there.”

  • “We were liberated by the Americans here. Their commander was certain Mr. Myslivec, whose mother came from Klatovy. They were sitting here in the dining hall, my mom was cooking Czech meals for them and they were so happy. In exchange they were bringing us their rations, for example their excellent canned food. They hated to leave. Mr. Myslivec wanted to take my four-year-old sister with him. He was childless and he wanted my parents to give her to him. But she was daddy’s sweetheart, and nothing happened.”

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    Churáňov, 05.08.2013

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“It was a terrible feeling to see the wire fence and soldiers in the forest.”

PN_Grubrova_dobove.jpg (historic)
Růžena Grubrová
photo: archiv Růženy Grubrové, Jan Kotrbáček

  Růžena Grubrová was born on the first of September, 1934 in the settlement Churáňov in the Šumava Mountains. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Pešl, owned a guesthouse there. Her father and two uncles were arrested during the war for violation of economic regulations, and her father was sentenced to 14 months. In 1944, the authorities accommodated “national guests” in the guesthouse: German families. In May 1945, the guesthouse provided accommodation for a unit of American soldiers. After 1948, the Pešl family lost their business concession, but they continued to live in the house. After the closure of the state border, the family guest house became included in the restricted border zone. The Pešl family successfully resisted the pressure to join the Unified Agricultural Cooperatives. However, Růžena Grubrová was not allowed to study and her father and mother were earning their living as forest workers. The Border Guard suspected Růžena’s father of guiding people over the border, therefore he was under continuous surveillance. Růžena trained as a shop assistant in the Pramen company. In 1953, she married and gave birth to a son. In the second half of the 1950s, she was gradually renovating the family guesthouse and she began accepting guests again. At the same time, she worked as a receptionist in a nearby hotel. The guesthouse business became fully re-established after 1989.