“What did your sister do in Siberia and how long was she there?” “First she worked at constructions sites, then, when she learned some Russian, her work was not so hard. Those constructions projects were massive, so they used carts on small tracks, and she was operating the junction points for those tracks. She spent eight and a half years there. Then, I think it was after Stalin died, they released the prisoners on amnesty. Most of the workers already had a broken health. On the transport from Russia, she met a man, also a prisoner, who was German from Opole. They got married in 1958.”
“We spent two weeks in the camp at Muna Mikulovice. We were supposed to be sent to Germany. The whole village was empty, Kamenná as well because all of the people were in camps. The official, who later worked as a gamekeeper and forester, realized that if everybody was sent to Germany, there would be no workers left, so he sent a request to the interior ministry for some families to stay. Eleven families from Kamenná and eight from Nýznerov stayed. So we worked in the woods again. In 1948, they launched displacements to central parts of the country. Two families were left in Nýzerov and I think another three in Kamenná, all older people. I was at the farm for six years, then another two years of military service; by this time it was 1956. My parents had already moved back in 1954, when I went to the army.”
“The shooting took place here, up behind the hill. There were Czechs on one side and German volunteers on the other side. We were being moved to Kamenná (a village near Nýznerov which no longer exists). We were on our way when we heard the shooting. It could also be heard in the night. One of the families stayed, it was the family of my wife’s aunt with about seven or nine children. Czech soldiers would come to them for milk and food. The aunt gave it to them and they always said that they could easily have hit those on the other side but they deliberately missed. It calmed down after a while. So those were also events of 1938.”
“Only a few on those who came in the first wave stayed. As you said, they plundered the place and went away. Then, in 1948 and 1949, the Romanian Slovaks and people from Subcarpathian Rus came. These people and their children have been living here ever since. We worked together in the woods and got on very well with them. A lot of them came.”
“Wagons were lined up at the station and farmers who needed labor came to choose workers. We were lucky, they picked us immediately. Others had to stand there until late at night because no one was interested in them. But we were a large group and were sent to the farm immediately. In the afternoon we were given a separate house which had one large room where we put eight beds.”
Rudolf Hadwiger was born in 1929, in Nýznerov, a village under the Nýznerov waterfall at the foothills of the Golden Mountains (Rychlebské hory). He spent most of his life there. His parents were German nationals and his family was poor, so as a child, he had to work on a farm in Skorošice. At the age of fifteen, he passed military training at the Volkssturm in Dolní Lipová. His parents saved him from being drafted into the army by claiming that he was needed at the farm. In September 1946, his family was detained at the Muna Mikulovice refugee camp. As a former member of Wehrwolf forces, his sister was taken to Siberia where she spent more than eight years in labor camps. Now, she lives in Germany. After the war, the family was not transferred to Germany but instead returned to Nýznerov. In 1948, they were sent to the Jihlava district where they worked for six years on a collective farm. After obtaining Czech citizenship, they returned back to Nýznerov. Shortly before returning, Rudolf Hadwiger served two years of compulsory military service. In 1962, half of the houses in his native village were torn down. His wife’s native village (Kamenná) was torn down completely. Mr. Hadwiger was one of the last inhabitants who spoke the local Silesian dialect. He lived in the school building in Nýznerov. Rudolf Hadwiger died on 11 February 2020.