Jiřina Hajná

* 1929  

  • “Come with me to Jáchymov. To the mine – they’re uranium mines there. He just up and went by himself to work for a year to Jáchymov. He mined there. The agreement was such that if they were to find a vein of that uranium, there’d be big money in it for them. We were happy, we were getting allocations from Russian as well as extra clothes."

  • “Yes, there were partisans. They were constantly fighting with the insurgents. We were ripe for the picking. One evening an entire roomful came with their weapons. We gave them whatever they wanted. They didn’t make threats, but they knew that we had to give them whatever they wanted with no questions asked. Partisans and insurgents. One couldn’t know about the other. We were just there to give stuff away.”

  • “I was home from Luck, when Vláďa had already left – he’d been arrested. So we sent him a one-kilo package – a kilo of dry bread to that Westfallen Munden. That’s where we sent it to him. Then, when the Soviets liberated us, everyone went to the army. Even sixteen-year-old, seventeen-year-old boys. They volunteered.”

  • “We lived by our state route. – The Germans drove on it. We had to give up every sort of contingency, such as our hogs, wheat, and everything else. There was a collection point designated for the purpose. But the majority of it was overseen by the Ukrainians. Because when the Germans came, they were basically given Ukraine. They really hated the Poles, they couldn’t stand each other. When it was Poland before, they were communists. The Poles went to the villages and mixed ash into the wheat, feathers. They were awful to them, so when there wasn’t any Poland anymore, the Ukrainians got them back. I also remember a lady who was due to have a baby. They came and cut her baby out of her stomach. That’s how the Ukrainians treated the Poles.”

  • “They made a kulak out my dad. Then we had around 18 hectares. They were supposed to send us to Siberia. People were being sent there around the clock. We were also in an announcement to be sent. They would come in the night; the neighbors wouldn’t find out till morning that the neighbor in question had been taken away. My brother didn’t go, so they sent him to the army when he was 27 years old.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Karlovy Vary, 14.08.2020

    duration: 01:12:47
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

First the Poles wronged the Ukrainians, and during the war they got them back

Jiřina Hajná, 1951
Jiřina Hajná, 1951
photo: archiv JH

Jiřina Hajná, née Krušinová, was born on 19 May 1929 in the town of Ledochovka in Volhynia to a family of Czech nationals. Her father Václav Krušina ran a family farm and a tavern where Jiřina, along with her three other siblings, helped out. The region was part of Poland in the interwar period. The witness went to school in Luck. In 1939 the region was overtaken by the Soviets and the Krušina family were deemed kulaks. Their being deported to Siberia was prevented only by the Second World War. During the Nazi occupation, mandatory school attendance was canceled starting in summer 1941. In Volhynia she witnessed conflicts between Ukrainian nationalist insurgents with Poles and partisans. The former also murdered Jiřina Krušinová’s sister, Libuše, in 1945. Her brother Vladimír was drafted into the Red Army and was arrested as a Soviet soldier. He was placed into a POW camp on the territory of Westphalia. Her other brother Antonín joined the Liberation Army and took part in the battle of Dukla. He settled down in the Teplice region where he re-emigrated the rest of his family to from Volhynia to Czechoslovakia in April 1947. Jiřina Krušinová married her cousin Boris Hajný, with whom she had two daughters. A tavern and a butcher’s shop was assigned to them in the locality of Hora Svatého Šebestiána (Mount Saint Sebastian) in the Krušné Mountains. Later she settled down in Karlovy Vary-Bohatice, where she worked on the railways at a crossing gate, then later in Elektrosvit, and, before retiring, as a cashier in Meteor. Following the death of her husband in 1996, she lives alone in Karlovy Vary.