Emilie Hatlová

* 1925

  • “My dad didn’t come back from war as well. He was fighting in Russia. Well, not really fighting, he was a horse doctor. He was in the Ukraine with the shepherds. As he spoke Czech he could make himself understood among the Ukrainians. And because he was a farmer, he could help those shepherds, give them advice. He said that there was widespread misery in the Ukraine. All they could do was to roast a sheep, they didn’t even have a stove. They didn’t have any furniture either. He helped them so they gave him something to eat. He told us that they were goodhearted peoples. He didn’t say a bad word about those people.”

  • “We used to toboggan down a slope in Konrádov in the winter. The Weber family had their house and fields right on that slope and we used to toboggan right through their yard. The old Weber grand mom used to be mad at us for doing that. She said: “you bastards, you’re gonna run over my hen.”

  • “The Germans came two days later. It was awe inspiring – they came on their armored cars, fully armed with their guns in their SS uniforms. I can still see it before my eyes. You don’t forget something like that. The tanks, motorbikes, helmets, weapons, it was really frightening. At the time we were thinking that the Czechs wouldn’t stand a chance against them, the Germans would just wipe them out. They could do nothing but give up.” “Interviewer: “They marched right through Konrádov?” “Yes.” Interviewer: “And how did they behave toward the local population?” “Quite good actually. We didn’t trust them too much so we tried to keep our distance and not to get in their way. We still didn’t know if there’s gonna be war or not. We heard, however, that they beat up some Czechs in Ráj in the Romanov hill. But I don’t know whether that’s true or not.”

  • “At the red cottage, you know, there were almost no cars back then on the road, we used to knock marbles there and each time we knew that Šimonek was coming because we heard the sound of his whip. So we were waiting for him to come and to give us some candies, chocolate or small coins. We were so happy each time. We took all that he gave us and went to the chapel where we sat down and distributed it among all of us children – there were a lot of kids in Konrádov back then. Every kid got its share. Everyone got a candy or a coin, or some chocolate.”

  • “Once the German girls came to the shed where they had hidden their belongings. But the Czechs didn’t want to give them their things and were beating them instead. They came to our house crying. This Orlov was there, too. He spoke German so he understood what they were saying. He said: ‘What? They won’t give you your own belongings?’ So he went up there and rebuked them. He told them: ‘You miserable Czechs, you have no idea what war is like. When you have to leave with only 30 kilograms, you don’t know whether to take food or clothes. It’s theirs so give it to them immediately!’ So they could take all the clothes that they were hiding there. They were really thankful to that Russian.”

  • “They were sitting on a bench, one of them had an injured arm, so we bandaged his arm. The one sitting next to him told us: ‘Girls, you have to hide. Those who are coming are bad.’ It was because Stalin said that what the Germans did to the Russians, the Russians now could do to the Germans. So whenever they saw a girl, they raped her. That’s why we were hiding. When things were really bad, we hid in the cave but most of the time we slept in the hay barn. We tore away the stairway and whenever we heard some sound we ran away through the window. There were two teachers in the school who got raped.”

  • “They came to my house, surrounded the house and came searching inside… They stood on that hill, they had the house surrounded. I didn’t know what was happening. I made the soldiers who came inside some tea because they were cold – it was in October. Another one came inside and screamed at me that I want to poison his men, that I was a German and that he would shoot me. My husband told him to shut up and to get out of the house, that he was supposed to be on guard outside of the house and had nothing to do inside. He said that he was a Czech and that I’m a Czech as well. The soldier had to leave. In the night the policemen came searching the house. They were searching for Germans that I was allegedly hiding in my house. They searched everything. They even looked into the bed of my little boy – he was five back then – if he wasn’t hiding Germans in his bed.” Interviewer: “How many soldiers were searching your house?” “There were four policemen searching the house and some soldiers were on guard in the meantime.” Interviewer: “And did they swear at you or did they behave in a rude way?” “No, they were quite decent. They were much nicer then the local population here. It was the locals who denounced us and who were sending the reports. The police then had to go and search our home.”

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    Mšeno u Mělníka - knihovna domova důchodců, 28.03.2009

    duration: 01:43:56
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Hitler promised them everything at first – there were drums and horns playing. Then they had to enroll in the army and go to war, where most of them died. The Steinitz family that lived in Olešná had seven boys and not one of them came back home.

Emilie Matauchová - Hatlová.JPG (historic)
Emilie Hatlová
photo: foto: Lukáš Krákora

Emilie Hatlová, born Matauchová, was born on May 6, 1925, in Nebužely nearby Mělník in a Czech-German family. Her mother was Czech (born Bělinová), her father Karel Matauch was of German heritage. Emily was their second and last child, she has an older sister Marie Magdalena. She likes to recall her childhood and her grandmother who was expelled from Czechoslovakia in 1945 at the age of 76. Before the war the family used to grow grain, potatoes, turnips and other crops. In Konrádov, in the Kokořín region, where Emily spent a large portion of her youth, Czech and German families lived side by side before the war. Until the end of the thirties, there were no conflicts among them. Emilie went first to elementary school in Konrádov, then to secondary school in Dubé and eventually to a business academy in Jablonec, which however she couldn’t finish because in 1941 she had to work as a forced laborer (because of her partially Czech origin). She worked in a few agricultural operations and then in the arms industry. Her father enrolled in the Wehrmacht and died in 1945 in Polish captivity. After she returned home in 1945 she became a witness of the brutal conduct of Soviet soldiers towards the German population in Konrádov. She had to go into hiding together with the other women in Konrádov in order to escape the Soviet rapists. Due to the fact that she was from a mixed marriage she evaded the deportation of the German population from Konrádov. However, she had to wait till 1945 for the final verdict on this issue. Only then was she free to marry Jaroslav Hatl. She gave birth to two sons - Václav and Jaroslav. She was constantly bullied till the end of the fifties from the authorities and her neighbors, who were denouncing her regularly. Her house in Příbohy witnessed several house searches. In the last few decades, Emilie has been in touch with the expelled Germans from Konrádov and the surrounding area.