Evdokie Havlíčková

* 1926  

  • "During the first months on the front, we spent more time crying than helping. We were not used to all this bombing, and all these dead and wounded, and the blood. Oh, Christ...When was it? In 1944. I experienced the end of the war in a Kiev hospital, because I was hit by a splinter. They sent the entire echelon of the seriously wounded to Kiev, and I was assigned to accompany them. Then, they let me stay there, I could not do much of the nursing work, so I was ordered to operate the telephone. I stayed there a couple of months, and then the end of the war came. I remained in Kiev. My husband had arrived there before, he had been injured for a short time, we married there and he went back to the front again. He stepped on a landmine, and it tore both his legs off. He was sent again to the Kiev hospital, and from there, we - now as a husband and wife - moved to Czechoslovakia. First we lived in Hořice, in the Podkrkonoší region, there was an army sanatorium there."

  • "Pardon my mentioning it, but you get your period, there is no place to clean yourself, to wash your clothes. The things to remember are the din of war, shooting, all these dead and wounded people. There is nothing good about the war. What is the use of speaking about it? I´m glad that it´s over now. God be praised that it´s over. It was just misery, it was suffering. For instance, they bombed the kitchen several times, we had nothing to eat, they gave us three biscuits...What we had was kipjatok, hot water, and we would even lick salt in order to become thirsty, to drink."

  • "Memories of war? - There´s nothing left of it today. It has all faded away after these sixty-one years. One has somehow resigned, one does not take it this way. I don´t know what to say. There would be no such front today. Today, they just throw a bomb and it´s all over in an instant, back then they would carry it on for five years. One cannot just describe and explain it this way. You must live it on your own. If one does not live it through, one cannot imagine it, cannot understand it. At least that´s what I think. I don´t know."

  • "When we lived in Hořice, in this sanatorium for war veterans, we became friends with one Pole - well she claimed she was a Pole, her husband was Polish, but she was from Ukraine. So there was her husband, and we would meet and he would always bring me some fairy tales from the library. With big letters, with pictures. I had to read out loud, to learn the pronunciation properly. During my last year in school, we studied German. And the Czech letters were similar. Whenever he had free time, he tortured me with Czech...(laughing) Then I tried by myself. I have lots of books, I have read a lot. You have to read out loud, to hear the way you pronounce. But as far as I know, not a single (Russian) girl speaks correctly."

  • "So we were evacuated to Kazakhstan. There, they turned a school building into a hospital. During the day, I was helping there in the kitchen, to earn a living, since I was not even fifteen years old then. In the evening, I was attending a nursing school. There were more of us, all orderlies who have not completed a nursing school. So we would always cross a bridge from Asia to Europe. The school was in Europe, we lived in Asia. There was a great river, the Ural. When we finished school - the study was shortened, only two and a half years - I worked in that hospital for some time and then we were taken to the front."

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    Ústí nad Labem, 15.10.2007

    (audio)
    duration: 39:48
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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There is nothing good about war. What is the use of speaking about it? I´m glad that it´s over now. God be praised that it´s over

Evdokie Havlíčková in October 2007
Evdokie Havlíčková in October 2007
photo: Hynek Moravec

Evdokie Havlíčková was born in the Soviet Union, 400 kilometres north-east of Moscow. During the war, she studied nursing school in Kazakhstan, a state on the frontier between Europe and Asia. In 1944 she was drafted to the Red Army, where she served as a nurse and signaller. She was wounded and during her hospitalization in Kiev she met Vasil Hlušek, a soldier of Czechoslovak army. Hlušek suffered an injury and both his legs became maimed.  Evdokie followed her husband to Czechoslovakia. She raised two children and took care of her handicapped husband till his death. She was employed as a shop assistant, and spent most of her life in Ústí nad Labem, where she continues to live today.