Siegfried Heil

* 1931

  • "They were not really excited about us when we arrived. It once happened to me that in one building in the yard, potatoes for pigs were cooked in a cauldron. The gate was open. I went in and put five pieces of potatoes in my hands. They were still hot. A farmer with a whip came out and chose me away. I was not able to hold the potatoes all the time as hot. It wasn't nice experience, I just wanted a few potatoes that the pigs would get."

  • "I did not see Henlein. As children, we had to collect potato beetles in his fields and harvest beets. There was a black pond where two Americans drowned. Then they blew up the dam and stretched their nets to pull out their bodies. The ponds were full of fish. There were floods in Milíkov. They pulled out the drowned Americans. One of them called, 'Help, help!', He got a cramp or something, and the other wanted to help him, but in the end they both drowned. The Americans wanted to help them and they were diving with a hose. It was bad enough. Water flowed everywhere, there were puddles full of fish everywhere. There were carps, trout and tenches. I had such a stick with a walnut wood fork and I put it on it. I went home and always had six or seven fish. Then I didn't even want to see the fish, it was too much."

  • "At the end of the war, there were mainly Americans here, about a hundred men. First, they threw a few shots with a grenade launcher, then they parked the grenade launchers on the meadow. There is Těšovský vrch near us. At that time there were German soldiers from the RAD, they also had guns. So, they were shooting each other. We, the young boys, were standing next to the Americans, of course they chose us away, so we took a few steps away, but we were still trying to get there. The grenade launcher, it was an experience. In May, Germany capitulated. They were all far away. The Americans then wanted to take the tank up the hill. It was the Slavkov Forest, the roads were not paved, so the tanks got stuck there and could not continue. I watched it from the window as their wheels spun. The road was narrow and the tank was wide."

  • "We stayed on the farm and tried to be helpful. We continued to sleep in the hay, my grandmother and my stepmother helped with the beet harvest, I went to pasture cows. However, my most beautiful experience of this time is when I had to tread the cabbage in the cellar. For me, this time was very adventurous. I was still speculating about what would happen next day."

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    Rehau, 16.09.2019

    duration: 01:53:33
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To this day, I like to talk in the Cheb dialect

Siegfried Heil was born on June 30, 1931 in Milíkov. When he was four years old, his father got a job as a gamekeeper in the forests of the count Clam Gallas in the Frýdlant region in the Jizera Mountains, so the family moved there. In 1942, however, the mother died of cancer and the father returned severely wounded from the war - this was the reason to move back to Cheb. Siegfried recalls the Manský dvůr, the residence of Konrad Henlein, and also the battles for Těšovský vrch, which took place at the end of the war near Milíkov. In the autumn of 1945, the family fled to Germany. In the end, uncertain weeks and months turned out well when, in the spring of 1946, the father was given the opportunity to work and live with his family at the Schönheid hunting lodge near Wiesau. Siegfried trained as a carpenter, but due to a serious injury, he could not do the job. He therefore joined the Deutsche Post, so he moved with his family to the Ruhr area. After retiring in 1989, he moved back to the Bavarian border.