Václav Hieke

* 1951

  • "The teacher woke us up and said, 'Boys, wake up, we've been attacked by Russians!' Suddenly there was shooting, planes flying, rumble in the city. So we got up, we went downstairs to the dining room. I remembered it all later when I had the opportunity to talk to Mrs Moučková in Rumburk. That we came to the dining room, there was a television, black and white, and there Mrs Moučková was announcing that we had been attacked by the troops. It was all: 'We are with you, be with us' or something like that. But I remember her, because she said at the discussion - I digressed a little bit - there was a discussion with her in Rumburk, she didn't actually have any documentation from that moment. Unfortunately, neither had I. But I remembered clearly that I saw her there. And then after breakfast we went to this big school courtyard, and the director was there, and I also remember the cook was sitting there. She was quite fat, she was old to me at that time, but perhaps she wasn't that old, but she had lived through the war. She was sitting on a chair and she was crying, crying terribly, and she said, 'Boys, you're going to war. They will kill you. There will be war.' She was crying so hard. And the director said he went across town and witnessed the shooting. We cancelled all of our plans and went home."

  • "As I said before, my father was affected greatly by the situation, he spent a lot of time in a pub. He was constantly complaining about the regime. We were second-class people. He didn't do any part-time jobs. Of course, the regime got back at him. His uncle invited him to America about three times. There were terrible obstructions, before he ran the papers, it had to be translated. The translations cost a lot. And then he received a reaction claiming that it was not in the interest of the country for him to travel."

  • "It was a great loss for my father, when they expelled his grandfather. Then they expelled his girlfriend who was pregnant at that time. He lost all of his classmates, all his neighbours, everyone he knew. There was no one left. He was left alone with his brother. His brother, my uncle, a year younger than my father, later ran away to West Germany and from there to America where he spent rest of his life. So my father lost all traditions, all his friends, everything was gone."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Krásná Lípa, 05.02.2022

    duration: 11:08
  • 2

    Krásná Lípa, 05.02.2022

    duration: 01:22:57
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My father was left almost alone after the expulsion. He wasn’t allowed to visit his brother in the U.S.

Václav Hieke during one of the Czech Tourist Club events, 1985
Václav Hieke during one of the Czech Tourist Club events, 1985
photo: archiv pamětníka

He was born on 28 December 1951 in Rumburk, Děčín region. His father’s side of the family was German, after the war his great-grandfather had to leave the country. This greatly affected his father, who lost due to the expulsion not only his grandfather but also all his friends and neighbours. Václav had two younger brothers. He trained as a bricklayer at the apprenticeship in Liberec, where he lived through the 1968 occupation. After his apprenticeship he did his military service in Žatec. After completing his basic military service, he started working as a bricklayer in Česká Lípa. Later he returned to Krásná Lípa, where he worked in the textile factory Elite. He was one of the founders of the Krásná Lípa branch of the Czech Tourist Club and has been its head for 31 years (at the time of filming in 2022). In 2022 he lived in Krásná Lípa.