Reinhard Horn

* 1938  

  • “Well, when he came that we were to move out of our farm, they did not believe it and they still thought that we would return there one day. We were therefore burying some things there. Dad buried some watches and containers in the backyard nearby, and we took some things to the forest; there was a small chapel and we hid it in the cupola of the chapel’s spire. I remember that mom used that container when she was making preserves. It was called a suction pump. It looked like a rubber bell, and there was a small pump and you placed two rubber bands into the glass container and you inserted a flat-shaped rubber tube inside. And the pump with a manometer was attached to it on the table and the preserve had to be poured in there while it was still hot. The content evaporated and you placed a lid on the top. Then you inserted the tube and created vacuum, and you sucked out the air from the glass with this machine with the pump… I remember that dad hid it on top of the chapel inside that small spire. We expected that we would take it back again when we returned. Well, we did not find the containers in the forest anymore, it became overgrown with grass.”

  • “After 1947, the Czech army forced us to move out. Back then, they drove the so-called ‘vejtřasky, in which they loaded our stuff and had us leave. They turned our village into an aviation shooting range. Back there in the fields. Only the building foundations were left from the houses they have destroyed and taken apart…. They have dug out pieces of turf, I am not sure how wide, and made them into a cross which they have filled with sand. Then they were flying in with the airplanes and shooting at the crosses. Next to that, in the forest, they built an observatory tower and they were observing it from there. The roads were probably closed. When they were doing the airstrikes and shooting at the cross, you could hear it in the neighboring village. The blank cartridges which were falling down the airplanes landed all around the forest. We used to go there to pick mushrooms. My father used to go from Mukařov to that forest and collect the cartridges. Maybe half of them were made out of brass. He would sell them to the scrapyard.”

  • “When I was a little boy, they used to take me with them to the field. In order that I would not bother them while they worked… there were ravines on the path between the fields. The fields were divided into small plots, there were no large fields as there are now. They were separated by tracks. Today, you cannot see any flowers in those track. But back then, flowers bloomed there everywhere. I remember that when I was a little boy, they left me there, and I would play on the path and there was the ravine which was about this high. It was in summer, the sun was shining and the lark was singing. You cannot hear a lark singing today. And there were so many of them in the field! And as I was on the path, I spotted a cricket. Do you know what a cricket looks like? A live cricket? I was observing the cricket, it was coming out, and then it moved, and it got back in again. I was not moving, and it crawled out again. And it was making the cricket’s sound. It was so idyllic.”

  • “1945 was the year of liberation by the Red Army. I remember exactly how the Russian army arrived to the village. The women would run away from them and hide. They knew they would be found in the attic, so instead they ran in the garden and hid in the trees. They gave each other an echo when the soldiers were arriving. Those soldiers then sometimes took stuff from the attic, or a bike. I think they shot dead my father’s pig in the stall. When they crossed the border to Czechia, then they gave that stuff away to people. My girlfriend still recalls getting a fabric from them and having a dress made out of it.”

  • “Based on the order of the garrison commander you are given an eviction notice, and you will therefore report on day… on a certain date, to the intersection on the road near the Kracmanov settlement in the direction of Okna. You are allowed to take thirty kilograms of luggage per each person. Gold, securities, lottery tickets, savings books and keys must remain in the house. You are to take food for seven days with you.”

  • “When they received the order to move out, it was a terrible shock for them. Whatever they could not take along, they did not leave it laying around just like that. Everyone made sure to dig it in somewhere in the garden – gold, valuables… We went to the forest with my dad to hide the pots and tableware. We hid his golden watch in the yard close to the shed. In the forest, we marked two trees and hid the stuff in the ground beneath them. But then everything became overgrown with vegetation and later, one could not find anything anymore. My mum had a suction pump for bottling jams and other things. And we hid it in the chapel at the village square. But everything stayed there. We thought me might go back some day and get it but we never returned.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    byt pamětníka; ve třídě na gymnáziu, 18.12.2017

    duration: 01:18:54
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Praha, 09.05.2018

    duration: 01:49:41
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

We lost our farm, animals, machinery, everything

horn_dobova.jpg (historic)
Reinhard Horn
photo: natáčení ED 2018

Reinhard Horn was born on February 2, 1938 in the now defunct village Prosička. His father was a German and his mother was a Czech and they farmed on a homestead with seven hectares of fields. The deportation of German inhabitants did not affect them directly, but in 1947 the decision about the construction of the military zone Ralsko was made and they had to leave their farm as a result. They were never compensated for their buildings, land, or machinery. After completing his vocational training, Reinhard married and with his wife they moved to Mnichovo Hradiště.