Marie Hučíková

* 1924

  • “At the factory, they gave us food when we worked there. It was called Eintopf, that is, a one-pot meal. It had vegetables and just two or three bits of meat. It was in a small bowl, and we had it for lunch and supper. In the morning and the evening we’d get black coffee made from chicory and a slice of bread spread with jam made from beets. That’s how we ate and lived there. Sometimes we got ration tickets to go buy something in the shops. But you couldn’t. All the shops were closed because the shopkeepers didn’t have anything to put in the shelves, there was such poverty there, you can’t even imagine.”

  • “When I arrived in Přeštice and finally got out of the town with my suitcase on my back, I saw some cars coming up towards me in the distance. I was suddenly very frightened because I saw soldiers driving in the cars. Astutely, I jumped into the ditch. I waited there until the convoy passed. Those were German soldiers who weren’t fighting but were looking to escape the Russians’ talons, so they wouldn’t get massacred, so they were trying to flee.”

  • “It was a one-class school in the village, it had five sections. We had an excellent teacher, whom we called Mr Director. He lived in the school with his wife and daughter, who studied in Pilsen. Mr Director was both teacher and headmaster, he was a very kind person who wanted to stand us up life. He told us how things would be, but then when war was about break out, everything changed.”

  • “When I came home, we had a dog called Alík there. He looked at me so pitifully. The dog recognised me immediately. No one used to lock their gate in the village. But now the garden gate was locked. My father later explained it was because of the partisans, who got in everywhere. I called out, and my father came out of the house and asked who’s there. I only said it was me, Máňa. I slept for three days.”

  • “They brought us there from the main station in Pilsen. We departed at midnight and arrived in East Germany, in the town of Lengengeld, where the factory was. The textile mill was closed and refitted to serve as a munitions factory. We arrived there in the morning, the sun was shining, it was 14 February 1944. The snow was up to our knees, and by the time we reached the camp, our shoes were completely drenched. They took us to the camp on foot, and we looked on dumbfounded at the blokes in strange uniforms running around the yard. Those were POWs, who kept our quarters heated while we slept. The first day they let us rest and introduced us to everything there, and the next day we started work at the factory. I was nineteen and a half, and I had to work twelve hours a day. The morning shift was from six a.m. to six p.m. The night shift was from six p.m. to six in the morning. There was shouting aplenty there, the Gestapo checked on who was working and who wasn’t. We were afraid, so when we saw them, we quickly set to work. During night shifts we splashed ourselves with cold water because we couldn’t endure it otherwise. The long shifts lasted until the end of October 1944. We only had days off on Sundays and were very lucky. There was a swimming pool in Lengenfeld. We’d go bathe there.”

  • Full recordings
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    u pamětnice doma, 27.11.2017

    duration: 50:21
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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Don’t lose hope, and trust that things will be better

Marie Hučíková.jpg (historic)
Marie Hučíková
photo: foto pamětnice - projekt Příběhy našich sousedů

Marie Hučíková, née Klesová, was born on 13 September 1924 in Kucíny, in what was then Přeštice District, to Marie and František Kles. She had three siblings - Jarmila, Josef, and Václav. She attended elementary school in Kucíny and then had three years of town school (upper primary school) in Přeštice. She trained as a seamstress. From February 1944 she was assigned to forced labour in Germany, in the town of Lengenfeld, where she repaired aircraft components. At the end of 1944 she was transferred to Semily, from which she fled in April 1945 with nine other people. She and one friend finally returned safely to their families. She thus witnessed the end of the war with her parents in Kucíny. At the invitation of her father’s friend, who was the national administrator of a factory, the family moved to Nýrsko, where Marie worked for eight years at Okula, a glasses factory. She married in 1953. She and her husband Arnošt Hučík met in Nýrsko, where he was doing military service. He was from Karlovy Vary, and the couple later moved to his home city. hey had a single daughter, Alena. They divorced after eight years. Marie Hučíková was employed at Hotel Imperial in Karlovy Vary for twenty-five years. She retired in 1980. She still lives in Karlovy Vary.