Barbora Jelínková

* 1930

  • "Then when the second transport came, after about a year or two - we came in 1949 - my parents said that they would also go [to Bohemia]. Then someone wrote that things were not very good here in Bohemia, that the Germans were coming back and raiding Bohemia, that they were coming back for their things that they had hidden here. Papa brought papers, Mama was somewhere in the village and there she heard what their children wrote, that things were not good here. Beginnings are hard everywhere, so they [parents] changed their minds about not going. I was disappointed, I was glad we were going to Bohemia, because to serve with the masters there, I didn't like that very much. I said it was no future. So my mother... I consulted her. I said, 'You don't want to go, what am I going to do?' I was determined to go, I was already nineteen years old, I was of age. My mother said, 'You choose, child, either you serve here to earn money for your equipment and help your family, or you go to Bohemia. I chose to go to Bohemia and my brother chose to come with me. So I took my brother in charge, he was fourteen years old. So we came all the way here."

  • "I remember we were sleeping on the ground [in Oršava] and the locomotive blew its horn at night. I didn't know what was happening. I had never seen or heard a locomotive until then, because I had never got further than Bošňák [Nová Moldava]. We slept only on cots on the ground, I don't know how many of us from St. Helena could have been there, I didn't count. We stayed there one night. In the morning they loaded us into wagons: the women and children into ordinary wagons and us into freight wagons. We slept on the ground. And I don't remember how many of us were there. We were all single young people and one man who was the supervisor."

  • "My parents protected us from mixing with the Romanians. They were afraid that we would lose our language and nationality. They wouldn't let their children go to other schools, even those who would learn well, because they would become porous. So the Czechs held on to Czech with all strenght they got. None of us Czechs married a Romanian, or vice versa. They didn't marry even though they knew each other. We got on well with the Romanians, they were nice people, but just did not to mix with them. That's what we held on to, to keep our language and nationality."

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    Cheb, 07.06.2022

    duration: 02:12:24
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I had a choice: either serve with the Romanians or go to Bohemia

Barbora Jelínková, nee. Hrůzová, shortly after her arrival in Bohemia, 1950
Barbora Jelínková, nee. Hrůzová, shortly after her arrival in Bohemia, 1950
photo: archiv pamětníka

Barbora Jelínková, née Hrůzová, was born on 4 December 1930 in the Czech village of Svatá Helena in Banat, Romania. Like most of the locals, her family farmed the fields and she was involved in domestic work from an early age. She completed five grades there and from the age of thirteen until she left for Bohemia, she worked as a servant in the families of Romanian officials. After the Second World War, the Czechoslovak government began to organize transports of emigrants, which were to include the family of the memoirist. In August 1949, however, only the memoirist and her fourteen-year-old brother eventually travelled to Bohemia and settled in Cheb. They joined the local fellowship of the emerging Baptist congregation, and Brother Francis entered the preaching ministry there in September 1980. Shortly after their arrival, the memorialist began working as a worker in a worsted yarn spinning mill in Cheb. She spent over thirty-two years in the knitting mill and then retired. In 1952 she married a man also originally from St. Helena. Over time, her other siblings moved to Bohemia and only her parents remained in their native village in Romania. At the time of filming, the memoirist lived in Cheb (June 2022).