Mgr. Marie Kadlecová

* 1938

  • "The war was coming to an end. I remember us kids running around outside that afternoon. A gentleman, a neighbor, came by on a bicycle and called: ‘Children, the war is over.’ We started jumping and we all ran home, shouting: ‘Mummy, mummy, the war is over!’ Mummy said: ‘Not yet, not yet.’ It was Monday, on Monday, dad didn't go to work anymore. My aunt was with us and she said: 'Come, let's go to church, there is a mass here in the morning.' So, I went with her. The church was full of people. We were in the church, suddenly the terrible roar of the plane started. People wanted to get out of that church. Fortunately, there was a wise lady in charge, her name was also Moudrá (Mrs. Wise), and she said: 'People, don't be crazy, if we run out, we'll be dead!' So they just hung on there. When it was over, they all ran home."

  • "Dad was already down in the town hall for a meeting, and only my uncle and mom were with us. And suddenly the door opened and they just wanted to know where her husband was. She said he was not at home. 'And who is this?' That this is like… so they wanted him to go with them and lead them somewhere, I don't know how far. Mom started crying and they said, 'Don't worry, we'll bring him back to you.' They took him away."

  • "We had a Czech lesson, in about a month and a half the doors open and Malík, the deputy director, was standing there. It was “dělnický kádr” (a person working in managerial position without the necessary education) and he says: 'Which one is Krejčová here?' That was my name. I stood up and looked: 'Me.' - 'How is it possible that you got into this school?' I didn't know what to say. 'When there's a break, come to the principal's office.' Everyone was looking at me. Tears were flowing like that, I didn't know what happened... And the class teacher came to me and said: 'Don't worry.' 'Don't worry, I'll go there with you and you'll see, I'll help you.' But the class professor experienced a concentration camp, so they were probably quite afraid of him, because the letters he sent were in the Znojmo museum. So, he went there with me. I walked, barely climbing the stairs. I came in front of the director's office and he tells me: 'Stay here, I'll go there myself.' So, I stayed there, they were there for so long, but maybe it wasn't that long, no, but it was an eternity. He comes out and says, 'Go to class.' So, I went to class. Everyone was waiting for me. I do not know anything. Nobody said anything to me. Then he came and said: 'Don't worry, you'll stay here.' Perhaps somebody must have sent a letter from Medlice saying that we were going to church, that dad was a capitalist and an exploiter. Perhaps, for example, that Karel [the driver from my father's company] signed there too. So, if the class teacher didn't go with me, I would be dismissed."

  • "That's how it was back then. Here the JZD (Unified Agricultural Cooperative) and all that, they were there, don't think that... I was watching a movie, how everyone was happily joining to the JZD. I thought, well, sure. But they started stealing there... They were ok, the little ones who put only a few there, fields, they didn't mind, but who put ten or fifteen cows and pigs and machines, chickens, goats and I don't know what else they had there, so it was a loss for them. They learned to steal so much that once when I went with our grandmother... they were growing onions in the field there, I also went there, and do you think that when the women left the field, they left empty-handed? A full basket... We had large strawberry plantations, a woman always brought a basket, and it was forbidden. They always took it there. There they started stealing in the fields... when we lived at the crossroads, my aunt said, even my mother, the JZD had already started, she would say in the evening: 'Do you hear the carts rattling here?' The members of JZD came there, so they went to pulled out the lentils, they pulled out the pea.'

  • "I already attened school and so did my brother. When they arrived, the two [younger siblings] were still at home, my mother…. we wanted to stay at home to see how the cars were taken away. Dad had to put them all down the hill and we waited. My brother and I sat by the window. They brought a bench over there for us to be higher. And we watched them through the glass, through the curtain, so that we could not be seen very much. So, they came. Several of them came there. And they started... and the driver, the drunk, started that he was so exploited, that he was treated in such a bad way... Dad said: 'I was silent.' Mum ran away because she would have fallen there."

  • "Those soldiers were - there were tanks going there - on tanks - I can still see them in front of me - those girls, about seventeen or eighteen? In war. Tired, terribly tired, you could see that they wanted to sleep. And those people, the whole village gathered there, everyone around, and they just - at that time the lilacs were already blooming. So, they were giving out the lilacs there, they brought them food, and the girls were smiling, but you could see how much they would really like to just - completely close their eyes. But the front didn't go there for one day. It went there for two days, three days, and the soldiers all the time... And they said they were going to Prague. Prag.'

  • "Dad was, as I said, into cars, a DIY guy, so we also had a personal car and we were the only ones in the village. So, in the evening, when he came from the - so the neighbors came there and with that gentleman, with that gentleman, they then called him Partisan Sobotka, but all the time before he died, he was still called Partisan Sobotka in the village. He was probably the partisan too, because he was the one carrying the things here. So, he just always brought some food, dad took him far away by car, it wasn't just outside the village. Because when I read the chronicle of those Medlice, I learned there, it was just written there, that he took part, that he was driving, that he actually helped the partisans. So, we know from there. They didn't talk much about it. Of course, we would... well, children, if someone hit us, we'd say everything out of fear, wouldn't you? So, all we knew was that mom was nervous when dad left, and she was happy to greet him at the door when he came back again."

  • "However, there was a border village. The houses there were falling down. The Germans simply built houses from mudbricks, here they are called mudbricks. This is simply a brick made of clay, but it is not fired, only dried. And then the houses simply have to be whitewashed, in Moravia they say "líčit" (put make-up on), so that water just gets in there, so that it would stick. And then, when the people who came after the war moved in, they didn't do that. We went to school in the morning and a house in front of the store - fallen down.''

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    České Budějovice, 17.12.2018

    duration: 01:05:30
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    České Budějovice, 24.08.2020

    duration: 01:44:04
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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The Red Army, Vlasov supporters, Banderiters - they went through our village

Marie Kadlecová at the primary school (13 years old)
Marie Kadlecová at the primary school (13 years old)
photo: archive of the witness

Marie Kadlecová, née Krejčová, was born on August 8, 1938 in Medlice in South Moravia. Parents lived in Moravské Budějovice, later moved to Medlice. Here, Marie lived through the war years, she experienced Gestapo arrests at school, she remembers meeting the passing Red Army, Vlasov supporters and Banderites. Only as an adult did she learn from the local chronicle that her father, Leopold Krejča, helped the partisans. After February 1948, the Krejča family’s business - trucking - was confiscated. Probably also as a result of the experienced stress, the mother of the witness got ill and died prematurely. Thus, it fell to Maria to take care of her younger siblings. Instead of her dream medicine, she decided to devote herself to pedagogy and taught all her life at the first level of various schools, first in Moravia, then in Český Krumlov and České Budějovice, where she has lived since the age of twenty-five.