Antonie Kašparová

* 1935  

  • “We did cleaning on that particular day. My husband turned on the radio and said: ‘I tuned in some other station or what. Come and listen!’ So we heard, that there was this occupation and that. And suddenly such a noise! They were passing the pub. The Opavská pub. Now there is a new housing estate there. The pub is no longer there. They pulled it down and built the new houses. And they passed through the street. Along the Opavská street. Directly here. And the whole of Šumperk, full of tanks and cars. And then they came to our pub.”

  • “I really loved coming there. My grandma had a poor eye-sight and on Monday my father was supposed to bring her to an operation in Luck. They were talking me over to stay there. I really loved being there, but back then I made up my mind and wished to go back home. If I had stayed there, I would not have been here today. So on Monday morning my daddy was supposed to come for her and she would spend the day with us and then an operation in Luck was planned for her and all… Grandma was not burnt. She could not see and we don’t know who sat her on her chair at the well. There was a walnut tree and under it she sat together with another ill neighbour whose name we don’t recall. When we arrived with my mum on the second or the third day… I can still see her. The left side of her body was totally shot to pieces. And so was her neighbour´s.”

  • “The officers, as they said, were put into houses. The troops stayed in the gardens. They had tents and things like that. They were there. In our village, they stayed for about month. But I can’t say that they would treat us wrong or something. We were even calmer, because our parents — and not just parents — were afraid of the Bandera troops. When they left, it was strange, everybody was afraid when the Germans would return. The armies came and went a lot.”

  • “Many people died in hospital. I believe that the brother of Slávek Pospíšil also died in a hospital or at his grandparents. But I can still see my grandma. When they were pilling them all up to a grave so large it was as high as two blocks of flats entries. Burnt bones were put in bedsheets. Some people were recognised according to earrings next to the bones, but many were left unknown. I was there too. My parents didn’t want to take me, but I wished to go. My mum had a break-down there. They were putting it to bedsheets and to the grave then.”

  • “I don’t know what year it was. Whoever of the Jews could, they ran away. And my father hid one family. A couple with their daughter. He built a kind of fake rabbit hutch in the barn. We didn’t know somebody would hide there. They stayed for several days or even weeks. And we didn’t know about it. Only later our parents told us that they hid them there. At day, they would be hidden in the rabbit hutch. There were no rabbits though. Only one, I think, to provide a cover. An angora. There were for wools, the angoras. And at night they went up to sleep in the attic. And then my father somehow — I don’t know how — took them somewhere, to some village, where someone else took them from him. And then, after the war, the woman returned. She thanked us — my father and mother — saying that if it had not been for them they would have not lived. And that they are alive, all of them sound and healthy.”

  • “Jews began to run away. A family was been sleeping over at our place too. They were at the Čechs and Kynštas too. I don’t know how they communicated; they must have had connections, as they all went to Luck together, and from there we don’t know where they went. But after the war was over, a Jew woman came to us and thanked my parents much. But I don’t recall her name any more. She was saved together with her children. Her husband was shot or died in a concentration camp. I don’t know exactly.”

  • “My husband was eating his lunch and there arrived this drunken officer from God. Later I learned that he was coming from At God’s establishment — a wine cellar near the townhouse. And he wanted vodka. My husband talked to him. A stakan of vodka. That was 1dcl, a hundred grams. And he told him, ‘I can’t give you any vodka. You are drunk.’ He told him like this, directly. But he wouldn’t listen. Then my husband tells me, ‘Please talk to him. Tell him to get lost or I’ll kick him out.’ But still he wouldn’t listen. I tell him, ‘I won’t give you a drink.’ I told him in Russian. I told him, ‘Get back for drink where you got so drunk.’ It was just after noon. And he wouldn’t. He then gave me a horrible name. I didn’t hesitate. There were boxes behind the bar, I jumped over them and slapped him hard in the face. Had my husband been there, he would have killed him. He would have beat him to death. But he was just having lunch. I summoned my courage because there were a few guests then. All men. The men took him by the collar, took him to the corridor and beat him there. My husband heard the noise and joined them. Then the officers ran in too. They heard what had happened and took him to the barracks. Then his commander came and asked me about the conflict. I was sorry later but I wouldn’t let myself be insulted by obscene names.”

  • Full recordings
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    Šumperk, 07.12.2016

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    duration: 02:31:46
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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    Šumperk, 07.02.2018

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    duration: 01:58:17
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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In Czech Malin they killed almost their whole family

Antonie Šimková (Kašparová)
Antonie Šimková (Kašparová)
photo: archiv pamětnice

Antonie Kašparová, née Šimková, was born on 25th June, 1935 in Zborov upon Volyn, nearby Czech Malin. There were her grandparents and several cousins of almost the same age. After occupation of Volyn by the German army the family was hiding a four-member Jewish family from nearby Ostrožec for four weeks. They saved their lives. As a child the witness spent majority of her summers in Czech Malin. During summer holidays 1943 she became too homesick so despite her grandparents urges, she decided to return back home. In the morning the next day, i.e. on 13th July, 1943, Czech Malin was surrounded by German soldiers and all hell broke loose in the village. They burned houses down and brutally killed 374 Czech citizens; amongst them also eight uncles and aunts of the witness, about fourteen cousins, some of which were less than ten years old. Also her grandparents died, who was left sitting on the bench after being shot down to pieces and little Antonie saw her with her own eyes two days after the tragedy. Until today that terrible picture has been coming back to her only too often. A part of the surviving relatives lived at the Šimeks in Zborov, before they found their own housing. Following the Soviet army arrival in 1944 her father entered the Czechoslovakian army troops and as part of its artillery battery he fought at the Dukla pass all the way back to Bohemia. In 1947 the whole family re-emigrated back to Czechoslovakia from Volyn and settled in Temenice near Šumperk. The witness was trained there to be a housewife and then attended an economy school; later she started working as an accountant in united agricultural cooperative Temenice. She married Jaroslav Kašpar, and had two children with him; Jaroslav and Miluše. Together with her husband she ran several restaurants until retirement. In 2016 she lived in Šumperk.