Hana Krejčová

* 1923

  • “We were two sisters and I as the elder was chosen for Germany. Eight girls from our village went. We came to Halle and they took us to a sauna right away. Boys and girls were separated. Some girls had a period and were bleeding. Nobody cared; they would faint. Then they took us to the yard and farmers picked girls for work. They chose the strong ones, and nobody chose me. One girl and I went to a Russian camp. It was terrible. Some boys were swollen from hunger. The food was horrible. Then we would go to work, about five kilometres, and a guard was with us so we would not flee.”

  • “We caught the last train that left for Czechoslovakia. The Nazis were on their last legs at the time and the checks were not thorough. They just looked at the men’s papers and waved their hand. I sat on a side. Then each of us went their way from Prague. We arrived in Jablonné in the Protectorate, and the nearby Jamné was still in the Sudeten. A lady was bringing some meat to her daughter in Těchonín and they checked her. Dad grabbed me and we passed without being checked. We were lucky. When we came to my husband’s parents they were just having lunch. Grandpa got up and handed us a potato pancake.”

  • “I thought I would make some money during that month. A (soviet) officer used to come there. I asked them not to tell him that I was a Russian because they were really bad about this. One day I was washing the laundry outside and they were talking to him, and then they called me because they didn’t understand him. The officer asked me what I was doing and told me to pack up tomorrow and join a convoy going home. I fled from Jablonné to Jamné that night. Grandpa came in the morning and took me on the first morning train to Králíky, to dad [future husband].”

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    Králíky, 12.09.2018

    duration: 03:03:08
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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She found the love of her life on forced labour deployment

Hana Krejčová
Hana Krejčová
photo: archiv pamětnice

Hana Krejčová, née Radenko, was born in the community of Dolynka in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on 18 April 1923. Her mother came from the area and her father’s family reportedly fled there from the Ural area during the Bolshevik revolution. When her native region was occupied by the Nazi army, Hana was deployed on forced labour at age 19 and left her native Ukraine, never to return permanently again. She was separated from her family and put on a train to Halle in Germany, more than 2,000 kilometres away from home. She experienced hunger and humiliation, brutal treatment in a Soviet POW camp, hard work and countless air raids of ally bombers. But she also found the love of her life, Josef Krejčí, who helped her to make it to Czechoslovakia in April 1945. She succeeded avoiding deportation to the USSR several times and married Josef Krejčí in 1945. She says they were together for fifty-seven years full of love and her husband’s death in 2002 was the most difficult moment in her life. The witness lived in Králíky in 2018.