Staff Sergeant (ret.) Helena Křikavová
* 1923 †︎ 2013
“In September before Dukla I got to know that in August my father, Josef Albrecht, and my uncles, Jirásek and Havlíček, were murdered by Bandera-men. Alive they poked out their eyes and cut out their tongues. They threw them all still alive into a well, where they had thrown a barbed wire before. It was a shock for me that my father ended up like this.”
“We in Volynia had Lidice too – it was the village of Malín. Now we are going to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary. I am not going there. The descendants of the Bandera-men are still alive and I have burnt bridges already. The Germans were pinning even small children to their bayonets and throwing them into the fire – to the burning schools and barns. A friend of mine jumped out of the window and the Germans shot him into his leg. All who were trying to escape they were finishing off afterwards, but he pretended to be dead. They called even: ´Er ist tot.´”
“It was terrible where everywhere we were hiding around Dukla. The injured, the hospitals… Everything was horrible. We were supposed to cross over the Carpathians. We were supposed to cross Dukla in about two weeks, but we had been stuck there for about two months before we got out of all the mud. It was terrible.”
“In Ružomberok we were glad that we could sleep at least under a roof. However, the windows were broken and we were sleeping on the floor. But we were so tired that we slept and when we woke up, we had a five-centimetre layer of snow on the top of us. Now you can´t wonder that we have rheumatism and all similar problems.”
“I didn´t have any contact with my home at all. I got to know that my father was murdered. My brothers were no longer alive. We hoped that my parents would come to meet us, I only had my Mum and Grandma left, but they came only in 1947 in those such wagons for cattle. So we welcomed them in Žatec in spring of 1947.”
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I want to live until at least one hundred
Helena Křikavová was born on 1st January 1923 in Volynia in the community of Podhájka. In 1944 she entered the Czechoslovak army and she was assigned to the headquarters of the 3rd Czechoslovak brigade. The Ukrainian fascists - so called Bandera-men - murdered her father. In 1944 she took part in the Carpathian- Dukla operation and the liberation of the cities of Ružomberok and Liptovský Mikuláš. After a serious injury she was hospitalized for two months and then in June 1945 assigned to a special military group to populate the Žatec region. In 1947 she was demobilized. Over 20 years she organized meetings of the resistance people. She participated in the organization of the itinerant exhibition “Czechoslovak women in foreign armies”. She is one of the founders of the Association of the Czechs from Volynia and their friends. Helena Křikavová passed away on April, the 2nd, 2013.