Ing. Marie Kselíková

* 1932

  • "Well, it was terrible, we were sleeping at home and the phone rang sometime at half past two in the morning. So, I went to answer it and then I went to my husband and said that an acquaintance called that there were Russians in Prague. My husband said please, they got drunk somewhere, that's not possible. We didn't believe it, such an indecency, that it could even happen. At that time, we lived in Libeň, where I live now, and I said: 'Listen, that's probably possible, because planes were flying over us that had never flown there before'. So, we went to the radio and already heard that the Russians were here. Well, what should we do now? So, in the morning we thought about what we were going to do and I said, we are both from the health sector, we don't know what will happen if they shoot. So, we'll go to your surgery if people need help. We drove to Đáblice and stayed there for four days to see if they would shoot and if the people needed any help. I don't claim to be very experienced, but I would definitely know what to do if my husband told me what to do. Well, there we were and we listened to the radio and then we went home and went to work normally."

  • "Then when the revolution came, that is, when the Germans were supposed to leave after the end of the war, barricades were built in our street. German planes flew in and dropped bombs on the barricades, so they destroyed them again. And we, it was from the 5th of May, we were sitting in the cellar there. On the morning of May 9, word began to spread that the Russians had arrived. So, we all welcomed them then. But we went to greet them and we ran like this to Angliská street, and Germans were driving lined up on such trucks, holding rifles between their knees and leaving Prague. And of course, they were perfectly organized, they always are. Well, if they had turned it around, we would be dead. So, we started running again and we ran back. And they were at Ludmila Rusová's place in an hour."

  • "Just when [mother] went to Rakovník to ask how it would actually be, she went to the military administration and they told her: "Well, the Germans will occupy the Sudetenland tomorrow." That was at the end of that September. And mom said: "Jesus, but I have a whole apartment there, everything." Mom told me, she said that the head of the military administration there said to her: "Gentlemen, you four", not eight of them, "the eight of you will take these two" military, the five-tons vans, they said, I don't know, "you're all going to load rifles, load sharps, and you're going to Duchcov with the lady." Well, my mother said: "Jesus Christ, I have a little child and my parents here, but not far from here", because grandma and grandpa were already there too. "I don't know how to do it." And the leader said: "Please, if something happens, lie on the ground and they will take care of it for you." So, she went there under these circumstances. She left in the evening and returned in the morning. She had all the furniture, even the china, so we have the family china, it was with a rose, that was worn back then when the parents got married."

  • "Duchcov was such a nice town back then, but there were a lot of Germans there, but there were no problems with them. In general, we all lived quite peacefully until Henlein started to boast, well, the same was with Hitler as well. Well, so I started going to school there and I went to school for a fortnight and the mobilization started. So, my mother woke me up in the morning, we lived right in the bank, because my father worked there as a procurator. So, we sat down, because dad was standing by the bed already in his military uniform, and mom was saying: "Girl, get up, dad is joining the army and we have to go with him." He is afraid that the onrush of the Germans will be the greatest here." Which could be expected and at the time it was not known that someone would force us to give up the Sudetenland, right?"

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 12.10.2021

    duration: 02:09:09
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Praha , 20.01.2022

    duration: 01:34:34
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 3

    Byt Marie Kselíkové, 10.01.2023

    duration: 51:25
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Even in dark times one can be a patriot

Marie Kselíková
Marie Kselíková
photo: archive of the witness

Marie Kselíková, maiden name Skřivánková, was born on March 20, 1932 in Duchcov in northern Bohemia as an only child. Her father was an official and a Sokol member in body and soul. Her mom took care of the household. After the beginning of the Second World War, the family first moved to a farm in Petrovice and then settled permanently in Prague. In 1939, her father Alois Skřivánek collected Sokol’s savings in the amount of 30,000 protectorate crowns and deposited them in the Prague Legiobank so that the Germans would not get them. In February 1942, he handed them over to Sokol leader Jan Zelenka-Hájské to help the paratroopers during the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. Fortunately, this was not found out and the family was not punished. On February 14, 1945, she was a direct participant in the bombing of Prague in Vinohrady. Marie Kselíková studied at the English secondary grammar school in Prague, where she successfully graduated in 1951. Due to her family’s stance on the Communist Party, she was not allowed to study languages, so she applied to the University of Chemistry and Technology, where she was accepted. She successfully graduated from the school with the title of engineer in 1956. She joined the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion in Prague on Charles Square. She remained there until her retirement in 1989. In 1962, she married a general practitioner Milan Kselík. After the Velvet Revolution, she and her husband traveled the whole world. Her husband died in 1996. She could not have children due to health reasons.