Annemarie Kury

* 1932

  • It was in November 1991; the Slovenian war was over, Slovenia was already independent, Croatia was at war. In the evening, I watched the news on television regarding the war in Croatia, in eastern Croatia, Vukovar, because Serbs had invaded there. It was a war in every aspect and involved shooting. And huge crowds of refugees, displaced people because it was not only refugees but displaced people and I distinguish it, were arriving in Zagreb. Gyms, schools, everything was full. Just like here in 1945. This broadcast was then followed by a roundtable, where the discussion was held only by men. You comprehend every discussion variously. I got the picture of what the other ones should do. What the UN should do, what the Red Cross should do, the charities were always about what the others ought to do. I was enraged by these men, by the whole discussion in general, and yes. I eventually turned it off, sat, and contemplated. So I'm sitting here, observing it while not doing anything about it as well. But what can I do? The next day, although I was still working, I called Caritas in Zagreb. I knew the Carita's director from a certain seminar, and so I told her I had watched the broadcast, wondering how are you really doing, what do you need? I can hear it even now "Food, food, food." Now, if someone tells you or if you ask "what do you need?" and she answers "food", what can you do about it? So I say, "Can I get you anything?" "Yes." "What?" "Everything." "Okay, thanks. I will give it a try." Two days later, I myself put away the passenger seat, which makes me proud still today. I spent my money on the purchase and filled the car with cookies and…...I am still proud of myself today, and I went shopping and filled the car with my money, biscuits and … with everything that is allowed be consumed in the camps.

  • I am not sure which year exactly it was, but I think it could have been in 1965 on All Souls' Day; we heard on the former Czechoslovak radio that it is possible to obtain a short-term visa to the Czech Republic to visit graves. I immediately ran to find out whether the issue of visas would be possible for our family ..... and that was the first time I was there, I wanted to show my family my home. I had always told them about the beautiful city which Vimperk is and about the castle and so on. Eventually, we were standing there, and I had to show my family how devastated everything is; windows were broken. We could not find any accommodation, so we returned back. It was very sad. I felt embarrassed in front of my family and told them we had left something completely different. And we didn't get to Radost in Schenkenberg, where I used to stay a lot as a child, because it had become an inaccessible military area.

  • But otherwise, it was almost like being imprisoned at that time, having no rights, stateless, our citizenship had been taken from us. To this day, it is not the valuable things we left there I care about, but it is things like losing my homeland, citizenship, and friends ... that is what it is. Or that we do not have any photos from that period. It is all immaterial ... so it has nothing to do with tangible things. Furthermore, these are often things that have brought nothing to the Czech nation.

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    Vídeň , 21.02.2018

    duration: 01:42:20
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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I knew exactly from which tree those apples were

Annemarie Kury, a portrait
Annemarie Kury, a portrait
photo: Annemarie Kury

Annemarie Kury, born Heske, was born in 1932 in Vimperk. Her mother was German and the father descended from a diverse family. Her male ancestors had been employed by representatives of the aristocratic Schwarzenberg family for many generations. Her family lived in the manor of a castle in Vimperk. After 1938 the manor directorate came under German administration. After a war in summer of 1945 the family was awaiting for being moved into Germany, however they managed to get a work permit from the Schwarzenberg family to move to Murau, Austria instead. Karel Schwarzenberg, a presidential candidate of the Czech Republic in 2013, has completed a one-year internship at Annemarie Kury’s father. Annemarie graduated in 1955 in Salzburg then she supplemented her education as a nurse, got married and in 1963 she and her husband established a physiatry office. Together they have raised five children. Her husband died while he was on an expedition to the Himalayas in 1977. Towards the end of her working career in 1991 Annemarie began organizing material and financial assistance in the war-torn regions of the former Yugoslavia.