Maria Kuś

* 1931  

  • "[…] I must emphasize that people spoke differently in Pszczyna, differently in Rybnik and differently in Cieszyn Silesia. When Janka (the oldest daughter) married in Kończyce Małe, her father-in-law said „spadki”. I did not know what „spadki” means but I soon realized […] My grandma who was much older didn’t say that she is „sick” but „niymocna”. When „Nemocnice na kraji města” (Czechoslovakian TV series) was on the air, I finally figured it out. It’s not pain in a stomach but in a belly".

  • "[…] I must also say that my husband was called up […] he was in […] he worked for a tailor, but he was called up to Warsaw, he had to learn different culture, not the Western culture. Different drill and everything. And fiancé was also from my cousin, she was one and a half year older than me […] but he died later, she married again. But he was also with him, from Gogołowa and they both went to Warsaw [….] There were tents in which they lived, officers were in Warsaw. And they had to rebuild Warsaw. But they also wanted to teach them drill, like in Russia and in the Soviet Union. […]".

  • "[…] My mom and father spoke German well because they were taught […] because Germany, Prussia was here, therefore, they were taught German. They could speak Silesian well. And my mother also spoke Polish well because she read a lot. Although it was a thatched house […] my mother’s brother looked after everything. He was very talented and he read […] Polish books. Słowacki, Mickiewicz, the one who wrote „God is born, great powers tremble” […] We had all these books in the attic, and the new ones [ …] or Prus’ books".

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    Jastrzębie Zdrój - Szeroka, Polska, 01.06.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 01:56:12
    media recorded in project Silesia: Memory of multiethnic Region
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I survived and still live

Maria  Kuś
Maria Kuś
photo: Ośrodek Pamięć i Przyszłość

Maria Kuś, nee Gajda, was born on September 8, 1931 in Gogołowa, currently the part of Wodzisław District. She comes from Catholic working-class family. Her father run his own carpenter’s workshop and had the tile of master carpenter and trained people for a profession of a carpenter. Mother was a housewife; she spoke Polish and German, although they spoke Silesian dialect at her house. Maria spent her childhood in the village, grandparents played an important role in her life. Mrs Kuś’s father and uncle fought in the Silesian Uprising. During the Second World War, Maria attended German school and middle school. Father was discharged from the military service. After the war, Maria attended Administration and Economics Secondary School in Rybnik. She passed a secondary school-leaving exam in 1950. She soon married Józef Kuś - a locksmith. She knew him since childhood. They built a house in Seroka, which is now the district of Jastrzębie-Zdrój, and where their three daughters were born: Janina, Zofia and Danuta. In 1971, Hard Coal Mine „Borynia” was opened near their house. Maria can speak Polish, German and Silesian dialect fluently. Józef Kuś died in 1995. Maria Kuś still lives at her house with daughter Danuta and her family.