Vincenc Langer

* 1934

  • “What a room it was: no table, only a crate. And they ate like that for almost a year until they got a table. They sit on those crates and ate. They were poor fellows. It mattered what the Germans were like, where they arrived.”

  • “Some farmers always offered them to take their backpacks, they took a hay wagon and loaded it for them. In Ústí where Perla was, on the left there is a street, nowadays there is a bus station, well, there, just a little further there was a long wooden house. It belonged to Perla, but I am not sure what it was called during the time it belonged to Germany. They waited there for even a week until a railway carriage or a train was prepared to board them. From that house they had to walk.”

  • “It was a poorhouse. Six families lived there. One old woman and some old married couples and others had children. We never heard they would argue. On the contrary, they always invited us to their house. They had benches there and in the evening people always gathered there. My mom tried to feed the stock on time to go there and they took me into their circle as well and they chatted outside. At that time, there were no radios yet.”

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    Dolní Libchavy, 13.07.2021

    duration: 02:14:17
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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My mom packed backpacks and we waited whether we will be expelled

Vincenc Langer, 1952
Vincenc Langer, 1952
photo: archiv pamětníka

Vincenc Langer was born on 8 March 1934 in Dolní Libchavy near Ústí nad Orlicí. His father Josef was of a German nationality and worked as a weaver, his mother was of a Czech nationality and was a housewife. Until the war, there were good relations between local Czechs and Germans, the relatives often visited each other. Vincenc Langer had three older siblings: Miloslav, Marie and Josef. In October 1938 the village became part of the Third Reich and two years later Vincenc started to visit a German school. Until the fifth grade he sat next to the daughter of the local mayor who in the end of the war killed his whole family and committed suicide because of fear of war revenge. Vincenc’s brother Miloslav was enlisted into the German army in 1942 and in March 1945 he died in the war. After the war the family waited with packed backpacks whether they will be expelled or not. Meanwhile, new Czech tenants moved into vacant houses in Libchavy. For few days, expelled Germans walked through the village to the train station in Ústí where they departed for Germany. In autumn 1946, the Langers were relieved when they learned that they as a mixed marriage can definitively stay. But with a heavy heart they said goodbye to expelled friends, schoolmates and their aunt. Most of the German inhabitants were expelled. In autumn 1946 Vincenc started the sixth grade at a Czech school. In 1949–1952 he was apprenticed as a joiner. In 1953 he started his compulsory military service but because of his problems with eyesight he spent there only five months. In 1956 he got married and with his wife Stanislava (1939–2009) they raised two children. He worked in a wood processing company and in 1965–1985 he worked as a school caretaker at an elementary school in Libchavy. In 2021 he lived in Libchavy.