Mgr. Milada Machů

* 1934  

  • „In the 1950s when the nationalization was on, my father had up to about ten employees, I think. He still believed that the mill would not be nationalized, not be taken by the state. Mr Šerý, the owner of the mill, gave him the power of atttorney, to make a decision. He said they would not nationalize it because they went gradually up to fifty employees etc. in nationalizing properties. Well, his turn came, my father refused and there was an argument. They used a made up accusation that he did some “illegal milling of flour“ which had been forbidden and the Communists arrested him again. Again imprisoned him in Uherské Hradiště. There his acquaintance Mr Tarabus, I had mentioned before, helped him. He was allowed to work in the kitchen as a cook. Once as he was being taken to the kitchen by a prison guard, he could see that Mr – can I speak about this? – Grebeníček, the father of today´s Member of Parliament if he still holds the post, I am not sure, had all his inmates standing in front of their prison cells to be checked in the morning. They had to turn to be facing the wall and as he was walking on, he grabbed each of them by the nape and banged the prisoners´ heads hard once or twice against the wall. My father was shocked to see that. Very much. When he told this to us before his death – you will understand why I felt so much scared.“

  • „I grew up in a relatively well-to-do family, considering the situation then, which also had an influence on my schoolmates´ behaviour towards me at elementary school. They always knew how to remind me of my different and higher social status. I started school right before the beginning of WWII. In the village of Bylnice there was terrible poverty because there was no work for the parents of my schoolmates. There was only a local sawmill and no other industry, nothing in that time. So, I have to admit that my classmates often asked me for a piece of homemade cake which my mother, coming from a mill, was very good at making. I often had an impression that they were trying to gain my friendship in exchange for something to eat, for a piece of grub, as we would say then.“

  • “My father didn´t speak much about his painful experiences. He kept them buried inside. From there (from interrogations in Brno), he was sent to a labour camp in Auschwitz. I say “Thank God“ in inverted commas because there was also an extermination camp and whoever got to the extermination camp, had no, absolutely no chance of return. There he made use of his knowledge of machinery and was an organizer among the members of the Sokol Movement. He even remembered that they had made a „hadřák“, a ball made of rags. Before they escorted them out of the shags where they slept to the places of work, they played with this „hadřák.“ Once a kapo with his whip came in. He is looking at them asking – What are you doing? My father replied that they were killing time before they were taken to the gas chambers – and in the meantime playing football. He couldn´t understand this and wanted to hit my father with his whip but didn´t manage as my father jumped quickly sideways. The kapo then left dissatisfied. These are the stories that stayed with me and I think of my father with a bit of nostalgia and admiration that he could behave like that.“

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    Újezd u Valašských Klobouk, 03.03.2018

    duration: 41:28
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I do not regret anything

Milada Machů, portrait, Slavičín 1945
Milada Machů, portrait, Slavičín 1945
photo: archiv pamětnice

    Milada Machů was born as Milada Holbová on 7th January 1934 at Bylnice near Valašské Klobouky. Her father was a miller, a hard working man respected by the local community. As an active member of the Sokol Movement, he was imprisoned for two years during WWII. Although he returned home from Auschwitz with his health totally devastated, very soon he took part in the activities of the Alfa (Rada tří organization) anti-Nazi resistance group. The witness also secretly helped in the resistance movement - she distributed messages and leaflets. After the February 1948 Communist coup, her father was arrested, imprisoned and released after two years without a trial. The witness could become a teacher only with difficulties. She completed her distance studies for upper primary level and all her active professional life worked as a teacher at the Basic School at Újezd.