Olga Michalová

* 1930  

  • “My father found out that they were already bringing Czechs from Poland to Czechoslovakia. So we would also go. In 1946 we went from Poland to Czechoslovakia. In August we came to Stod. Before that we spent several days in Pilsen (Plzeň) in a railway carriage. As they were allocating Czechs to several different places. As there was this whole train of Czechs that just came.”

  • “They told my father: 'You will go to Berlin'. And my father said: 'Well, I'm old.' They took men up to forty. We lost our documents. Our luggage was stolen. My father declared that he was forty. So he declared that he was a yer older than he was. He was born in 1906. He told Russians that he was born in 1905. And it was the same in Czechia. And because of that they didn't take him to Berlin.”

  • “The Red army showed up and they had begun to plunder. That was bad indeed. I liked to go to the train station to watch. I was already eight and half years old. Various trucks had been coming there. They would load them and unload. And train cars were coming from Ukraine from which these wretched people were emerging. Some of them were dead so they just took them out. They were hungry. There was famine in Ukraine.”

  • “In the mid September Soviet army came to us. I remember tanks going through our street followed by soldiers. Some of them didn't even have boots. They had just foot wraps. My father was a shoemaker. We had a workshop. He said: 'We will have a bad time. If all the soldiers don't have boots, that will be bad.”

  • “They took me as well. They came for me. There were three cars full of them. They took me to Cheb. They arrested me. I spent few days in jail. They interrogated me. I told them that they had to understand that I just couldn't send my husband away after he came back. I didn't go with him. He left towards the morning. It happened in a single day. They were asking me why I didn't denounce him. I couldn't do that. So I spent two days in prison. They wrote a statement and wanted me to sign it way down bellow the text. I asked them why I had to sign it so down bellow. I wanted to sign right under the text they wrote. 'No, no, madam. Sign it right here. So I had to sign it way much down bellow. And maybe the added something without me knowing.”

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    v Plzni, 23.06.2020

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Every government is God-given

Olga Michalová in 1950
Olga Michalová in 1950
photo: Archiv pamětnice.

Olga Michalová was born on December 26th 1930 in the city of Rovno, Volhynia, in the then Poland. She was born into a family of Vilém Dušek, a shoemaker, and his wife, Ludmila, being the oldest of their six daughters. Her family descended from the emigres who left the country after the Battle of White Mountain, finding refuge in Poland. In 1936, Olga started to attend the Henryk Sienkiewicz school. In mid-September of 1939, she witnessed occupation of the eastern part of Poland by the Red Army. She saw soviet soldiers looting. Her family lost their possessions to the Communists and they were banned from attending services at a Protestant church. They also suffered from food shortages. In summer of 1940, the Dušek family left the Soviet zone and moved to the village of Pabianice near Lodz on the territory occupied by the Germans. There they had experienced better living conditions. Her father had to work in the German shoe-making factory in Gorzów – Landsberg. Olga took care of her younger siblings and helped her mother in these difficult times. In January 1945 Pabianice had been taken by the Red Army. Olga survived fighting and looting herself hidden in a shelter. In summer 1946 the Dušek family accepted an offer of repatriation and went to Czechoslovakia by train. Until 1948 the family managed to farm the land in Lisov near Stod. Olga had been studying at a housekeeper school in Stod from 1945 to 1948. As the family had no experience in agriculture they relocated to Aš in 1948. Olga had been working as a seamstress. While working she graduated from a technical school and later had been working as an estimator at a directorate. In 1949 she married Václav. Her husband left for the West in 1950. He came back for Olga twice yet she refused to leave the country. On his second run, he had been arrested by the State Security. He had been sentenced for 23 years in prison. Olga had been interrogated for two days, then she was released. On September 11th 1951 she witnessed the mass escape across the border by train in Aš (the so-called Freedom Train). After visiting him in Leopoldov prison for seven years Olga divorced Václav. In 1961 she married Josef Michal. After the wedding she converted to the Union of Brethren Baptists. In 1966 she adopted an eight month old baby from an orphanage with her husband. She moved to Cheb with her new family and has been living there since 2020.