"My mum so decided because we got the news that they would come in the morning and burn down the whole village. My mum got scared. She insisted on us leaving for the mountains. My dad didn't want to go. He wanted to go to the lowlands. But my mum didn't. He went with us. There were more of us, fleeing to the mountains. All our property stayed in Greece. We had some blankets with us, otherwise, all was left behind. We were in the mountains and my mum was pregnant. The guerrilla fighters came over, drafting guys to the army. My dad told them they should let him cross the border so that he could see whether the child would be a boy or a girl. They replied that either he'd go with them or they'd shoot him dead. So he had to go."
"It was hard. At first, she let our cousin stay at our place. In the morning, as we got up, neither our mum nor the cousin were there anymore. He was supposed to take care of us. So I went to the pub and scrounged for food to feed my little siblings. This is the way we did it. Then the administration came to realize our mum was gone, so they placed us in an orphanage."
"When I sat with my girlfriends or when people asked me about how had I gotten here, I would say that we emigrated the same way others do today. However, now it is the young people fleeing. Back then, it was only the elderly and children. What I see on TV is all just young, muscular boys. If they want something, they should stay at home and get things in order there. This is what I think."
Mum left us behind and returned to Greece to fight
Eleni Mikušová (née Stambolidu) was born on 24 July 1938 in the village of Kavalari, Greece. In the fall of 1946, her mother fled with her and her two siblings the civil war to Macedonia. Her father Moisis Stambolidis fought in the guerilla units. Her mother Kleopatra Stambolidu gave birth to another child in Macedonia, then left all four of her children behind and returned to Greece. She wanted to fight and also look for her husband. She never managed the latter; and the fate of Moisis Stambolidis remains unknown. Eleni and her three siblings were stranded hungry and penniless in Macedonia. They were split apart and placed in children’s homes. In 1949, they were brought to Czechoslovakia as part of a project helping Greek children who lost their parents in the civil war. Up until fifteen years of age, Eleni lived in various homes in Bohemia and Moravia. In 1951, her mother came to Czechoslovakia, settled in the Jeseníky region and with the help of the Red Cross, managed to find her four children. Eleni spent her entire life working in blue-collar jobs, such as welding or building housing projects. She got married and gave birth to two sons. She had always strived to be the family she never gotten to know to her younger siblings, their children and grandchildren.