Růžena Petrášová

* 1926

  • “I got married on the 13th, and Růža was born on the 14th, the next day. I accompanied my husband to the railway station in Budějovice, on Lannova třída – this is a wide street in Budějovice leading to the railway station. And as I walked back on the same street, it started eating me - I said it was eating me in the stomach. So I always stopped, crossed my legs, it stopped, and I went on again. I came home, and I said, ‘Mom, my back hurts.’ Mum was worried and said, ‘You know what, go tell the midwife.’ She sent me to Budějovice, but it wasn’t far, about four houses away. And she said, ‘Do you think, girl, that it is time already?’ And I told the midwife, ‘I don’t know anything about it, it’s eating me in the stomach.’ – ‘Then go home slowly.’ But immediately, she was behind me. And I was crawling on the bed. ‘You have to lie down, you have to lie down,’ well, a seventeen-year-old girl. She put her hand under my legs, then she somehow– I fell, and suddenly my daughter came out.”

  • “The next day, I immediately moved to my husband’s parents in the village of Zubčice. It was not far from Velešín. And there, they housed six American soldiers. ‘Jesus Mary, Růža, there are soldiers here,’ the mother threatened - after all, I was an eighteen-year-old young girl! Three of them came to me, they knew German, and so did I. I couldn’t understand the others. They came to the kitchen while I was helping the mother cook. They untied my apron, they flirted with me, they carried my daughter, and she held onto their hair. They jumped around the yard on their shoulders - they probably had children too, the Americans. We were getting along well, and then, there were ten black kids!”

  • “The Russians were worth nothing. That time they wanted to rape me on that bench, and thankfully, an old couple was walking there. I was there with the pram. One was already tearing my clothes, unbuttoning me, and the gentleman had a pocket in his shirt and wanted to whistle, and the commando would have come. They would have–they reported about it through the loudspeaker around town–they would have shot them. But I didn’t want that, I begged him. I didn’t want to see them get shot because of me. And when they saw it, they ran away, I was glad.”

  • “On 28 September, on Saint Wenceslas Day, we left because in Krumlov, the state police were our neighbours, and they cared for us and said that Krumlov would be occupied and that when they flee, we should flee as well. But my father came from Germany, and it was different there. He was there because of work. So he immediately packed our things in bags - the duvets and everything. We had everything ready. And indeed, in September on Saint Wenceslas Day, we fled, we took the train, and the state police, who lived next to us as neighbours, took our things in the car for us - the duvets, it was all packed in bags, and they dropped it off at the station in Budějovice. When we arrived there–to this day, there are two large halls in České Budějovice, one for departures and one for arrivals–there were so many people, and they were laying on the ground, everyone had knapsacks.”

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    Liberec, 31.03.2022

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The Russians were worthless. After the war, they tried to rape me in the park

Růžena Petrášová during the filming of the interview, March 2022
Růžena Petrášová during the filming of the interview, March 2022
photo: Markéta Bernatt-Reszczyńská

​​Růžena Petrášová was born on 10 April 1926 in Český Krumlov to parents Kateřina and Josef Kovář. Her mom cooked at the parsonage, her dad worked in a paper mill, and she had a three-year older brother, Josef. They lived in an apartment with their mom’s mother, grandmother Růžena, who took care of the household. The family was doing well until the occupation of the borderlands in October 1938, when Český Krumlov became part of the German Reich. Thanks to the warning of their neighbours, they left Český Krumlov for České Budějovice by train before the occupation of the Sudetenland on Saint Wenceslas Day on 28 September 1938. The Germans were shooting at the train they were in. In České Budějovice, they found an apartment on Nová Street, where the witness went to school. She had to leave the town school in the 4th grade because it was taken over by the Germans. She then trained to be a seamstress at a local salon. At the age of 17, she met her brother’s friend, a soldier in the government army, whom she married the day before her daughter was born in May 1944. After the war, two Russian soldiers tried to rape her in a park in České Budějovice, so she went to live with her husband’s parents in Zubčice near Velešín. In their barn, they housed six American soldiers who treated her well. After the war, she and her husband moved to Týn u Sokolova, where her husband (as a soldier) became the chairman of the national committee. After some time, he was transferred to Liberec, where the family found a new home. The witness devoted herself to sewing at home and raised her daughter Růžena and son Bohumil. She was widowed in 1971 and did not remarry. In 2022, she lived in Liberec in the Senior Citizens’ Home in the Františkov district.