Anastasia Pistola

* 1929  

  • “There was a great lake before us. On the one side was Greece, on the other, Yugoslavia. There was a flat stretch there. Where now? So we went to the border. The Yugoslavs didn’t let us through. They said we could either fight on those hundred metres, or come closer but leave our guns behind. So we had a clear area ahead of us, not a single tree. How were we to fight there? On that level ground? We already had bullets whizzing between our feet. So we went to Yugoslavia. We left our guns there and went to Yugoslavia.”

  • “We went into a fight in Greece. The place where I was had this little knoll, and that’s where I fought. There were bombs falling from the sky and the like. It was devoid of trees at the top, so I was lying there, keeping watch so that no one came at us from above. Well, and when I heard there was a bomb falling, I put my gun on the ground and my head on top of it. And I waited to see where it fell. If it’d be close by, right on my head, or higher up. Back then it fell some ten fifteen metres up the slope. Because one piece of shrapnel came down between my head and ears. It whizzed through. I was wearing an army hat on my head. It ripped that up and went down my back. I had a pack there, with a bit of bread inside and a German hand grenade. That was on my back. The shrapnel tore through the hat, through my ear, and into the pack, into that bomb. But it didn’t explode, it didn’t get inside. ”

  • “I sat there waiting for some plane to fly up because a plane would always fly up in the morning and throw something on us. It did that because we were there, so they could bomb us. It dropped something there that boomed and gave off smoke. So I did that job a few times, but I never hit it. Well, and that’s where they bombed us. I was on duty, but I was just relieved by the other bloke. He manned it, I went off to rest. I had hardly reached the bunker, my head was still sticking out, when they bombed the machine and killed that boy.”

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    Ostrava, 25.07.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 02:53:39
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I went into the mountains to fight. I believed we would have a better life

Portrét, rok 2018
Portrét, rok 2018
photo: autorka natáčení

Anastasia Pistola was born on 18 February 1929 in Greece. When she was nine years old, her father was killed by Bulgarian soldiers. She lost her two older brothers in the war. She was left to look after her ill mother and her younger brother. They lived in poverty in a village by the Greek-Yugoslavian border. When the civil war broke out in Greece, she fled to Yugoslavia with her mother and brother. She then returned to Greece and fought in the mountains with the partisans against government forces. She survived a bombing raid, injury; she served in a unit that targeted aeroplanes. When the partisans were defeated, she and her comrades in arms retreated to Yugoslavia. She tried to find her mother and brother but discovered that they had been accepted as refugees in Czechoslovakia. Because she refused to stay and work in Yugoslavia, she was briefly imprisoned there. In the end, she and other former partisans were accepted by Hungary in 1952. In 1956 she succeeded in reaching Czechoslovakia. She found her brother but discovered that her mother had already died. She settled down in Ostrava where her husband, another former Greek partisan, was employed in construction work. In 1984 she and her husband returned to Greece, but after his death she moved back to Ostrava, where her son and daughter live.