Marie Rechtigová

* 1927  

  • “What with the street fighting there. They started getting violent, looting shops, but I can’t blame them, and we got in line on the platform from which the transport to Czechoslovakia was supposed to leave. That was somewhere on the main avenue. I know we saw the [people] marching, and there was a pharmacy there, that was the pharmacist’s flat. We had access to pads, and there was a kitchenette there. There were a lot of us in the room, we had a spot where they used to have a piano; otherwise, there were some pregnant women, but we each had our own nook.”

  • “And then Jarka started to have loose motions. There was a house at one stop, a German lady lived there, and she came downstairs and said she had some rice that she was saving for her son, when he comes back from the army, but that I should better give it to Jarka. But where could I cook the broth? So she made it for us. Then later we were in a wood somewhere, and there was a horse there, and our group reckoned we’d make some food out of the horse, but there was a bomb inside it, and several people died there.”

  • “I was in a high fever, it was cold, he covered Jarka with his raincoat, me with his trench coat, he had Jarka in front of him, and he pulled behind him on a cart that he’d stolen somewhere. And in that way we arrived at the station, there they put us in a cattle wagon, it was no trouble for the men, but it was very problematic for the women, we’d go for a little bit and then stop. We came to Ostrava on the first of June and got married.”

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    Uherské Hradiště, 08.11.2015

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    duration: 03:41:50
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My daughter almost died on the way home

authentic photo
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photo: vlastní

Marie Rechtigová was born on 24 January 1927 in Warsaw. She had one sister, Stefanie, who died at a young age. Her childhood was impacted by the war and the Nazi occupation of Poland. The house in Warsaw where her family lived was destroyed at the beginning of the war, and the family moved to nearby Pruszków. The witness attended school, but in 1942 it was raided by the Nazis and all the children were taken by force to Stutthof concentration camp in northern Poland, near Gdańsk. Marie Rechtigová was later sent to forced labour in Germany, and she worked at the IG Farben factory in Berlin. She tried to escape with a friend once, but the police discovered them on a train. After a brief stay in prison she was sent back to work at the factory. She met her future husband, Jaroslav Rechtig, in Berlin, where he was also assigned to forced labour. They begot a child, and in April 1945 she secretly gave birth to a daughter, Jarka. After the war she and her husband and baby daughter set off on foot to Czechoslovakia, to her husband’s native Moravian Slovakia. They journey from Berlin was very difficult, their daughter fell ill on the way and almost died. They arrived in Staré Město near Uherské Hradiště after more than a fortnight of travelling on foot and in cattle wagons. The family settled down in Staré Město and later moved to Uherské Hradiště. Marie Rechtigová and her husband raised seven children. She never moved back to her native Warsaw. After her husband’s death she continues to live in Uherské Hradiště.