We had to adapt and survive
Libuše Rudkovská, née Čížková, was born on 13 April 1925 in the Czech-German village of Ivanoviče (near Žitomir) in Volhynia. She came from a family of Volhynian Czechs, her grandparents from both sides had emigrated to Ukraine in the late 19th century. The Čížeks at first tended to their own land in a secluded spot near the village, in the 1930s they were forced to move to the village centre and join the local kolkhoz, where her father worked as a veterinary physician and her mother as a day care nurse for the kolkhozite children. In 1937 her father was arrested during the Stalinist purges, he died from an infection during the war. Libuše had two older brothers, who both fought in the Red Army during the war. The Germans displaced Libuše and her mother to the nearby village of Vydumka, only the intervention of a friend saved her from forced labour in Germany. She married and bore two daughters. In 1947 she and her family re-emigrated to Czechoslovakia and settled in Tisá in the Ústec District, where she gave birth to another two daughters. She spent several years at home with her children before gaining employment in the Koh-i-Noor pencil factory. She divorced in 1966 and moved to Horní Slavkov, where she lives to this day. She earned her living in local firms, Geologický průzkum and Cheza (chemical plant), she worked as a guard. She retired in 1979. Even as a pensioner she helped out as a guard at the KOZAK and Cheza plants.