Jevgenie Ružečko

* 1926

  • “How it all actually began here? – Well, we no longer know exactly, but I remember something from what our parents told us... about their arrival here and how they settled here; they had to cut down the forest and construct the houses. They were coming here in horse-driven wagons all the way from Bohemia, and later they brought over their families with them. And they began building farms… Those who wanted to settle here were given lots here, in the mountains and forests, and they were taking over the areas down from here, all the way to Cemdolina. They had their own forest, and fields, where they were sowing wheat, and later they had cows, and they were working on their farms. They lived well, because it was all theirs. They were working on their land and building houses, but it took a long time, depending on the money they had, or if they had a forest, for example.”

  • “When were the kolkhozes established? Kolkhozes were here in 1930. In 1929 or 1930. Many people came… All of a sudden they took the men and sent them to Siberia. Nobody knows what for, and some of them died there in Siberia. – They liked me, and still they imprisoned me! – That was what our uncle used to say, he used to work there in the kolkhoz at the time when it was being formed. He worked there as a scribe, or something like that. But suddenly they arrested him and sent him away, and nobody knows how or why. Two men came in the evening and they shot his wife, and his son, and they arrested him. I don’t even know why they killed the woman. I don’t know what happened exactly, but they came, and she kept her door unlocked, people did not lock the doors at that time, and they came and shot her and arrested him, and when the poor man returned, he said. They liked me so much and then they imprisoned me! (He has returned? And how long did he spent there? ) I don’t remember this. My dad told me about it, but I don’t remember when he returned. And there were many people who have not returned at all.”

  • “That’s the way it was. We have endured a lot. When grandpa was seventeen, he was drafted to the army… Tell them about it yourself, why should I talk about you? They took them to Ukraine, they were in Crimea, and in Crimea he got drafted to the army, to the Russian army… Where did you serve? In Buzuluk? Or where? – To the Czech army! – Yes, and from there you were taken to the Czech army. – They invited us to the army committee and I was seventeen. They told me: ´You are too young, we cannot take you.´ There was also a representative of the Czech army. He told me: ´You will go to the Russian army a year later anyway, so why don’t you join the Czech army instead?´ Well, it didn’t make a difference to me, and so I agreed that I would join the Czech army. So that was how I got drafted to the Czech army. – What Czechs were there? –There was Ludvík Svoboda. And then, that was already in March 1945, I got to serve president Beneš. I served as his guard while he was in Košice. His residents were in Košice and the president was in England, and when he arrived to Košice, we served as his bodyguards. And when Prague was liberated and the war was over, they took us to Prague. They offered us to work as president’s bodyguards for the following five years. Five years?! The war was now over and I should serve five more years there? No. Not for me. They eventually transferred us to the Ministry of Defence. The ministry is located in Prague-Dejvice. We served us guards for the ministry building, and then we stayed in the barracks in Ruzyně for some time, that’s where the airport is, and then they transported us home. – What did they propose to you? – L.R.: They told us, don’t go back home, we will give you apartments here. There were Germans in the villages there. The Germans had settled there when they had occupied the Czechs. They lived in their villages and had their apartments there and everything. They were then given twenty-four hours to leave. The same in Prague. German houses were thus available. The Germans left and we were told: if you wish, stay here in the city, or you can live in a village. They put guards to the houses which had been vacated by the Germans and which were now empty so that nobody would go inside… and then they went there themselves! (And you didn’t stay?) No, I didn’t want to. Some people did stay there. One from Kirillka village stayed there. And some people from Methodejka as well. There were quite a lot of them.”

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    Kirillovka u Novorossijsku, 17.05.2009

    duration: 23:28
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Cyril lived there, and Metoděj over there, there were Czech villages everywhere

Jevgenie Ružečko
Jevgenie Ružečko
photo: Pamět Národa - Archiv

  Jevgenie Ružečko (Růžičková, née Jasanová) is a Czech native from the northern Caucasus. She was born in 1926 in Kirillovka near Novorossiysk. At the end of the German occupation of the Caucasian Black Sea coast in 1943, she and her family were sent for forced labour to Crimea, where she briefly stayed in the Czech village Čechohrad. After her return to Kirillovka in 1945 she was working in the fields, in the vineyards and as a worker in the cement mill in the nearby village Gajduk. She married Leonid Ružečko (Růžička) who came from Kirillovka and they had three children. She was a housewife until 1960 and then she spent the following twenty years working as an operator in a fuel depot. She knows a lot about the history of the Czech community near Novorossiysk from stories told by her parents and she vividly recounts her and her husband’s experiences from the era of World War II. She speaks the Czech dialect fluently, and she also uses it to communicate with her children and grandchildren (her great-grandchildren no longer understand Czech).