Marie Saettlerová

* 1933  

  • “And do you know what we had to do? When there was some event at school and we were standing outside, they told us some things, and God forbid if we didn’t hold our hand out front. I got a slap. I didn’t put my hand out, and I got one straight away.”

  • “But we were frightened [with her sister staying with strangers in the countryside]; they had a cow, and we legged it when the cow went mooo because we thought those were the sirens starting up again, so we legged it into the cellar. And then they asked, what are you doing there? I said, it’s the siren blaring again. No, we’ve got a cow, she’s the one that’s blaring.”

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    Sokolov, 23.03.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:47:31
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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You can’t even imagine what we had to go through

Marie Saettlerová
Marie Saettlerová
photo: archiv pamětnice

Marie Saettlerová, née Steinerová, was born on 31 January 1933 in Autun, France. Her mother was from Czechoslovakia and looked after the house, her father was born in Luxembourg to parents of Czech origin and worked as a miner. In 1936 the family moved to Homerg, an urban district of Duisburg in Germany, as her father had found employment there. Marie started primary school and experienced the war there. She remembers the pleasant pre-war days spent with her parents and siblings on the banks of the Rhine and the fear she felt during the frequent bombings of the industrial Duisburg. From 1942 to 1944 the witness and her sister were evacuated from Homberg and stayed with strangers in a farm near Ulm, where she attended school and also helped with the chores. The only member of her family to die during the war was her cousin Buby, who served in a submarines that was sunk by the Allies. In 1946 the family returned to Czechoslovakia to Lomnice. The witness found employment at a spinning mill, where she remained until her retirement. In 1955 she married the Sudeten German Richard Saettler; the couple moved to the village of Radvanov and had two children. She experienced the gradual abandonment and demolition of the village. In 1968 she went to visit relatives in Germany with her daughter; her husband and older son were not allowed to go with them. Marie Saettlerová now lives with her daughter in Sokolov.