Olga Sitařová

* 1926  †︎ 2020

  • O. S.: “Well, to cut a long story short, we came by car, the car stood there and everybody had fled… But I didn’t know… well, I just didn’t know… I was perplexed and didn’t know what to do. The two brigades ran into each other… they clashed and that’s why there were so many dead. A girlfriend of mine, I have no idea how this happened, was down, she was severely wounded. One of the girls was on the car and had her fingers torn away, another friend was a bit farther away and his brain was gushing out of his head. He was dead. And I stood there, I don’t know why, leaning with my chest on my rifle, and looking at all this…all of a sudden, somebody screams. And as I stood there, I saw Germans advancing all over the place. They were coming from the forest. We were too far behind enemy lines. Suddenly it hit the car and I felt a cold on my hip. I grabbed my hip to find out why I’m so cold there and I found out that the explosion tore away my clothes on my hip. I had an overcoat and a broad belt with a small lion. It all cracked and I was basically all naked. And nothing happened to me – I was unharmed.” Interviewer: “You were unharmed?” O. S.: “No. So I jumped down that car and ran where everybody was running. And that second lieutenant was standing there. So I told her that my friend is wounded and needs help. She told me to take her to the wounded. I took her where my friend, Mrázková, was lying. She wrapped her up and they put her on a stretcher and took her away. Then we came down and there were already two girlfriends of mine standing there. There was a house and an alley. We hid in that tiny house and I was holding the hand of Jakubovská – that was the one that later got killed. A mine hit the house and a splinter hit her leg and bore a little hole in it. She fainted as I was holding her there. And then I don’t remember anymore. They took her from me, the nurses, because we weren’t trained as stretcher bearers. So they had to do it themselves. And she died. Actually both of them died.” Interviewer: “That Libuše Mrázková?” O. S.: “And Růžena Jakubovskejch.” Interviewer: “That was the story you told me?” O. S.: “Yes. And the third one was killed somewhere else. It all happened on that day.” Interviewer: “And how did it happen? You were hit…?” O. S.: “We got too far ahead into the German’s territory and then we had to retreat. We had to retreat a bit and then came reinforcements, which, I guess, held our position.” Interviewer: “The splinter was in the leg of…” O. S.: “Jakubovská. And Mrázková was wounded twice after each other and she must have bled to death. The last time I saw her, she was lying next to the car…”

  • O. S.: “I worked in the rolling mills of Chomutov in the quality control section. I spent many years there. And then I had health trouble for a long time. I had pancreatitis, an inflammation and was unable to work anymore. So I went into retirement.” Interviewer: “Here in Chomutov, after the war, Germans were living here right? They were expatriated after the war. Wasn’t it a bit bleak here after the war?” O. S.: “Well, I don’t know. My husband was a musician and he played a lot of music. He played since he was 15 years old. He played in a folk band and he even went to music contests in Prague and abroad.” Interviewer: “Did he make a living with it?” O. S.: “No, he didn’t. He drove a car. He was a long-distance driver; he went abroad…”

  • O. S.: “I can’t say that we were poor, because we had everything we needed. We had enough food, we could go to school, and we even went on school trips. We would go on school trips or organize competitions. I didn’t live in poverty there. It only started to be bad when the Ukrainian nationalists came and started to wreak havoc.” Interviewer: “How do you recall the activities of the nationalists?” O. S.: “Well, it was rather bad, because I was alone at home and couldn’t lock the door. They came and asked me if I was afraid. I said no, you’re keeping an eye on me. If they had found that Polish girl, they would have burned the house down and killed the whole family, that’s what they did to people. Some people ended badly there, when they had a mixed family, they suffered a bad fate.” Interviewer: “But you were not hurt.” O. S.: “No, they didn’t hurt me.” Interviewer: “And the Polish girl, the wife of your brother, she was hiding there? O. S.: “She had to move to the city, to Dubno, because the nationalists weren’t present in the city. They mostly lived in the rural areas, in huge forests where they had their cottages. They came out of the forest and to our village where they took whatever they could get their hands on. For example, they took a heifer to have some meat. They took everything, mostly food and corn. They usually came at night. And during the day came the Russians, after they had marched in. They also took everything they could. These were difficult times, war times.”

  • O. S.: “It wasn’t a nice time; we only got a flat in Slovakia and till then, we had to live in dugouts half-way buried under the ground. It was cold and it snowed and rained a lot and you had to be dressed up warm all the time cause it was so cold.” Interviewer: “And you were separated from the men?” O. S.: “No we weren’t; it was all mixed up. It’s impossible to separate the soldiers in war. They kind of did this in the rear but I was constantly in the front lines and you can’t separate the combatants at the battlefront. There, you were just a soldier, no other differences were made. You had to carry your rifle and I did. We had to be patrol and I did. I got the same treatment as anybody else.” Interviewer: “Did you ever have to shoot somebody?” O. S.: “No, well I would have to if… but I probably wouldn’t. But I was good at shooting, we had to shoot a lot when we were training. But I don’t know if I would shoot somebody… I wasn’t in the situation.”

  • “Well, we are from the village, four women, well I was just a girl then and we went to Rovno to visit them. We were bringing them some cake, you know. That’s where I learned about the recruitment. I found out that they’re enlisting girls as well as boys. And I thought to myself why should I stick at home when the Ukrainian nationalists are raging in my village. At least I’d get to Czechoslovakia sooner. That was the reason I went to Rovno to sign up for the army. I went to the doctor; I was alright. So I enrolled and then came a truck and took us right to the battle lines, which ran at Sadagury to Romania and there they gave us the uniforms and we were trained. I was trained as a radio operator so I learned the Morse code and we were trained as soldiers and then we left for the battle field.”

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    Chomutov, 28.08.2009

    duration: 01:33:28
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I wouldn’t go to war again, of course not

sitarova1945.jpg (historic)
Olga Sitařová

Olga Sitařová, née Černá, was born on January 5, 1926 in the Czech village Dlouhé Pole in Volhynia. Both of her parents died when she was a little child and since then she was raised by her uncle and aunt, the Nedbálkovi (their three sons died in the war). She voluntarily joined the army of general Svoboda (the recruitment was in Rovno), participated in battles at Krosno, Machnówka, Dukla, in Slovakia and Moravia. After the war, she briefly stayed in the army in Brandýs nad Labem, then she lived with her husband (a driver and musician) in Chomutov. She worked in the quality control department of the rolling mills in Chomutov and later went into disability retirement. She died on October 27, 2020.