“The noise they made was terrible – they were slamming the doors in our house in the middle of the night. We woke up and didn’t know what was going on. They were merciless: ‘hurry up, hurry up’. My mom wanted to take at least some clothes but everything was falling out of her shaky hands. It was terrible! We had only what we were wearing. We didn’t manage to take any food. Some families had some food with them because they had more time. It differed from case to case. Some kids had a blanket with them but I had only the clothes I wore on me. That was all I had.”
“He wore the infamous green uniform and had high boots. He was in charge of the selection. He held a stick in his hand and lashed it nervously against his boots every now and then. He would point his stick at somebody’s shoulder and make him stand up. He chose six of us girls and additionally Vašek Hanfovic because his sisters were among the six chosen girls and they had promised their mom that they would take care of him. So surprisingly, he was chosen as the seventh child. We children had no idea why they chose us – only later did we find out that it was due to their racial policies, that we conformed to their ideals of a Nordic race. They thought we would make good Germans after re-education. They were mostly choosing blue-eyed and blond kids but I was chosen even though I wasn’t blond. I don’t know why they chose me but at least I had a little luck, survived and was able to return.”
“I stayed with the Knorr family and they then took me to the Ministry of the Interior. At the Ministry, I was interrogated again and then I was allowed to visit my mom who was in the hospital. They bought me a bouquet of crimson-colored gillyflowers and took me to her room in the hospital. We recognized each other immediately but there was a problem in communication. They had to give us an interpreter. Of course, the first thing my mom wanted to know was what had happened to my brother. But I didn’t know at that time. The information about my brother’s death came much later. They found some documents saying he was executed. The reunion with my mom was in August, 1946, and she died four months later, on 9 December, 1946. So there wasn’t really much time we could spend together. Additionally, I could only visit her once in two weeks because of her poor health and high risk of infection. She had open tuberculosis in a very advanced and severe stage, there was no chance of her being cured, even the doctors admitted it and poor mom knew it. So she died on 9 December, 1946, she hadn’t even seen Lidice again. She had no idea what it looked like there. She only knew it from the photographs. The doctors wouldn’t allow a transport to Lidice – they said that it would only make her die more quickly. So that’s the story.”
“My mom is buried here at the graveyard. Whenever I go there I have to cross the Rose Orchard. I then come to the original road that led from Buštěhrad to Lidice. We lived in the first house that was in the village on that road so I always stop there. Nowadays, there’s a plate commemorating the burning down of Lidice. It reads that the Nazis set up their headquarters in our house in the night from 9 to 10 June and planned their ensuing actions from there. They expelled us from our house, set up their headquarters there and then brought in the mayor who had to give them all the police registrations. From the registrations, they knew who lived in which house and could go around the houses and check who is present and who’s missing. When I go down the road I pass the places where the houses of our neighbors used to be – Říhovic, then Mrs. Stříbrná... then there was a road leading to the fields, then Mrs. Himlová, Romová, Bendová, Kajmlová, Hroníková, Židová. Then Máry, who was the post woman. Then there was Včela... across from Včela there was the house of the Seidl family. Then there was the farm of the Horák family. It was here where the men of Lidice were executed.”
“Children get used to a new situation instantly and they’re quick in forgetting again. That’s how kids work. I think that we grew up pretty fast. It all came back to us when we had our own kids. Only then did we finally understand the horror and the depth of the tragedy that happened in Lidice.”
“All children should have their parents and a home… if this gets lost, you lose everything!”
Marie Šupíková was born on 22 August, 1932, in Lidice. Her father, Josef Doležal, worked in the Kladno steel works, her mother, Alžběta Doležalová (née Káclová), worked in the neighbour’s household. Her parents had two children, her and her older brother Josef. After the attack on Lidice on 9 June, 1942, the whole family was arrested at their house. Marie was held together with other women and children from Lidice in the grammar school building in Kladno for three days. Then she was put on a train to Polish Lódź with other children. In Lódź, she was chosen for re-education and sent to a German family. She became Ingeborg Schiller, the daughter of a German family living in Polish Poznań and later in Boizenburg in Germany. In 1946 - thanks to the activities of the Czechoslovak repatriation committee - she was reported to Czech authorities by her adoptive family and returned to Czechoslovakia in July of the same year. Her father was shot in Lidice and her mother was deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, from which she returned with broken health. She was in the care of doctors since her return and died in December 1946.
Marie lived with her aunt in Kladno-Kročehlavy where a lot of the Lidice survivors settled as well. After she finished her elementary education she studied health care at a secondary school. She became an administrative worker in 1951, moved to Ostrava and got married. Her daughter Ivana was born in 1955. The same year she moved with her family to the newly rebuilt village of Lidice. She worked for the Lidice memorial and later for the National Committee in Lidice. From December 1970 to June 1986 she was the secretary of the Lidice National Committee. She retired in 1986. She is an active member of the Czech union of freedom fighters.