Štefanie Táborská

* 1950

  • “When the lady let me go, I put my dress in a plastic bag. I had one or two dresses with me, I didn’t have any more dresses to change into. So I took that, I can see myself today with a hop and a skip I ran all the way home and an hour later I was home. At home, dad was waiting, his cart heaped up with dung. When I got home, I changed, then Grandpa harnessed the cows and they sent me off to lead the dung cart.”

  • “This man came along from Timișoara, looking for girls to come serve. The Hrůza family had an uncle – then it was the mountains [work in the mines] – and he took the miners. He brought that man, looking for a girl to look after his little boy at home. He brought him home to us. Here in Moldova I got 150 lei, that man gave me 50 more, so my mother sent me all the way to Timișoara. You can’t imagine how much I cried there.”

  • “When I was fourteen, my parents had no money. They tilled and worked on the field with the cows. How much milk could a cow like that give after tilling the whole day. But what our mum had, two or three eggs, a little cream, milk, she put it in a bag and went to Moldova Nouă to sell it. It wouldn’t buy a kilo of sugar, perhaps a quarter or half a kilo […]” – “And she walked all the way to Moldova?” – “She walked. And there she found a woman with a small child. Back then there weren’t creches or kindergartens, so they took the girls from Svatá Helena. They trusted these were Czechs who didn’t steal, so they took us to look after their children.”

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    Svatá Helena, Rumunsko, 21.10.2021

    duration: 01:50:10
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From the age of fourteen she served in Romanian families

Štefanie Táborská, 2021
Štefanie Táborská, 2021
photo: Post Bellum

Štefanie Táborská, née Šíbalová, was born on January 7, 1950 in the Czech village of Svatá Helena (Sfânta Elena) in Romanian Banat. She grew up in very poor circumstances, her parents Anna and Rudolf made their living as small farmers. She was originally one of four daughters of her parents, but two of her sisters died shortly after birth. In Svatá Helena she attended the local school, completed four years and then helped her parents on the farm. From the age of fourteen she served and took care of children in Romanian families, first of all with her older sister Anna in Moldova Nouă and shortly thereafter in Timișoara, where she ran away and went back home. In 1967 she married Václav Táborský, in other words at the age of seventeen. Her husband worked in the mines, while our witness looked after the farm and brought up the children. Her older sister Anna moved to Žatec after 1989, where she has now settled permanently. The witness was living in Svatá Helena at the time of recording (October 2021).