Anežka Večerková

* 1932

  • "Of course, we were happy to be German. It lasted six years, and then we suffered for it. We couldn't even speak, only German. And now we had to go to a Czech school. We were given ration cards, and it read Deutsche. We didn't get anything for that, just bread and flour, but no sugar. People who were not in the party [NSDAP] had Czech tickets. We came to school, and the Czech teacher sorted us. Those who had German tickets went to one side, and those who had Czech tickets went to the other. I was in the German class where there were party members [children of NSDAP members], Reich Germans, and those who had German names. The other class was only Czech. I was thirteen years old when I went to that school, and by the time I was fourteen, I had already left. I was supposed to go for another year, but we didn't go anymore. Why? We didn't speak Czech. Before I could copy anything off the blackboard, it was horrible! And learning by heart? I couldn't. But what were we supposed to do? Definitely not learning. There was no work either. My mother went to work, so I was at home and had to help my grandmother."

  • "We didn't know what to do. There were no men in Kravaře, only women and small children. Our grandmother said to my mother: 'Come to Štítina. At least there are men there.' We had relatives there with whom we were friends. And then we walked - it was already evening, dark - along this path. Planes were already flying. My brother was riding in a stroller, and we were walking next to him. It was good that we didn't delay our departure because they [the Germans] then blew up the bridge over the Opavice river. So we crossed it. We came to Štítina, and there the bombing had started. First, the planes bombed, and then the front moved. I didn't see any German soldiers there. They were all gone. And they were already bombing. Brother Hanz was sleeping outside in his stroller. I had to tell my mother to get him. If she hadn't, he'd have been dead because a bomb fell right there. We were in a cellar, but we couldn't be there afterward. Next door lived a parler [boss of the bricklayers], Kocián, who had a beautiful cottage with high concrete cellars. We had to go there. There were 50 of us there. There was a road nearby, and around it were cottages with thatched roofs. They were all on fire. And so we were in this cellar, full of kids. They knew we were from Kravaře and only spoke German, but my mother and grandmother also spoke Moravian. We were sitting there, Brother Hanz was sick, and we thought he was going to die. And this Kocian had cows, and no woman would go up with him to milk them. So he said to my mother: 'Hilda, come with me.' And my mother went, she wasn't afraid. They milked the cows to give milk to the children."

  • "After a while, they came and opened the door and asked for the Germans. And somebody said, 'No, the Germans are not here. The Germans have left.' And that was still alright. But then it was midnight, the door opened, and the Russians came back. There was a distillery where they made potato alcohol, and they got drunk on it. The women were still laughing, and they began, 'Come here, woman, for liberation.' But the women didn't want to go. They pulled out a gun and again, 'Give it to me, woman, or I'll shoot.' So the women went. We could hear them struggling with each other. Seven soldiers, one after the other, supposedly took their turns. They didn't get off the wagon for three days. And this Kocián had two daughters, sixteen and eighteen years old. They jumped into a tub, they locked them in there, and nobody found them. There was also a woman who had a seventeen-year-old daughter, and she offered to go instead of her to the soldier. And so it was in Kravaře that mothers went instead of their daughters. They also wanted twelve-year-olds, so the mothers went instead."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Kravaře, 01.06.2023

    duration: 01:24:29
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Kravaře, 22.06.2023

    duration: 01:44:50
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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In 1938 we rejoiced to be Germans, then we suffered and struggled

Anežka Večerková, 1951
Anežka Večerková, 1951
photo: archive of Anežka Večerková

Anežka Večerková, maiden name Irziková, was born on 25 March 1932 in Kravaře in the Hlučín region. Her parents were of German nationality. Her father worked as a bricklayer in Germany from the mid-1930s. He was a member of the Nazi National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP). In October 1938, Anežka Večerková and her family welcomed the annexation of Hlučín to the German Reich. Her father had to enlist in the Wehrmacht in 1941. He returned from captivity in the autumn of 1945. She was a witness to the heavy fighting of the Ostrava-Opava operation in the Hlučín region. In the spring of 1945, she went to a Czech school for the first time after the war and began to learn Czech at 13. She married a former Wehrmacht soldier, Max Večerek from Kravaře, and had two children with him. For most of her life, she worked in the Moravian-Silesian armature factory in Dolní Benešov. In 2023, she lived in Kravaře.