Marie Veselá

* 1928  

  • "I stood up; I would not let them proceed, as my husband was on the field at the time. Otherwise, he would have fought with them and would have been sent to prison right after. And they were still approaching, and, as the fender reached that child, I pushed her away and said: 'You devious thieves, God will find you!' Look… not that I was going to church back then, I have never had time for that in my life. Every day was the same, working all day long… but God will find you! And he... the one who did that, he killed himself, and it happened no longer after. We had to thresh the grain, yet, no one really cared how. There was a district in Votice, so we went uphill, and the guy was standing there. My father walked towards him: 'Look, I have nothing to thresh the grain with.' – 'Well, find something and borrow it.' But, that was some kind of grain! We owned fifteen acres, that's some kind of a field! And what to use… and so he bought an old threshing machine. Also, the pulley came off, hitting my father's head, and so, of course, he had had a concussion, lying as he was dead. I was screaming as I was right next to him, handing it over to him to put it into the threshing machine. And, you know, he spent two months in a hospital at Karlovo náměstí. As it hit his eye, they thought he would lose it… and I stayed here with two elderly and two small children…“

  • It was the worst with the Communists, all the time - because we learned how to fear. Fi with the Germans – and we had stayed bent down and afraid ever since. Not everyone, but someone keeps that attitude and is afraid up to these days. As everything used to be done with fear… and you can see it even now, people being afraid to say something. But not me, after all of that, and even when I was working already… Well, I should not brag, I do not like that… a self-praise stinks… but my mother licked me into shape so I was able stand even behind the poorest people, or the worst of the worst… And there was little Anna at work, for instance; well, that was quite a family… They were black, and people thought they were Romani – the father was Czech, and their mother of Slovak origin. They came from somewhere around Nové Zámky, and people are a bit different there. Kind of dried up and black. And people would not be nice to her whatsoever. So, I advocated for her, and her father used to say: ´If Veselá ever decided to drown herself, our Anča would have jumped after her; no matter she cannot swim.'“

  • “And they were hiding them too… there is a cemetery in Mezno, and a chapel is there too, it is like a tiny church. But, it is built as a cottage, as there is a morgue too, and there is... I don´t know. But there is someplace to sit, and funerals take place there. And yes, it had an attic large enough; they were hiding them on that attic. Well, the partizans drank alcohol, which made them very sick. Well, I do not know the ingredients, but there were some harmful ingredients in it, so people would not drink it. And, there was a funeral going on, while they were wailing upstairs of that attic. You know, it could have been heard, it was not isolated anyhow. And, the vicar was aware of the situation, so he was encouraging people to pray, and the musicians to play so that nobody could hear it. They were not revealed. But, my brother-in-law told me that everyone at the funeral knew it. That all of them were dead (out of fear), that they would have come for them. That someone would have spoken. As there were people from elsewhere, who came for the funeral of their relatives only God-knows-where from… And if someone had talked, they would have shot them all.

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    Srbice u Votic, 10.01.2020

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The Germans taught us how to fear, that only continued with the Communists

Marie Veselá
Marie Veselá
photo: Archive of the witness

Marie Veselá, Kuklová, by her maiden name, was born on December 7, 1928, in Milovice, located on the border between the Central and South Czechia, in a region called Czech Siberia. Her father, František Kukla, fought on the Italian front during World War I, where he joined the Czechoslovak Legion. Upon his return, he married and built a house with a small homestead for his family of three daughters in Milovice. As a former legionary, he was provided a workplace by the state and worked as a road construction foreman. However, he died prematurely in 1935. His daughters received an orphan’s pension provided them by the state and were supposed to receive rent upon reaching the legal age. However, with the rise of the Nazis, the family was deprived of all these privileges and not allowed to speak about their father’s legacy in public. At the behest of the Protectorate authorities, a legionary monument that carried his name had to be destroyed. The area between borders of the Central and South Czechia, where Marie Veselá has lived her entire life, provided an ideal natural habitat for local guerillas, to which František Babický, a husband of her older sister, belonged. At the same time, the Nazis had established a military training area, with pow and labor camps included, that they placed around the Neveklov and Sedlčany area. The training camp served the dreaded Waffen-SS units. Other memories of the witness relate to the period of so-called Heydrichiad. She was a close friend with the family of František Karabel from Votice, who helped to hide Břetislav Lyčka - a surgeon, who provided treatment to injured Josef Gabčík right after the assassination. She further recalls the events related to the end of the War and the liberation by the Red Army; still, she remembers the unbridled behavior of their soldiers, especially towards women. In 1947, she married and moved to a farm owned by the family of Veselý, to the nearby village named Srbice. They were all recognized as kulaks during the collectivization era, yet, the family had managed to keep the farm until 1960, despite all hardships they had to endure. During her entire life, the witness has refused to give up, and she has never voted for the Communists, whom she considers spineless. She raised two daughters and is widowed now. Marie still lives on the farm in Srbice.