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