Ilse Weitz

* 1935

  • "There were wealthy people in Geras - but no one helped us. Then in the church they gave out butter and cheese from the Americans, we were the only refugees there, and we got nothing. My mother-in-law then gave us butter and cheese and said they had so much they didn't even know what to do with it, but we were the ones expelled - and we didn't get anything. As for the church, that was disappointing. They said to us, 'You came to eat all our food,' and yet my mother worked day and night. Those were really terrible times in Geras."

  • "When we were on the run it rained, and we couldn't go any further. And a Czech man said to us, 'Go on, you must go on,' and my mother said, 'We can't go on. It's raining, and we don't have the strength anymore.' The Czech said, 'If you stop, I'll have to shoot you.' But my mother was quick in reaction and said, 'If you shoot me, shoot the children too, because they can't make it without me.' So we stopped and we hid in a barn. And there we met our grandmother, the other grandmother, she was 80 years old. So we were reunited. Grandma didn't eat anything for three days, my mother gave her what we had left. Then we spent the night in the barn and early in the morning we set off. That was very sad. Our grandma couldn't walk any further, so we had to leave her there. Soldiers with guns were driving us on. It was really terrible. Then they took our grandmother to a camp in Vienna."

  • "First we were in Pohořelice in a camp, we were there for eight days. Then we met my aunt, my father's sister. She cut her veins. The next day we visited her, but she was dead by then. We were there for eight days and there was an outbreak of dysentery. The Czechs didn't know what to do with us, and they put us on hay wagons and brought us to the border. There they took away from us what we still had, but we had nothing left. We only had clothes on."

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    Brno, 05.10.2020

    duration: 01:24:45
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
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We came as refugees and we’ve been refugees ever since

Ilse Weitz in 2020
Ilse Weitz in 2020
photo: Post Bellum

Ilse Weitz was born on 17 December 1935 in Brno. She also attended primary school there. Her mother worked as a seamstress, her father, a tram driver, was killed in 1944 at the battlefront. After the liberation in 1945, she was forced to walk the Brno Death March, together with her grandmother, younger sister and mother. After the expulsion, the family followed relatives to Krems in Austria, where her mother tried to support her two daughters and her mother by sewing. The journey from Brno to Krems took a total of 19 days. Before that, during their forced stay in a camp in Pohořelice, Ilse Weitz fell ill with dysentery, but she had to march anyways. In 1947, the family moved from Krems to Geras, where they remained for the next eighteen years. In Geras, Ilse Weitz finished school and from the 1950s she worked as a post office operator. In 1965 she moved to Sankt Pölten, where she worked as postmaster until her retirement. After 1989 she visited her native Brno several times. Today (2020) she lives in Sankt Pölten.