Marie Zajíček

* 1927

  • It was a terrible time after the war. Once I was summoned to the gendermarie. I went there and the first thing that happened to me when I entered the room was that I got a slap on my face. I don't know why I got it. I was never hit before, not even by my parents. They told me that we had been at a birthday party and we sang German songs there. But it wasn't even true. One backer had a son who was some years older than me. There were only children there at his birthday who went to the German school, maybe seven altogether. Somebody sang 'Barcelona, du allein', that was all. They had lied about us, they said that we had met and upheaved national socialism and such things.

  • My name is Marie Zajicek and I was born in Duda on the 9th November 1927. It was during the Czech times. As you know, a lot of changes had happened here in Hlučínsko. At that time it was the Czech Republik and there were private German schools. My father who worked in Germany used to tell us: 'They don't have work for us here, you will all go to the German school and learn German'. At home we only spoke German. My brother and me went to the German school. I even went to Opava to the convent school in the second year. And than, in 1935 or 1936 Benes banned the German schools in Hlučínsko. The teachers had to leave and we went to the Czech school. Only in Hlučínsko? Hlučínsko had 38 towns and villages. So in the 4th and 5th year I went to the Czech school. We all had to go there, because they closed all the private German schools.

  • … the Russians caught us on the street near Vysoke Myto. I could not understand what had happened to us after that. For me each person is a human being no matter if they are Czechs, Germans or English. But the people there, the Czechs spit on us and threw stones at us. I could not understand what was happening. Why people were acting like that. And after that on the 9th of May on an afternoon at half past four they took us to an internment camp near Holice. It used to be a camp for sport before. We were sleeping on the ground there. There were a lot of different people, German soldiers and also ordinary people, women, children and men. We were all sleeping on the ground. In the night came the Russians, I can remember that we could not sleep at all, it was impossible because of the nerves, we were thinking about whatever could happen to us. They came and picked out the girls. One man came also to me and he shook me because he thought that I was asleep, but I wasn't. 'Come with me' he told me. 'But I don't have shoes' I replied. He left and brought me shoes. But after that I had enough courage to run away from him, I went to a little room where there were eight or ten soldiers. I excused myself and told them that a Russian had come to take me, but I would not go with him. He was standing there at the door. I started to speak Czech altough I didn't speak well because I couldn't pronounce the R properly and that is a serious mistake. But I told them that I wouldn't go with this Russian and they should rather shoot me right there and write to my parents in Bolatitz, I gave them the adress. And that was all. And after that the Russian left.

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    Bolatice , 01.05.2009

    duration: 02:35:19
    media recorded in project Sudetenland destinies
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But on April 16th, I won’t forget that, the Russians came to Bolatice. I was not even 18 years old. I couldn’t believe it. I thougt, that humans are human, but they weren’t

At the age of about 18
At the age of about 18
photo: Privatarchiv Marie Zajíček

  Marie Zajíček was born in November 1927 in Bolatice in the Hlučínsko region. As the circumstances got worse for the family in May 1938, they fled to Nazi Germany. After the Munich Agreement they returned. Marie Zajíček attended a German school, after that a commercial school in Troppau [Opava]. After the war she was captured by Russians, the sent her to an internment camp in Holice. After six months she was brought to another camp, after some time there, they let her go home. The family-home in Bolatice was bombed, she waited at a neighbour’s house until her parents also came home. She started to work in the office of a textile factory. Her Czech improved slowly, that’s why she was responsible for book keeping – she only needed calculation skills and to language skills for that. 1949 she married a man of German origin like her, they have two daughters. As an active member of the Catholic Church, she had additional problems during Communism. In 1992 she and her husband founded the German Association in Bolatice.