Krystyna Zangová

* 1951

  • “We arrived at the border, we had to get off, go through a customs building. And when we came there and could see that a woman was sitting there, we would say: ‘Oops, it will be an inspection today‘ because we had already known the customs officers. We would have to write down everything we took to Poland, it was a document where we wrote down what we could take with us, for example 10 cigarettes, we had to write it all down. You know that I wrote down that I was carrying two kilograms of sugar and had three and it was risky - they would either find it or not, so that is how we carried it with us.”

  • “We came to a shop and there were not any bread, any coffee and there was no sugar. There were empty racks there, there were ten boxes of pasta, two packs of rice, my mum took out some stamps from her wallet, she used to do the shopping with them, she had ration stamps and it was a crying shame. When I came there with my children and they said: ‘Grandma, we would like a sweet. ‘- And she could not buy them the sweets.”

  • “We did not know all the words. Some words are homonyms, so they made fun us. A boy came to me and told me: ‘Do you have any scissors please?‘ (She probably understood “legs” - trans.) So I told him that I had two. And he wanted scissors. So we laughed at it. And then I told him that I did not have any scissors and that he should go and fuck them (she used the word “šukat” which in Polish means “to look for” but in Czech “šukat” means “to fuck” - trans.). And it was really… Because we did not know what the word meant and they though that we were really vulgar. Then we asked them what it meant and we laughed at it many times. It was hilarious.”

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    Liberec, 02.07.2021

    duration: 52:51
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Nobody reproached us with anything because they knew that the regime was of all sorts

Young Krystyna Zangová
Young Krystyna Zangová
photo: Krystyna Zangová

She was born on 7 March 1951 in a small town on Sobieszów near Jelenia Góra as Krystyna Ciastko. Her parents came to a new Polish territory to work there; her father worked as a glass cutter in a local glass factory. She had a nice childhood with her older sister and younger twin brothers. She decided to leave school and start making money to make it easier for her family. She found a job in a glass factory in Janov nad Nisou via Polish employment office. She got married to a Czech and she raised a son and a daughter in Janov. After the divorce, she moved to Hejnice in 1989 and she was still living there in 2021.