Alžběta Bürgerová

* 1929

  • "I stayed in the party because of how my parents' status had improved. My mother had served with farmers from the age of 12. She was very smart. That's what I inherited from her - my brain. I always say my brain is the best part of me. My mother served from the age of 12. She said she served in a mill where she had to wash clothes in icy water come rain or shine. Sometimes she brought a cup of hot water to warm her hands because it felt like they would fall off from the cold. Then she worked for some other farmers and they didn't get her insurance. When she was about to to retire, she had been without insurance for years. When the insurance thing started, the farmer locked all the maids and helpers at home so they couldn't attend the meeting where it was discussed. My mother said that since she couldn't get her years of work confimed by insurance, she had to get some witness testimonies and so on. She told me she cried on her way from a farmer in Černice; she remembered all her life as a servant and maid, and it just made her cry all the way home. Eventually she got some years confirmed and received some pension. And it was the same for my father."

  • "When they closed the Czech school, the Germans took the flags, two portraits of the presidents - large, in ornate frames - and everything related to Czech education up the hill from the school. They also took out Czech books, though not all of them. The school housed a library for both adults and children. They lit it on fire and cheered merrily on the hill by the fire. When we went to school the next day, we stopped there to have a look. We dug out a piece of the frame from the president's portrait and took it as a souvenir."

  • "And what was it like in the German school?" - "Every class started with a loud 'Heil Hitler! and every class also ended like that. The teacher spoke only German. When she called on me, I didn't understand her question and couldn't answer it, and she tapped her forehead and said, 'tschechische Trottel.'"

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Český Krumlov, 19.09.2023

    délka: 01:14:04
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Each class began and ended with a loud cry of Heil Hitler!

Alžběta Bürgerová, 1960
Alžběta Bürgerová, 1960
zdroj: Witness's archive

Alžběta Bürgerová was born on 4 October 1929 into a modest Czech family of Peter Draxler, a bricklayer, and Alžběta Draxlerová (née Dušková) in the isolated settlement of Včelíny. Včelíny is located right between the villages of Věžovatá Pláně and Zubčice to this day. Until 1938, she attended the Czech school in nearby Věžovaté Pláně. Although Včelíny was officially part of the Czech municipality of Zubčice, it was annexed to Věžovatá Pláně that was part of the Sudetenland due to pressure from the local German neighbours following the Munich Agreement. Since the latter half of the 1930s, the family had been experiencing hostile and contemptuous behaviour of their German neighbours, which peaked with the signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938. As a German citizen, she was then no longer allowed to attend a Czech school and had to go to a German school in Věžová Pláně even though she neither spoke nor understood German. As a Czech in a German school, she faced rude and hateful behaviour, humiliation and ridicule from her German classmates and teacher. She suffered a nervous breakdown after a few months and stopped going to school. The Draxlers did not feel safe in the German environment. A German-Czech couple lived in nearby Zlatá Koruna and in turn were not comfortable in the Czech environment. They made an agreement and changed their residence. The Draxlers then stayed permanently in Zlatá Koruna. After the war, Alžběta Bürgerová graduated from a business school and worked in various office jobs all her life. From the 1960s on, she worked at the District National Committee (ONV). It was also around this time that she joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, of which she is still a member (2023). In the 1970s, she worked as the head of the People‘s Audit Committee („VLK“) and graduated from VUML. At the time of the interview (2023), she lived in Český Krumlov.