Memory of Nation


Věra Zárubová (1926)

 Věra Zárubová (1926)
The hardest school year was 1944–1945, when the whole class was assigned to forced labour

Forced labour for the whole class

“The whole class was assigned to forced labour in the arms industry, in a German firm that produced aircraft components. The work was in three shifts, mornings from six to two, afternoons from two to ten [p.m.], nights from ten to six. They would count our components towards the end of the shift. We had them displayed on our table, to show how many we’d made. What we did is that we quietly moved the parts from table to table, so we fulfilled the quota, while in actual fact we didn’t produce even half of what the plan required. The boys used to take an accordion with them, and past eight o’clock there was dancing and merriment on the shop floor. But that was only right before the end of the war, when the German foremen knew that the war was lost, and they behaved very nicely to us. They tried to build up an alibi, that they had always been very kind to us.”

  • born 22 November 1926 in Brno, née Boudná
  • witnessed the war in Horní Heršpice, which is now a part of Brno
  • attended a Czech-German elementary school
  • 1944-1945, the girls’ vocational school that she attended was closed down
  • the pupils were assigned to forced labour
  • witnessed the frequent bombings of Brno
  • May 1945, Soviet military units turned their house into their staff headquarters
  • witnessed the postwar expulsion of German inhabitants
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