Memory of Nation


Květuše Tůmová (1950)

  Květuše  Tůmová (1950)
My father didn't want us to hang out with other Romani people

Parents fleeing concentration camp

"One day, the Germans came to the village. They arrested all of the people except for the children and the elderly. First, they drove them to Sabinov and locked them in a prison. There were many Romani people from other villages as well, it was crammed. My mum said that she couldn't move the whole night. In the morning - without food or drinks - they dragged them to the station, put them into railway cars and drove them someplace far. I can't estimate how long it could've taken to Plaveč. They still needed to walk some five or seven kilometers to the camp. The living conditions there were horrible. Russian were also imprisoned there, getting beaten all the time and left without food. When the Romani people had some food, they secretly shared. The Roma were digging trenches. There was one terrible German officer whom everyone feared. He would rape young girls, sometimes in front of the eyes of their family members. He wanted my mum too, but they managed to hide her in a heap of hay. When a German commander arrived, a Romani man who knew some German, took the courage to tell him what was happening to the girls. By miracle, that guy was posted away. My mum said it got a bit better then but she hadn't stayed for long. She was there for about three months, planning an escape. Sometime, she was allowed to go beg for some food in the village. My parents decided that when they'd go dig trenches, they'd excape. Having no shoes, they covered their feet in straws. She told me they only walked at night through the forests. I can't imagine how they found their way home."

  • born on 15 May 1950 in Rokycany into a Romani family
  • started working in 1965
  • in 1968 gave birth to son Petr
  • in 1974 married Ladislav Tůma
  • from 1978 till 1986 worked at the railway
  • retired in 2008
  • up until 2010 worked at a hospital as a cleaner
  • since 2017 member of the Roma female association Manushe
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