Life is beautiful
I met her for the first time 3 years ago and I was impressed by her vitality and optimistic life approach. Now I have had chance to see her again and she is still the same : slim, well dressed, always in good mood and always having smile in her face. She enjoys every single minute of her life. Life is beautiful - that´s what she says every time we meet.
But her life was not always beautiful. She was only 10 years old when she lost everything which was dear to her: parents, brother, home, friends, home country her mother language and her identity.How it all happened? Marie was growing up in a small quiet village not far from Prague. She had loving parents, older brother and caring grandmother who was living with them in a comfortable newly built house. Everything seemed to be fine. At least it seemed so to a small child like Marie. The only world which she knew was her peaceful village and cozy home.In reality, nothing was fine as we talk about the times of world war 2. Our country was occupied by German Nazi and thousends of people were daily dying at European fronts or concentration camps. But that world seemed to be so far away from Marie´s village. A village called Lidice.Life was going on happily until one day in June 1942. Marie and her family was already sleeping when Germans soldiers attacked their home. Marie and her family were forced to leave their house without any belongings. She and her mother were taken together with other women and children of the village to a nearby town. After few days all children were separated from their mothers and transfered by train to a transit camp in Poland. They spent there few weeks. They were hungry, poorly dressed, dirty and ill, desperately missing their mothers. After some time the camp was visited by a German official who choose a few children and took them away. Among those kids was Marie. She did not know yet that decision of that official saved her life. She was choosen as a child suitable for so called germanisation. She was brought to an orphanage and became to be educated as a proper German girl. She had to stop speaking Czech otherwise she was punished. After one year spent there she was adopted by an older German couple. Her identity was changed. She received a new German name - Ingeborg Schiller. Czech girl Marie Doleželová should be forgotten for ever.Maria´s adoptive parents were gentle people and they behaved very nicely to her. After that hard time spent in the orphanage it seemed to her as a miracle. Finally there was somebody who loved her. She could feel safe and comfortable again. Almost like at her home.Then, suddenly, the war was over and our goverment started to search Czech kids who were deported to Germany. And so one day Marie was found and taken away from her adoptive family. She was brought back home.
Home ? There was no home left there. Her village did not exist anymore. It was completely burned down by Nazi on that very day when Maria and her mother left it. Her father, brother and all the other men were shot. Village kids were killed in gas trucks in Poland. Only a few kids survived - those choosen for German adoption.Marie´s mother and grandmother were deported to the female camp in Ravensbruck. Marie´s mother returned back but she was very seriously ill. Marie met her in the hospital after her arrival to Prague. They recognized each other but they could not talk. Marie was speaking German only. She completely forgott Czech, her mother language. And Czech was the only language her mother could speak.
Marie´s mother died four months after Marie´s return from Germany. Marie remained alone. She lost the most precious thing in everybody´s life - home. Because as she says it is a mother who makes home. But in spite of that all what happened to her she thinks now, when she´s 83, that life is beautiful...
Learn more about Lidice https://www.lidice-memorial.cz