Jevišovka
Jevišovka, Czech Republic
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Today, they’re going to move us

Available in: English | Česky

Until the late 1940s, three villages in southern Moravia were settled by a population originating in Croatia. For political reasons, the presence of the Croats at the Austro-Moravian border became undesirable after 1948 and the Croats were displaced. The demise of the Croatian element in the indigenous villages was gradual. Marie Čtvrtlíková recalls the events. By the time this was taking place, she was a little girl and she slowly began to realize that something bad was happening: “When they were moving uncle Jurdič, his daughter Anna was two years old. She cried so much when they were loading her little bed onto the truck platform. She cried: ‘My bed, my bed is going away!’ In this fashion, they moved our entire family, all our relatives, except for my grandfather and us.” The displacement of the Croats was carried out in several waves between the years 1948-1951. Those who were still left in their homes remained there until the end in the hope of being able to avoid the same inevitable fate. “Then we got an eviction notice and had to move as well. On that day I was in Drnholec but I could hear a car coming from a distance. I ran across the field as fast as I could to be with my mom. When I came home, my mother was just preparing the dough for the cake. She still managed to bake it. She sent me to the cowshed to feed the cows. So I went to give the cows some hay but the men who were moving us were just throwing hay on the car and one of them said: ‘jab her on a pitchfork and throw her in there too!’ This has really stuck with me,” she recalled. It was very difficult for the Croatians like Čtvrtlíková to come to terms with the loss of their homes. For many years, they were forbidden to set foot in the abandoned villages in the border zone.

Marie Čtvrtlíková

Marie Čtvrtlíková

Marie Čtvrtlíková, (née Slunská), was born in 1938 in Frélichov, (currently Jevišovka), in a family of Moravian Croats. She was the second of three sisters. Her father died as a German soldier in the war and thus her mother became a widow at the age of 29. In 1949, the family was moved to northern Moravia to the village of Huzová. Her maternal grandfather, Mate Šalamun, was a highly respected mayor of Frelichov in the era of the First Czechoslovak Republic and he was also one of the very few Croats who were allowed to stay in the village after 1948. Marie Čtvrtlíková used to speak Croatian with her mother until her mother’s death. With her sisters, they mostly spoke in Czech. She currently lives in Bohuňovice.

Jevišovka

Available in: English | Česky

A village situated at the confluence of the Thaya and Jevišovka Rivers. Until 1950, it was called Frélichov and was inhabited mostly by a Croatian minority population. The Croats arrived to southern Moravia in the 16th century, fleeing from the Turks who were gradually gaining the upper hand in conquering the Balkans. The local nobility settled them at the Moravian-Austrian border in several depopulated and desolate villages, which they brought to prosperity again. The Croats, living side to side with their Czech and German neighbors, managed to keep their own language, culture, traditions and customs for centuries. After the annexation of the Sudetenland, they had to join the German army, which was used as a pretext for their displacement after February 1948. There was no longer room for the original settlers in the borderland that was about to be re-settled with a new population loyal to the communist regime.

Jevišovka

On this place

Little Red Cap on white snow

Little Red Cap on white snow

Stefanie Marek
Today, they’re going to move us

Today, they’re going to move us

Marie Čtvrtlíková
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