My mom citizen…Part I.
Oh, this complicated Europa with so complicated history. Especially in her middle, in her heard, where I, but before me my mom, mami , maminka, was born. We have been always on the way for some marching armies between West and East.
This is one of the reasons, my mom was citizen of three differed countries , moving just two times in live and never actually from the state formation called Czechoslovakia, where she was born.
You will be surprised, what everything can happened, if you live in the middle. In heard of Europe.
My mom was born soon after my grandpa came from the battlefields of World War I. In June 1921. She was a 4th from 10 children my grandmother will bring to the world. Just 4 will survive hard live in the purest part of Slovakia Kysuce.
Her father was very fain cabinet maker, but for years he was making just coffins. For his children too. Only when he was lucky, he can make some tables or furniture for the newly-weds or a cradle for a baby…
This is the main ground to send my mom, right when she finished a elementary school in 8 grade, with only 14, still a child, in the world. Alone. On the other end of the state, northen Bohemia, where the people speck different language, are “rich” and look down on the poor Slovaks. But they like them for job. They can pay them less for good and hard work.
It was depression and the World War II. was coming nearer.
Her new employers tell the little frightened girl:” The light there in the mountains are Germans.”
She was tiny, dressed in kroj, national costume for her region, have a long braid to the waist and was very scared.
This first employer treated her not very good. Her “little chamber” was in reality a place over the stable. The only heating, it was a winter time, was the breath of caws and horses. The servants year ends and begins on December 26, the holy Stephan day. My mom was a maid for all work.
This work was so hard, that her body have not strength to grow and mature. She was almost 18 and not a woman.
One nice old farmer’s wife from neighboring farm sah her struggle and offered her better work place, real chamber and more money. She brings her also to the doctor, who help my mom with the vitamins and hormones. I can thank the farmer’s wife, I can be later born.
My mom’s life changes a lot. But the new struggle was already on the way.
The war hat not officially started yet for the rest of Europe, but the Germans occupy the Czech’s lands, making them to Protectorate Boehmen and Maehren. Slovakia proclaimed her independence: A fascistic Slovak State.
My mom was forced to take the Slovak citizenship, Czechoslovakia don’t exist anymore. Czech have not state. The Slovaks are “free”. But for Czechs and the rest of Europe, they are traitors.
My mom is a traitor living in a small city, where everybody now’s, she is a Slovatschka.
She is allowed to stay, because she is working in agriculture and this is good for “Reich”. ( for German Empire).
But form travel home, she need a passport and an not bring home food, she have to pay custom duty and sometimes, they just take her stuff away. She still a teenager and still look like a school girl with her hair short now…
The war ended and Czechoslovakia is born again. My mom have back her citizenship, speak Czech better then Slovak, in her identity card called citizen certificate has written nationality Slovak.
In this summer 1945, full of hope and joy, she married my father, who have in his identity card written Czech. To the churches she drives in a couch, borrowed from house of Wallenstein pulled with white horses, like a princes.
I was born next summer in frontier city Ceska Lipa, former Sudetenland, where my parents moved, like many young families starting a new live. In my citizen certificate is nationality Czech. For children in mix marriages you can chose one. It was dad’s decision and also a better one in post war time.
Vera Sourada, Galveston, USA
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