Trinksaifen (Rudné) in the Ore Mountains (Krušné hory) was a village where 1400 Germans and 3 Czechs lived before the Second World War. Every Sunday from carnival to Christmas there were dances, in the evening the neighbors used to get together in front of their houses, and the Czechoslovak national anthem was sung in German.
It was hard to make one’s living in this stony mountain land. Children used to help their mothers with bobbin-lace making. The men used to work in the ironworks in Nejdek.
Then life substantially changed during WWII and in its aftermath.
Roughly 3 million German citizens, who had been living in the border areas of Czechoslovakia before the WWII were expelled and had to resettle in Germany. Some Germans were allowed to stay – these were mostly professionals needed by Czechoslovak industry.
After the expulsion, the village became virtually deserted. Then the German inhabitants were replaced by newcomers from various corners of Bohemia. The original buildings were pulled down or fell into disrepair. Fields were lying fallow. Only a few original settlers remained – among them the protagonists of this documentary: Ms Severová, Ms Boucká and Ms Zettlová. Three women who had lived all their lives in one place on the ridge of the Ore Mountains, and on whom the history of the 20th century had a much stronger impact than they would ever have wished. Unfortunately none of them lived to see the completion of this documentary.
The documentary, which gradually came into being between 2004 and 2013, tries to capture the changes in one place and its inhabitants in the frame of one century. and shows a different view of the still controversial issue of the post war expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia. It also tells the story of a landscape and of aging and of the ability to come to terms with one’s fate.
This web page was created to provide further information – the audio version (in Czech) is here, you will find here the Czech/English transcript here, and background information here. If you have any ideas for additions to this site, please contact us.