Rosina Leicht Speaks

Rosina Leicht recounts the events she and her family experienced being forced from their home in the midst of the political chaos and violence of WWII. She describes their flight by horse-drawn wagon from their small village of Lowas, Yugoslavia to avoid advancing Russian forces. Sheltering in Austria, first on a farm and then in a displaced persons camp, they immigrated to the US. in 1956. There, with determination and hard work, she and her husband created a secure life for themselves and their three children.

00:00Copy video clip URL Onscreen text: “Rosina Leicht, 1974. In 1944 Rosina Leicht and her family fled their home town of Lovas, Yugoslavia (near Vukovar, Croatia) to avoid advancing Russian forces. She and her husband lived as displaced persons in Austria until they immigrated to the USA and settled in Chicago in 1956.”

00:21Copy video clip URL Rosina Leicht, an elderly woman who speaks with an Eastern European accent, sits at her kitchen table. She talks about her hometown and about  leaving during the war because she didn’t want to live under a Communist dictatorship. The town’s inhabitants leaving in covered wagons and sleeping by the side of the road, traveling for a full month without knowing where they were going. 

06:20Copy video clip URL Hopes to return to their homes after the war slowly disappointed for Leicht and the other inhabitants of her town. Applying for Visas to countries all over the world hoping to settle someplace. 

07:20Copy video clip URL Leicht’s father staying behind when they left to “protect the town.” Illnesses within her family. The slow acceptance of a new home for her family while displaced in Austria. The displaced families having little or nothing of their own, losing much of what they brought with them on the road. 

09:40Copy video clip URL The army as the only source of food. The difficulties of living in Austria as displaced persons. Living on an Austrian farm for five years, where they worked for room and board. 

12:30Copy video clip URL Looking for a new place to live and work in Austria. Moving into a barracks and working in a factory. 

15:20Copy video clip URL Nobody returned to their hometown after the war. Of those who stayed in the town, two were taken to Russia. 

17:01Copy video clip URL The differences between Austria and Croatia. The losses during the war. Those who committed suicide. 

19:35Copy video clip URL Fear caused by the attacks. The brutality of the Russian army. 

20:52Copy video clip URL Sewing and making clothes without much material to work with. Using leaves and plants, old clothes. 

24:36Copy video clip URL Life in the barracks – very cold, no running water. “It was amazing that nobody got really serious sick.” 

27:35Copy video clip URL Moving into apartment buildings for the factory workers, then immigrating to the United States. 

28:45Copy video clip URL The difficulties of moving to the United States. Feeling lost because they didn’t know the language. 




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