Czech Republic / Biography
Ida Milotová (née Roučková) was born in Karlovy Vary in 1928. She grew up in Plzeň where her father was in charge of the locomotive depot. On 6 May 1945, she was a witness to the American liberation of Pilzeň.
Ida Roučková, a curious young girl, could not miss the US Army’s arrival in Plzeň on 6 May 1945. She put on her Plzeň folk costume and bid the Americans welcome. She spoke English, so an American officer invited her to an official dinner to mark the end of the war. Even though most of the meals served came from tin cans, the dinner was quite an experience for Czechs. This substantial meal contrasted with the poor food supplies they had during the war and featured novelty dishes such as tomato soup which was uncommon in Bohemia at the time.
Social interactions with US soldiers went beyond food. The officer invited me to a ball at a Škoda hotel, which we used to call Cizinecký dům Škodovky (Škoda’s Foreigners House), but the Americans called it the ‘Skoda Hotel’. It took me some time to figure out that Skoda Hotel was ‘Ciziňák’, as we used to call it. I went in wearing my long evening dress and learned dances different from those we knew here.”
After the liberation, Ida graduated from high school and married Zdeněk Milota who was part of the local resistance movement during the war and went on to become a professional soldier. The couple was arrested in March 1953 as Zdeněk refused to join the Communist Party and was therefore “undesired” in the military