Memory of Nation


Soja Svobodová (1930)

 Soja Svobodová (1930)
My whole life I keep thinking of all that Dad must have suffered

Dad didn’t know he himself would be gone three days later

“We didn’t know why Dad used to go there. And then came a period that I don’t like remembering. But I keep thinking about it. It was 30 June 1942. Dad was forty years old, and he went to Beroun to pass an examination in front of some committee, so he could teach at people’s economic schools. He was qualified to teach at upper primary schools, but he wanted to have this in addition. It was Tuesday noon and Dad was putting on his tie. He was looking at the newspaper, and there was a list of people executed for hostility to the Reich. One of the names there was Vladislav Vančura [a famous Czech writer - trans.]. And Dad said to Mum: ‘That’s awful, they’re murdering the best of us, Vančura, such a writer, such a man, and he’s gone.’ Little did he know that he himself would be gone three days later.”

  • born 27 June 1930 in Prague
  • her father Jan Říha worked as a teacher
  • during WW2, her father was active in the resistance without the family’s knowledge
  • June 1942, her father was arrested and then executed a few days later
  • she and her mother had difficulties making ends meet
  • when she was twelve, she was in danger of being Germanified
  • worked as a nurse
  • improved her education and worked as a teacher in Beroun
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