Memory of Nation


Jan Hauer (1947)

  Jan Hauer (1947)
It is important to know who our ancestors are and where they came from

Horses better than women

“For the guys, imagine, a horse was more valuable than a woman. Really, I’m not lying one word. Having a horse meant it could pull a trailer and whatever. When selling it, one could get a lot of money for it. One could get a different horse in return and extra money on top. So, at that time, horses were really valuable for the guys. On the other hand, a woman – unless she would go steal and bring back chickens, geese and such things – had zero value. She was only a mother of one’s children, and he wasn’t even interested. This is really how things were. For the women, those must have been terrible times. Ever since childhood, I recall the guys playing cards under a tree while the woman had to take care. Things really were different back then. When the communists took power, those guys were forced to go to work.”

  • born in 1947 in Olomouc into a Sinti family
  • his father Antonín spent the war in Olomouc prison, his first wife and four children were murdered in Auschwitz
  • both parents imprisoned after the war for doing door-to-door selling
  • the family was subject to the 1958 Act on the Permanent Settlement of Footloose Persons
  • their trailer was set on fire
  • despite the prohibition of nomadism, they were allowed to travel with Josef Homolka's theater company
  • after finishing school worked as carpet beater and coal distributor
  • from 1967 till 1969 spent time in Germany with his father, tracking the fate of his first family
  • spent a decade grinding knives and repairing umbrellas at Vinohrady
  • still inquires about his ancestors and their destinies
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