Věra Albrechtová

* 1932  

  • “We had also witnessed this situation, this child running through the cordon and finding its father. So it would just hurry towards him, yelling: 'Daddy, daddy!' But those soldiers, of course, they would... They told it it wasn't allowed, so they wouldn't let it reach its father. Those were the orders they had been given, of course. But for me, it was a terrible experience, as I would recall what I've been through and the war, so it would all... All those memories... It all came back to me."

  • "We were not aware of the threat, of what would follow, of the terror, as we didn't believe it would happen, being just children. We knew that our father would come home, that he would come back soon, and as it was possible to write to him, we could write him letters. And we would end every letter by stating that our father would come back soon. We would show such a degree of optimism, being just children. But we kept believing that he would come, that one day, he would show up and stay at home with us. As our mother would explain it in such a manner, as she just couldn't tell us we were in this grave danger and about what had been happening to our nation. She would rather try to protect us from all that.”

  • “Of course I would take it with me, as I thought that those forget-me-nots... That I would bring flowers. I brought those forget-me-nots as I knew they would last for a while. So I would wrap them in a wet handkerchief and take it with me. I was thinking they didn't even know what was growing outside. So I thought it would cheer them up a bit. And because we weren't allowed to hand over anything... But they would let me do it in the end, so I could give him this bunch of forget-me-nots. And because this was the first gift I brought him, we would always remember this flower. Like if I were to weed my garden, these forget-me-nots would always show up, so I would recall us meeting for the first time.”

  • “I would get back to Opava, where my husband was – to my first visit during which I was my future husband for the first time. When we arrived there, my sister and I... We would communicate by letters, as there were no cell phones, so we would arrange this, that she would be wearing such and such clothes, so we could recognize each other and connect. So we arranged this meeting in front of the prison, and of course we would recognize each other. Everything went as expected. And during this first visit, I saw my future husband for the first time.”

  • "They have seen us.They were together, the prisoner we were behind, and whom I only heard by hearsay. They were sitting next to each other in the truck, and as they led them there, the acquaintance we were visiting said to my future husband, 'Look, there are the two girls behind me.' Pepek saw me, but it was just ... And now he's going to write me. If I hadn't exchanged letters with him through the acquaintance. I didn't want to, because I'm not going to write to a stranger. And because my mother simply had something behind her, she persuaded me. I refused. "

  • "I remember it was a great experience that the Gestapo did a search of our place after father's arrest. I vividly remember their commands. They threw everything out of the compartments from the closets. That's when I held on to my mom because I was terribly scared. It was a great experience that stuck in my memory. –Did they break into your house and look for something specific? - They were looking for evidence of resistance. Plans or something similar. But they didn't find anything. "

  • "He managed to escape through the toilet window. He immediately met an acquaintance who, as soon as he saw him, took off his coat and gave it to my father. He had other clothes, so he managed to escape from Brod to the surroundings. At that time, they managed to escape through Poland to England. There the road, it is said, was clear. Unfortunately, the escape failed. He was betrayed by Mr. ... Can I give a name? -It's up to you. If you want, you can. - I remember the name because it was a crucial thing for me. Mr. Bažant told the Czech gendarme that he saw Havel in the fields here and there. So the gendarme had to take him to the Gestapo, where he described exactly where he was. According to hearsay, the Germans even searched by plane and found Dad there, which was terrible for him because he was tortured. It must have been very bad for him. "

  • "It was the day the postman came and a terrible experience for me. Because as children, we sensed that adults sometimes behaved strangely, as if they were hiding something or saying something to each other, and when we came, they fell silent. After the postman, who handed over the letter left, I saw my mother react and start crying. I knew it would be terrible news, so I ran away because I was afraid to hear what had happened. I knew it, but I didn't want to hear it. I still remember returning home, and when I saw that everyone was crying, I knew what had happened and what must have happened. Of course, then my mother had to tell us, so we all experienced it, including my aunt and grandmother. We were all there. "

  • "When I was thirteen. A familiar thing has happened - about ten people have been horribly tortured in Láznička's hillside - they have a memorial there. As a result, there was a large gathering in the square. My mother didn't know I was in the square. A court has been established, I do not know what's the right name for that. They convicted several Germans and sentenced them to death. The execution was in the courtyard of the Old Town Hall. And I, at the age of thirteen, simply wanted to see the execution of the Germans. It was terrible how revenge was reflected in the child's soul. It's terrible that you think that way, but I went to see it. "

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Havlíčkův Brod, 23.06.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 02:11:22
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Havlíčkův Brod, 02.07.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 53:27
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 3

    Jihlava, 21.07.2021

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    duration: 02:30:28
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Dad, I’m sending you a million kisses

Věra Albrechtová nee Havlová
Věra Albrechtová nee Havlová
photo: archiv pamětníka

Věra Albrechtová, née Havlová, was born on August 27, 1932 in Německý (Havlíčkov) Brod. They lived in Dolní Street in the District House and from the age of six she became a member of the scout unit. During the Second World War, her father Čeněk Havel was one of the main organizers of the anti-Nazi resistance within the Defense of the Nation group in the Vysočina region. He was arrested in March 1940 and subsequently attempted an unsuccessful escape from prison. He was sentenced to death in Germany in February 1943 and executed on 24 May in the Plötzensee prison in Berlin. His wife, along with her children Věra and Ivan, moved to her aunt in the countryside in Liban near Nasavrky, from where they returned in May 1945. The witness subsequently witnessed the public execution of the Germans, which took place immediately after the People’s Court ruling at the Old Town Hall in Německý Brod. . After the war, she returned to Junák’s renewed activities and successfully passed the Three Eagle Feathers camp test. She played competitive ball games and graduated from the Havlíčkův Brod grammar school. In the first half of the 1950s, she accompanied a friend to visit an acquaintance who was serving a sentence in a uranium camp in Jáchymov. Josef Albrecht, a fellow prisoner of the acquaintance, developed romantic feelings for Vera. After three years of correspondence, she came to visit him, and after his release on amnesty, they married in the autumn of 1961. In the spring of 1967, the Albrechts embarked on an adventurous journey to the Middle East. The witness worked in the Plastimat company, from where she was fired after 1968 as part of a nationwide reduction in the number of administrative employees. After the fall of the communist regime in 1989, she returned to scouting for the third time and is still a honorary member. She lived in Havlíčkův Brod at the time of filming (June 2020).