“My aunt was indeed an interesting person. She was called Ela and had a really interesting personality. She feared people, studied a high school and she actually studied French in Brno and something else. And finished her studies too. She liked playing cards and swore when she was losing. And Ela had terribly bad luck, when Hitler came, she got engaged in Slovakia with French. And of course without any success nor luck. I think she stayed there for two years, but it didn’t matter as she had to come back as Hitler was gathering power and such. So this unhappy Ela was stuck there. There were ways how to save the women. But no one was saving her. When Hitler was not much in the limelight, they saw a rich bride. So she got married her like that. And it ended up in a half a year it was just getting worse, and Ela finally ended in a situation, that her husband, a dork and a bad man, said he cannot live with her and divorced her. And Ela was not protected anymore. So she went to a concentration lager within two to ten months. But she didn’t get there, as another villain appeared and married her again. And it all ended the same. And more money was gone. So Ela got lost in a concentration lager. Just when the most terrible things began to happen.”
“The father was a gymnasium director. When he lost all his chances so those who knew him created a kind of a circle. First to support me, then my mother so neither of us was alone or in danger of death. That took about… let’s say half a year. In Brno there were people who meant something and could save a person´s life completely selflessly. They were engineers who for example worked in America and came back to Czechoslovakia and here it looked that was... In Brno about ten to fifteen people participated and all highly intelligent people without any ties. They knew that bad stuff is happening at the Bělařs so they had to do something. My sister Milena was perfectly hidden, so she didn’t even feel it. They created a circle, where they knew who needs clothes or food. Milena once told me: ‚Well you know, Tonda, I didn’t even feel it. We had so much stuff to live on.‘ It was the best thing as the other Jews were all gone.”
“Firstly: My mother had to give birth at home. A certain doctor Jakubíček was present. He was not a gynaecologist, but a surgeon. And I was terribly tinny and weedy. When I was a year old, I weighted about three pounds, so tiny I was indeed. So then I grew up in sixteen years quite high. When I was forty-five I felt tachycardia. But I am surviving.”
It may have been better, it may have been stronger, but I never betrayed myself
Antonín Bělař was born as a “hidden child” on 15 June, 1944 in Brno. After his birth his mother, Vlasta Bělařová, was meant to be taken away. But a doctor Jakubíček, who accepted her to his department of meningitis. Following a death of another patient he changed the cards and pronounced Vlasta Bělařová dead. The father, Antonín Bělař senior, was taken to work in Postoloprty. The witness was hiding until the end of war in a so called Brno circle created by Bělař´s friends. The system was based on supplying the family with food, drinks and clothing. At the same time Antonín Bělař and his nine years older sister Milena were often separately hidden in their houses. The activity was done selflessly, though they were often questioned by the gestapo. After the war was over the family happily reunited in Brno. The father began his carrier of a university researcher and a professor. The witness then studied medicine. In 1970s he moved with his wife to Ostrava, where he later became the head of an emergency surgery department in Vítkovice hospital. In 1980s he left with his wife and a daughter to Tunisia, where the husbands worked within the project of the Developing Countries Aid. He´s been practising privately as a medic until today.