Helena Brabencová

* 1927  

  • "There was such a thing - I would say a little protest that we we wore a tricolor on October 28, 1939. We somehow agreed between each other, the school, everyone, and so it went. We'll take the tricolor and cover it by a black ribbon. So we had a folded ribbon, a ribbon, a tricolor, and we sewed or pinned a black ribbon and we went through the streets and to school, and surprisingly no one stopped us, and the German soldiers didn't notice us."

  • "In 1938 it was an anniversary, the 20th anniversary of the founding of our republic, and again, it was a great celebration. And so, then, well, it was after the death of President Masaryk, because the new president was Eduard Beneš. And we went, the schools, but they were all over the Prague. The schools went through a procession, each school separately, and we went all the way to Hradčanské náměstí. President Beneš stood through the main gate and there in the courtyard, and of course we waved, called and we were just happy to greet him there. Well, unfortunately it didn't take long, it was 1938 and then came 1939."

  • "It was a memorable Saturday. We always baked muffins at home on Saturday. We got flour from my aunt from Moravia, she always sent a package. In that package, it was a box like that, she put a bag of flour in it, so it was valued more than gold and literally with the risk of life. Because the one who ground the flour, the miller in Moravia in our native village, was risking his life. Because it was not allowed to grind under the death penalty, the pig could not be killed - under the death penalty. All the stuff was carried around the night secretly."

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    Praha, 23.10.2015

    (audio)
    duration: 02:30:01
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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When the director announced that an assassination attempt on the Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich had been carried out, we rejoiced in our minds.

Helena Brabencová (en)
Helena Brabencová (en)
photo: Tým studentů ZŠ náměstí Svobody, Praha 6

Helena Brabencová was born on April 26, 1927 in Strašnice, Prague, in the family of a train driver. She also went to primary school in Strašnice. She remembers the funeral of President Masaryk and later the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia, during both of these events she was at Prague Castle. During the Protectorate, she first studied at the girls’ grammar school of the Order of St. Voršily in Vinohrady and after its closure she moved to the grammar school in Vršovice. He remembers the air raids on Prague and hiding in the school shelter from the time of the protectorate. She also recalls the cramped atmosphere after the arrival of Reinhard Heydrich and the deterioration of conditions after the assassination. The family actively monitored war events and listened to foreign radio, although it was forbidden. After the war, she successfully graduated and began studying at the Faculty of Law, Charles University, where she also met her future husband. He recalls the gradual deterioration of conditions at the faculty and the replacement of experienced teachers by communist cadres. After completing her studies, she worked in the administration of the company Československá plavba labská (later labsko-oderská) and after maternity leave she worked in the legal department for the construction of new cooperative flats in Prague (housing estates in Krč and Petřiny). In 2015, a witness lived in Prague-Bubeneč.