Růžena Čiháková

* 1930  †︎ 2022

  • "Travelling was difficult. People used to go to Bulgaria, but when we wanted to go to the West, it was a bit different. I had the opportunity to take advantage of that, so we really took advantage of being in those capitalist countries. And because of that they assaulted me that it was not appropriate for my child to study because they were in capitalist countries. I didn't tolerate that and I spoke up. The result is that we have really travelled a lot, I have even counted it - 29 countries."

  • "My dad taught me to ride the most during the beet campaign. In Přelouč there was a sugar factory right next to the railway station, and there my dad taught me to ride among the cows and horses so that I could see that it was not just sit down and ride. We went to the square and from the square again through the queues of those wagons to Břehy and back again. That's where he taught me the most to assess whether or not I could still fit on the road." - "You were going to get your license yourself? Because it wasn't exactly common for women to drive back then." - "Not at all." - "What did your mother say? Did she like it or was she against it?" - "She drove illegally, too. At that time many people didn’t sweat it."

  • "They found browning that time. Dad called it a browning, it was a revolver. They found it in the attic behind the rafters. But dad said he didn't know anything about it. He said it was probably there from before. It looked pretty tragic. But the dog saved us. We had this little dog. We called him Lizzie. And my mother taught him (when we went somewhere, she put him in her purse) 'Lízinko sing' and she started howling. Mom showed it to the Gestapo and they liked it, so they didn't take dad away and somehow it died down. That's my experience from that time. - "Did they take the gun?" - "Yes. They searched the house and the apartment several times too. What I had in my bottom drawer was always scattered all over the floor."

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    Hradec Králové, 04.02.2022

    duration: 01:26:37
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
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The Gestapo found a revolver behind the beam. We were saved by a howling dog fuss

Růžena Čiháková as a single woman in the 1950s
Růžena Čiháková as a single woman in the 1950s
photo: Archiv pamětnice

Růžena Čiháková, née Školníková, was born on 21 June 1930 in Semín near Pardubice. Her childhood during the war remained the happiest stage of her life. It was only over the years that she realized the danger her family was exposed to at a time when her father Josef Školník was supporting the anti-Nazi resistance. As a butcher, he did not deliver meat to the famous Veselka Hotel for the restaurant’s guests; instead, he met resistance fighter Erno Košt’ál at the side entrance. Meat from Růžena Čiháková’s parents travelled through various intermediaries to the partisans in the vicinity of Semín. After the war, it was on business trips with her father that her greatest passion in life was born - her love for cars. The joy of travelling also accompanied her throughout her life. During socialism, quite exceptionally, she travelled through 29 countries thanks to an influential childhood contact. She died in Lázně Bohdaneč in 2022.