Lidmila Daňková

* 1923  †︎ 2010

  • “(Memories) of Terezín ... that kind of solidarity. We were on our own at the beginning, so one of us had to say or narrate something. Then we got some more prisoners at our cell. There was a professor from Prague. Her name was Louise, we used to call her Louisinka and she was teaching us all about various poetry books. These are wonderful memories. And the solidarity of our class... I have got two girls and I can say that they envied me the solidarity and help when somebody in the class needed something. When I called, somebody came and helped me. At the beginning we used to meet at Lída's at the station in Roudnice. Those were three wonderful days of the year. There were doctors among us and when some girl needed, she could come to hospital immediately. Such solidarity and cohesion of a class is a very rare thing. If you are having good times in everyday situations, the group will never be as close to one another as we were. So I do appreciate the solidarity of the group most.”

  • “We wrote an essay in German titled 'My Plans for the Future.' We were allowed to make a draft in the first lesson. And the papers were still in our school bags that (after our arrest – author's note) were given to our parents... Well, what plans for the future... It was the first lesson and there was a double lesson after the break at 10:00. The second lesson was about to end but there was no bell ringing. So the professor, we used to call him Aaron, went out to the corridor. He stayed there for a minute and he returned pale saying: 'There is the Gestapo in the school!' So we were thunderstruck because the nation was frightened at that time. The Gestapo came to the village square, they jumped out of their cars and went inside the houses for unregistered people. There was always a book in every house where you had to sign in. All people were frightened and so were we. Within twenty minutes there came the Kladno commissioner Felkl into the classroom. He wore a pair of leather trousers and a leather coat. He stood up on the dais and the other Gestapo guys followed him. One of them went to the windows, the two stayed at the door and we were staring at them in horror. We were no heroes nor anti-Nazi crusaders, we were seventh-year students. They started shouting at us that we were treacherous Czech swines – in German of course - and that we didn't deserve the advantages of the pan-Germanic Reich. As he said 'pan-Germanic,' he and the others raised their arms. They said we were to be transported and punished. We were staring agape at him, we were simply totally devastated. Then they started investigating who was in the classroom. Four students were missing so they had them found. We already knew that the going got really tough then. Then we were told to leave everything on spot. We didn't manage more than grasping our handkerchiefs and putting them in our pockets. We ran out to the corridor. The seventh year classroom was on the second floor and there were quiet corridors everywhere. Then we got to know that all the classes and their teachers had to leave the school. We ran outside school, you enter the Roudnice Grammar School up the staircase, and there waited box cars, probably antons. Then we were chased down. There were already a few parents from Roudnice and they were watching us totally devastated.”

  • “My name is Lidmila Daňková and I was born in Podlusky at Roudnice nad Labem on March 15th, 1923. Podlusky is a part of Roudnice at present. I grew up in a family with two older siblings. My sister died, I never knew her. My brother joined the Army at the age of 30. He was conscripted and because there was unemployment and there were no chances for him at home, he remained in the Army serving longer. He didn't have any school leaving exam so he worked as a staff technical sergeant and he was an ordnance sergeant. I got to know him only adult like this. I attended primary school. We used to walk three kilometers to Roudnice every day. Then back home for lunch, then for afternoon classes and then back home again. I finished girl's primary school and then I continued at secondary school with the vision I'd become a teacher. I got as far as the fourth one-year learning course and I was about to do an interview at the teacher's college. There were zones at that time already when Roudnice secondary school belonged to the teacher's college Žatec. Nobody was accepted to Prague, Kralupy or some other places where the teacher's colleges were as well. My class-mate Věra Uhlířová repeated a one-year course. She wanted to try that again as she was turned down last year because of too many applicants. It was for the first time in my life when the teacher called my parents. My Dad came and he said to the teacher, who was thinking about it for a long time then and couldn't understand that, that the girl who was repeating already was loosing a year and had the moral right to go at the college. She was sure to be accepted. My Mum was one of 11 children and she was a realist, so she couldn't understand that very much. But my Dad, the housefather, decided that.”

  • “The head was the teacher Bauer and he lived in a confiscated villa. I don't know if it was a Jewish property but he lived with a family of a professor in the villa whose son attended school with us. And Karel Dvořák was a lousy pupil, a below-average one. Had there been no one to learn with him in order to keep up with the demands, he would probably never scraped through. He was also one of the first ones who died in Terezín because he didn't know how to behave. We felt rather sorry for him or we made fun of him rather than to hate him. People said that the head teacher's daughter said something about her father in the courtyard. And Karel apparently said something like that she shouldn't boast so much because the Germans were going to kill her father anyway or something like that. He simply said something in a dumb way. The girl said it at home. And the head teacher, in order to make himself more interesting, said that the students were preparing an assassination of him. It was the contriving of his assassination.”

  • “I lived in Budyně and I worked in a factory there. Saturday 5th May came and Prague was calling for help. So the tanners, the guys from the wet workshops where skin was combed, they were dropping everything... Luckily, the doctor of chemistry Wolfart, the owner, was not present there. He owned some more factories in Praha Dejvice, similar tanneries. It started on Saturday, the turmoil lasted till 9th May till the morning when the city hall bells started tolling. The city hall announced that the first Soviet tanks were coming from Žabovřesky to Budyně. They were coming from the Erzgebirge area. We didn't know then that the advancement of the American Army towards Prague was prohibited and that the Soviet Army had to come in Prague. We welcomed them, they were all covered with dust on the tanks and they were heading to Prague. It was Wednesday and we met in the Grammar School in Roudnice on Friday already. It was May 11th. We were just a few but we wanted to meet on Monday already. There were still ordinary classes, they didn't close the Grammar School down. And the professors in their excitement made a special plan due to the end of the war so that we could keep up.”

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    Blatná, 19.03.2009

    duration: 01:42:28
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“He started shouting at us that we were treacherous Czech swines and that we didn’t deserve the advantages of the pan-Germanic Reich. We were staring agape at him, we were just totally devastated.”

DSC01044 mladá.jpg (historic)
Lidmila Daňková
photo: Dobová: 1942, Současná: 2009

    Mgr. Lidmila Daňková, maiden name Dragounová, was born in Podlusky at Roudnice nad Labem on March 15th, 1923. After attending primary school, she planned on fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a teacher. She had to go to study at Grammar School in Roudnice nad Labem in 1938. During the government of Heydrich in 1942, in Lidmilla’s seventh year, her class was accused of a planned assassination attempt on head teacher Bauer. The whole class was arrested and transported to Terezín. Lidmila Daňková was interned in Terezín from June 20th till September 22nd 1942. She met women from Lidice and the families of the assassins of Reinhard Heydrich there. The boys were transported to some other concentration camps and the girls were released from prison and into forced labor. Lidmila Daňková was forced to work in the forests at Rakovník, in a factory in Roudnice nad Labem, and in Budyně nad Ohří. Her brother Emanuel Dragoun served in the government troops. After the war and after many exams, Lidmilla’s childhood dream of becoming a teacher came true. She could start teaching at primary school and later at a special school. She retired in 1981. She lives in Blatná (Strakonice region) at present and she is the chairperson of Blatná offshoot of the Czech Freedom Fighters Association.