Jarmila Dvořáková

* 1942  

  • “When the Germans conquered Paris and got inside the broadcast, they found a letter from my mom. Thus she was invited in October 1942 to the Petschek palace. My mom only managed to scribble on the table for my dad the following message: ‘They’re taking me to Pečkárna, I'll be back in the afternoon’. But she wasn’t. They arrested her and took her to Waldheim in Berlin. She was by then already shortly pregnant. I should have been born in May 1943, but probably due to the situation and the circumstances in which my mom had to live in prison, I was born already in April.”

  • “Ruda took me in his arms and went with me into the woods, where he told me that we did not have a father anymore. He told me that we had to be strong and should support my mom. The fact is that my father had angina pectoris, so his heart was a little sick, but I’m convinced that it was the Communists who killed him. The system, the regime, the Communists. They are responsible.”

  • “An StB agent came and said that these people needed to be lodged in these rooms because these were wiretapped. But because they were our friends, we took them aside and told them that these rooms were bugged. We told them to be careful when speaking in these rooms.”

  • “The café had large windows on the Wenceslas Square, so we would watch all historical events through these windows from the café. I know that I was sitting on the coffee table and was watching what was going on outside. I remember that in September the funeral of Edvard Beneš took place. I did not understand much of it at that time and everybody was crying, down in the street and around me, everybody was crying. I was terribly ashamed not to be crying. So I like spit on my finger and would touch my eyelids with it, so that my eyes too were wet...”

  • “When my mom was still in prison, here in this photo is my aunt Růža, this is my brother, this is Emílek, and my mother’s brother’s wife, Mrs. Mikešová. All of these women agreed that in protest against the war they’d give birth to a child. And that better times are about to come.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 03.03.2014

    (audio)
    duration: 02:50:51
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Praha, 20.01.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 51:08
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I was born out my mother’s defiance against the war

dvořáková dobová.jpg (historic)
Jarmila Dvořáková
photo: Archiv pamětnice, současné foto Vilém Faltýnek

Jarmila Dvořáková was born on April 26, 1943 in a Berlin prison. Her mother was convicted by a German court to eight years in prison for treason in 1942. Shortly after birth, Jarmila was taken from Berlin to Prague by her father, who raised her with the help of her mother’s sister, Růžena. Her father owned the Tatra café in Wenceslas Square. After the war, her mother returned from prison, but the family did not live together for a long time. In 1949, the Communists confiscated the café, which her father never managed to cope with. A year later, he died. Jamila Dvořáková graduated from a business school and after a short practice began working for the Krátký film company. Here she worked as a producer and in the years 1976-1990 she was responsible for the organization of the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary. Currently, she oversees the operational aspects of her husband, Josef Dvořák’s, private theater (Theatrical Company Josef Dvořák).