Nazis let my mother give birth to me, then they sent her die
Vratislav Ebr was born on October 20, 1942 to Františka Sívková during her imprisonment by the Gestapo. She was arrested along with her relatives after the identity of the paratroopers who assassinated the Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich was revealed, including her brother Josef Valčík. The witness’s father, František Sívek, was executed on October 24, 1942 in Mauthausen, and his mother was executed also there on January 26, 1943. The several months old son was transferred to the infant care center in Prague-Krč by the Gestapo. There he lived until he was four years old. In 1945, he was adopted by the childless couple Ebrs from Prague 6, with whom Vratislav spent a beautiful childhood. He learned about his family past from his adoptive mother at the age of sixteen. Then, he also met his three older siblings Marta, Mirek and Stanislav, who had no idea that Vratislav survived the war. He trained as a bookseller and worked in that field all his life. In August 1968 he experienced the occupation of the building of the Czechoslovak writer by the Warsaw Pact troops. On January 16, 1969 he witnessed the burning of Jan Palach. In the 1980s, he restored the fame of the name of Jakub Arbes, after whom, with the consent of the management, he had a bookstore in Smíchov named. Here he organized autograph signings, discussions, meetings and happenings that attracted attention. From 1997 to 2004, he operated the bookstore privately. The historian Jaroslav Čvančara, who sought to break the taboo of the Heydrich rampage with his newspaper texts during the totalitarianism, helped Vratislav to understand the complex past of his family. Regarding the original family, Vratislav Ebr is also still in contact with his older cousin Vlasta Tkadlecová from Křekov near Valašské Klobouky. She experienced a similar fate and lives near Smolina, where the witness’s parents came from.