I was left alone in Czechoslovakia
Irena Fajmanová, née Pešková, firstly married Jarkovská, was born on December 1, 1930 in Prague. During the Heydrich rampage, her entire family was arrested for her father’s unspecified resistance activities. Father Jan Pešek ended up in forced labour in Germany, mother Ida returned home from custody few months later. Irena spent a fortnight with her brother in Petschka’s palace [Gestapo headquarters]. Then they lived without their parents for several months. Their neighbours, Ráž family, took care of them. On June 18, 1942, she watched from a distance the siege of the Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius, in which the paratroopers were hiding. After the war, she moved with her mother and her new stepfather to a farm in Chotyně near Liberec. Ida’s mother opposed joining the cooperative farm, so Irena could not complete her studies at secondary medical school. Mother with her husband and their daughter [Irena´s half-sister] emigrated and settled in London. The witness believed that her mother had not survived the border crossing and considered her dead for several years. A few years later, the witness’s brother, Ota Pešek, also emigrated. After his departure, Irena faced several interrogations. The witness only found out that her mother was alive in 1961. According to materials deposited in the Security Forces Archives, the witness was registered since 1960 as an informant of State Security. However, she is not willing to talk about this period of her life. State Security ended the cooperation on January 23, 1967, because at that time she had already refused to attend meetings. In 1984, the witness’s son emigrated. In 2020, she was living with her second husband in Poděbrady.