We ran at night when Konětopy was already burning
Věra Grögerová, née Svobodová, was born on November 27, 1937 in Konětopy, a village near Stará Boleslav. Her father was a local blacksmith, her mother took care of the children and the household. In 1937, they started building a house in Konětopy. The earliest memories of the then six-year-old Věra also include the mass arrests in Konětopy in 1944, when more than thirty inhabitants were arrested. Five of them, including two 16-year-old boys and one woman, were executed and others ended up in concentration camps. The arrest was probably the result of provocating the Gestapo. In the spring of 1944, an allegedly escaped Soviet prisoner began to appear in Konětopy asking for help. However, it is likely that he was a Gestapo informer. On May 8, 1945, a Wehrmacht unit arrived in Konětopy. As a revenge for a partisan attack on a bus with German officers, they burned down and looted several dozen houses the day before. Most of the inhabitants managed to escape from Konětopy before their arrival and hide in the surrounding villages. The Svoboda couple with two small daughters also managed to escape. They experienced a dramatic moment when on the way they met a convoy of German soldiers heading to Konětopy and they had nowhere to hide. The house of the Svoboda family did not avoid the burning either, the family lived in a temporary cottage for several months after the liberation. In the early 1950s, Věra Grögerová’s father was forced to join the united agricultural cooperative, to which he also had to donate his blacksmith’s workshop. He was thus forced to terminate the successful production of weeders, which were his own patent. At the same time, Věra Grögerová graduated from a secondary grammar school and subsequently from the Faculty of Education in Pilsen. She started her first teaching position in Teplice, as she had the place card there. There she also met her future husband and remained there permanently. She is now retired, but for the twelfth year she has been the curator of the local congregation of the Czech Brethren Evangelical Church. She is a widow, has one daughter and enjoys her three grandchildren.