Mgr. Věra Grögerová

* 1937  

  • "I was teaching Russian. And that the moment when I came to class, I had to talk to them. There were colleagues who were waiting for the director to say what the Communist Party allows to say, there were party members. And I acted based on my knowledge. How I greeted the tank as a little girl then, and I remember exactly how beautiful the morning was, how we even as children perceived that the war was over, freedom, peace and what disappointment I experienced then that Soviet tanks arrived again and for this purpose. So, I said, 'Take Russian, like any other language. If you didn't know Russian, you wouldn't know, you wouldn't be able to write, 'Ivan, go home!' So that's how I told those children what I thought, and the children are always sensitive to that."

  • "The village was surrounded by the army. The bus arrived, trucks with the army arrived. I was there with our aunt Anča during this first arrest. There were us children and the elderly people. And that Ivan walked among those lines of people or alongside and he showed and selected the people he recognized who gave him something. And so, for example, old Mrs. Legner… He went not only at night or in the evening, but he also went at noon. And this old Mrs. Legner, there was a building closer to the forest, so he went there at noon. And she gave him a big cup of milk and a slice of bread. And he took her daughter and her husband. So, like this, it was the first arresting and they immediately put those arrested people on a bus and took them to Prague."

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    Praha, 26.06.2020

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    duration: 01:42:43
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We ran at night when Konětopy was already burning

Věra Grögerová
Věra Grögerová
photo: archive of the witness

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.