Danuše Hanauerová

* 1926  

  • “What went on in Kralupy, on the Sokol sports ground, that was not nice. People came there just like that with packed lunches. They sat on the wall, and they had the old geezers rounded up there. I won’t name anyone, they’d come up: ‘Who wants to have a shot at the Germans?’ That really happened. Of course, they had a sub-machine gun. Every time they [the Germans] came out to get water, they were locked up somewhere there, the whole sports ground yelled out: ‘Hello!’ I didn’t go there, and I couldn’t understand it, the people. Okay, when they killed someone in a concentration camp, I reckoned: ‘Well, they have a cause for revenge’. But like this, really. But, there were also people there who wanted, well, like it is at football matches nowadays, to have a yell.”

  • “Then one SS man, I know this, he was in the sugar mill. He was wounded, a young boy, they left him to die there. He was kind of thrown aside behind the building. I went by, and he called out: ‘Wasser, Wasser!’ I brought him some water. Well, he was a young boy, he died there. I don’t know what they did with him afterwards. That was another special [moment], when I saw that boy, I was sorry for him in the end.”

  • “Unfortunately, during the air raid the big shelter [by the train station], which was built there, got a direct hit. None of the people in that shelter came out again. And overall, in Kralupy, none of the bombs hit the factories, they stayed standing - the distillery, the refinery, those were just fine. The normal houses copped it, the residential areas, the centre of Kralupy. There was a metre of dust at the places we went to. We had to identify the people. They lay there in the church, the church was full of dead people. My friends were killed. One boy did, too, he was in the cellar, under the stairs; the moment it hit, the rubble got pushed down the cellar through the door, and the whole family was buried by it.”

  • “No one believed much why they should bombard Kralupy. There was a railway junction and mainly there was kerosene factory and distillery, but, principally, the kerosene factory was the most important. You know, kerosene, it was kind of stuff that time. We saw them many times flying above us towards the Prague, it was buzzing. So, all of us have been looking upon them. Well, then one day they flew, entire squadron of those bombers. In front of them, there flew a plane which set the course for the others. Then it descended and started to throw them upon us. So, we rushed into the basement and then it started to fall, all at once. It took a long time and it was terrifying. Coincidentally, the sugar factory [did not] take the hit. In front of the house, the bomb was felt: all of our door-frames flew out of their place, but they didn’t hit sugar factory. Then they said that they didn’t want to, that they just mistook Kralupy for Dresden.… Anyway, the kerosene factory persisted, but all the family houses around [did not], they just missed the right target, and Kralupy were …[in terrible condition]”

  • "Well, Dubček. I thought it is the best time for somebody who could calm the situation down to show up. Otherwise, when the revolution came, I was kind of a sceptic about it. When our young ringed by the keys at Letná, I said them: 'Look, don’t go there, you’ll be spotted, how it was….' Because, I know how we were excited after the War and where it led to. It was the same like my grandmother told to us when the Russians came. We said: 'They freed us'. And gradma answered: 'Just wait.' She grasped it perfectly. So, I said to them: 'Don’t be so excited about it. It won’t be as bright as it looks like'. And, my words became deeds. I couldn’t be so excited about it because I lacked confidence. I thought to myself that it won’t be the good which will prevail.... Well, I’ve lost those illusions about people, about the people which my father helped, who managed to turn against him because of money, and which people came to power, when I found out what they did, what they said. And after all, they worked at Central Committee. I was sceptic a lot, in this case.”

  • "Walking the streets was much like walking in the mountains: there were terrible piles of debris, sand, everything else. Many people were dead--there was a church they did not hit--but all around it were lots of lifeless bodies that had to be identified, who is who and what happened. We’ve been pulling the bodies out of the basements. Near the railway station, there was a bomb-raid shelter which took direct hit. Not the railway station, nor the kerosene factory, but lots of houses were destroyed. A friend of mine and his family hid in the basement. Stairs led into it, and when the house fell down, debris rolled down the stairs and it buried them there. It was horrible…there was a metre of dust. Walking was much more like sinking into the snow. Dust was all around. Well, that was how Kralupy looked like after the bombing run. In the end, everything was good for nothing. The end of the War came soon. I didn’t know what happened in Prague--everything was good for nothing.“

  • "Those Russians rushed Germans. We had a villa in Louňovice. They took it, and from Nevenklov, they made it a shooting range. They rushed those German women, but only the women and some old people. They took our villa and they lived there for a while. I could speak German quite well, and when I was speaking with them, I thought to myself: 'Ou Jesus. Are those Germans really bad people? They’ve been looking for curtains, they’ve been trying to. There was a mother with four little girls'. I thought to myself: 'They aren’t responsible for this, and still they are running away, they were sad of it. Russians have surely caught them'. I wondered what they suffered from Russians, how did they die. This is how I was starting to think when I was 19 years old, how it all happened." < No, I’ve met them in Kralupy.> Because We were there (in Louňovice) later, after the revolution. But there in Kralupy, they brought up entire court of Germans by trucks, who were running away and in the trucks they carried fabrics. They borrowed basket for laundry and they filled it with jewels. They’ve confiscated it to them and carried it to the National committee. I’m really interested in what they brought there. Later, after the revolution, they rushed those old Germans, who has given up, into the gym and there they stayed under the shelters. The citizens of Kralupy have been going there with food, they were sitting on the wall and when some of the Germens showed up, they beat him. There were guardsmen saying , they had a machine gun. Every time when some of those Germans showed up, they’ve shoot on them with loud . It made me feel sick, perhaps when they killed somebody to someone in concentration camps… It’s the same like today on the football match, just to release that aggression.”

  • “So, I was content with the job. We had our own office with Míla. I did the work for 38 years. When we visited Jirkov’s family privately, Otta was taking us out. Time to time he said to us: 'Girls I have wandering boots'. We (me and Vlasta) were 20 years old, so he took us to the Lucerna bar, and that was his way of taking care of us. He said to us many times during those walks: 'Girls, now I’m Otta'. But the other day in the office we had to call him 'Director' again. I can’t complain about the job, because all 38 years I enjoyed working there. I didn’t work in any coal warehouse. Advertising was fine. My job responsibility was to write advertisements in newspapers. All the cinemas had their place there. We had to duplicate them, dictate, create time schedules, etc. They were always wondering how we can manage it all in two, but we had the right tools and, moreover, we memorized everything. Every week we went to the performance, so I saw that day... We’ve had to watch those Russian films as well, because we had to write about it. If it’s in Czech, if it’s accessible to the young. We also had to add slogans to them. Anyway, we memorized it all and we had those tools from the businessman. To sum up, we were good at it. They always wondered how we can manage it all in time”

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    Praha - Nusle, 25.04.2013

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Althought there was a war, we had a good time

Danuše Hanauerová (1944)
Danuše Hanauerová (1944)
photo: archiv pamětnice

Danuše Hanauerová, née Antoninova, was born on the 8th May 1926 at Kralupy nad Vltavou, where she attended primary and then business high school. She had to stop studying high school in 1943 because of total deployment. She was a witness of American bombing run at Kralupy, German displacement and the terrible ordeal. After the communist revolution, her father deposed from the post of director of local sugar refinery and exiled from Kralupy to Lounovice. Mrs Hanauerova was forced to start working, because her family lacked finances. She found a job in Prague advertising agency, where she worked for 38 years. Due to this work she met her husband. They survived together through all regime changes. Nowadays, Danuše Hanauerová is retired and takes care of her family and family villa.