Anna Havelková

* 1927  

  • “We had a newly built, modern grammar school, which had everything, all fields. Both the classic system and the comprehensive one. The classic school had Latin, and the comprehensive had French. I did the comprehensive one. Together, we had all possible facilities at our disposal. In the Viennese didn’t have such equipment. I was interested in practically everything, I remember it. I also enjoyed singing and playing theatre.”

  • “I didn’t see my husband at all. It was very strange at the trial, when they took me there, sat at the front and asked me what I thought of it. I told them: ‘What can I think of it - you’re locking my husband and the father of my children.’ It was all so extraordinary to me. My thanks go to my parents, who helped me, and they even sent me... because there wasn’t any, so they sent me some sugar.”

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    Domov důchodců v Kadani, 03.03.2017

    (audio)
    duration: 01:13:25
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Live by the Ten Commandments

40933-photo.jpg (historic)
Anna Havelková
photo: Martin Ocknecht

Anna Havelková, née Podolská, was born on 3 February 1927 into a family of Viennese Czechs. When growing up she attended Czech schools of the expatriate Komenský Association, where she graduated with honours. During World War II she experienced several heavy Allied bombing runs on the Austrian metropolis, and also the Red Army’s attack on the city in April 1945. During the post-war repatriation process, she and her sister travelled to Prague and then later to Kadaň in the Czech border region. The town was to be repopulated by Czech repatriates in place of the deported German inhabitants. In the pub on the main square, Anna met Antonín Havelka, a farm administrator. They married in 1946 and had six children. The couple moved from Kadaň to an estate in Tupadly in 1948, which was managed by Antonín Havelka, the adoptive son of the owner, his aunt Marie. However, after a number of disputes he had to return the farm to his adoptive mother in 1950 by a “consent decree”; he began farming in Jeníkovec near Maleč. When private farmers were squashed by the regime, he took up employment at a state farm in Lanškroun in August 1954. Fifteen months later, in 1955, he was sentenced to 4 years in prison for bad management, based on claims by his subordinates. He was recommended to appeal against the conviction, but that only extended the sentence to 7 years. He was released in 1963. Anna Havelková had to raise their five children by herself, after the verdict she was evicted from the estate flat in Lanškroun, and so she returned to her mother in Kadaň. In 1976 the Communist regime allowed Anna Havelková to visit her brother in Australia for two months, which she considers to be one of the greatest experiences of her life. Before retiring, Anna worked in several jobs, first in surface transportation in the mining industry, later as an operator at a switching station. When her husband died in January 1990, she lived alone for a while and then moved to a care home in Kadaň. She is deeply religious.