“My dad married again eight years later, so he couldn’t look after me at all until then. Well, and then the Germans came, and they divided the country into two parts. It was the protectorate, which was the majority of Czechs, and then the Sudetes, which is where my father lived in Tanvald, so I could only visit him once a year on a permit.”
“So we got a bunch of lilac and we had to learn the Russian sentence ‘Zdravstvuyte, tovrashchy’. So they taught us that, and then suddenly all the loudspeakers started saying that instead of Russians, there were Germans coming on horses, in tanks, on motorbikes. So I stopped still, imagining I would welcome the Germans, not likely! And suddenly someone caught me by the collar and dragged me away - there was a saving society, post office a bit further along the square, and we all hid there and locked ourselves in. The Germans came, true, but no one appeared in the windows, they’d have shot without hesitation! If we’d have shown ourselves, they would have started shooting. So it worked out okay in the end, the Russians really did arrive after that. And now I’ll tell you something for a laugh. I had a watch on my arm, it was a lovely one, and the watch was visible, and one of the Russians came up to me and said: ‘Davay, davay,’ and pointed. So I gave it to him, and I got nought in return.”
“There wasn’t a soul about, but it was a fine day, and then suddenly we heard shooting. So [my friend and I] were curious, instead of legging it, we went on and came to where the forest started, to where the shooting was happening. And what we saw - back then I didn’t pity them, but as one grows older - it was ugly. It was actually after the war, I don’t know, they probably shouldn’t have done that. There were our people there, they called themselves, said they were partisans, but then I found that they weren’t partisans at all, but they were wild enough to be able to shoot at people. The Hitlerjugend boys were there, and a long dug out pit for a grave. They had them line up there six at a time, shot them, the boys fell down. So we watched for a while, and suddenly the one Czech roared at us to get the hell out. So we walked away quickly. So that wasn’t a thrill, at that point I really couldn’t care less after all that, but later I said to myself: Jesus, those were just boys!”
Jana Hyblerová, née Janouchová, was born on 21 October 1930 in Jilemnice. Her mother died when she was still a little child, and her father remarried and moved to Tanvald. Jana lived with her uncle and aunt in Náchod. At the end of the war she narrowly escaped a clash with the retreating German army. Later in 1945 she and her friend were witness to the mass shooting of young Hitler Youths by Czech men near Náchod Manor. After the war her father came for her and took her back with him to Tanvald. Jana had a rather unhappy puberty. Her father was an officer and a high-ranking Communist after 1948, and he kept strict watch over his daughter. Jana married in Tanvald and had two children. She and her family moved to Turnov, her husband’s home town. She worked as a secretary her whole life.