They beat up every German after the war, it’s a time I don’t want to remember
Leante Janderová, née Niederlová, was born July 28, 1930 in Kašperské Hory. Two years after that the family moved to Ervěnice in the Most region. Her father František Niederle got a position there as manager of a Baťa shop during the Great Depression and his wife Josefa Niederlová opened a garment factory there. She was ethnically Czech, he was German and both languages were spoken in their house. After the annexation of Sudetenland, they stayed in Ervěnice. Leante, who had started a Czech school, had to transfer to a German school and later started studying at a German gymnasium. The city Most, where she commuted to, was repeatedly bombed at the end of the war and the bombs hit Ervěnice as well, with tens of houses lying in ruins. Hard times hit the Niederle family in the tense atmosphere of May days in 1945. All their possessions were confiscated, the two daughters had to hide away from the Soviet soldiers for almost two weeks and František Niederle was beaten up senseless by members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. That’s when they decided to fly home to Kašperské Hory which had come under the significantly calmer and safer American zone. Thanks to Josefa Niederlová’s Czech nationality they weren’t expelled from the country. There was a U.S. garrison stationed in Kašperské Hory and one of the soldiers chose Rita Niederle, Leante’s older sister, as his future wife. Soon after they flew to the U.S. and spent a happy life together. Leante’s life in Czechoslovakia, on the other hand, was considerably more complicated. She wasn’t allowed to finish her studies after February 1948 and for a long time she couldn’t find a job that would be adequate to her above-average language skills. She had several blue-collar jobs and only in 1965 managed to get a job as a receptionist in the Škoda hotel in Pilsen. She married Boris Jandera, an officer of the Czechoslovak People’s Army, in 1950, despite the army explicitly prohibiting marriage with her. He didn’t obey and had to leave the army. During the time when Leante Janderová started working in the hotel in Pilsen, State Security agents began regularly contacting her. These were said to be routine visits to all receptionists who were interacting with the accommodated foreigners on a daily basis. However, the preserved materials from the Security Services Archive indicate that she was listed as a collaborator of the State Security. Several times throughout her lifetime, she and her close ones found themselves taken in tow by historical events that she practically couldn’t influence and was forced to adapt to them. Peace and real freedom to make choices about her own life only came after the fall of communism in November 1989.