Hana Jonášová

* 1950

  • "What can the hearing majority do to make life better for the deaf?" - "It is important that the hearing people are not afraid to communicate with the deaf, they can write or learn at least the basics of sign language - hello - what do you need - do you want help - thank you." Then interpreter Miroslav Hanzlíček and witness Hana Jonášová explain and show how to sign these words.

  • "There were thirteen of pupils in the class." - "Were all the teachers and nuns hearing?" - "The staff and the nuns, they were hearing, until the communists decided that the nuns were not allowed to provide this service. In November 1955, they had to leave the boarding school and were replaced by teachers. Although I was only with them for about a year and a half, I felt very sorry for them and I remember them a lot. Teacher, that was not the same, they didn't teach properly so that we learned something out of it."

  • "What is it like when a child is deaf and everyone around can hear? How do they say basic things to each other?" - "Daddy didn't use sign language much, he had his signs. Mummy didn't sign at all, I had to try to read her lips." - "If Mummy wanted to say, for example, 'Take your shoes, we're going out', how did she say it?" - "She asked me if I wanted to go to the movies, to visit. It was clear to me that I had to wear shoes. Mum spoke as if we were all hearing, and I had to try to read her lips. The situation was quite difficult for me, like š, č, ž are difficult letters to read, the mouth is similarly set." - "Was there ever any fundamental misunderstanding?" - "There was never such a situation because my mother was not enjoying communicating with me. I begged her to teach me to write, she said she didn't enjoy it, she didn't do it."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Plzeň, 30.06.2023

    duration: 01:22:42
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - PLZ REG ED
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

The nuns were kind-hearted, I was sorry they had to leave

Hana Jonášová in 2023
Hana Jonášová in 2023
photo: Post Bellum

Hana Jonášová was born on 30 May 1950 in Jablonec nad Nisou. She lost her hearing at the age of eight months after repeated ear infection. Her parents Františka and František Vojtíšek, as well as her older brothers František and Jiří, could hear well, her father worked as a locksmith in a jewellery factory in Mšeno nad Nisou, her mother worked as a seamstress. Hana Jonášová attended a regular kindergarten for a year, a kindergarten for the deaf in Prague-Radlice for a year, and spent the next twelve years in a kindergarten and school for the hearing impaired in Prague’s Holečkova Street. Here she experienced the care of the nuns and still remembers them to this day, but in 1955 the communists expelled the nuns from the school. She spent twelve years at the boarding school in Holečkova Street, going home only at Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. After primary school, she joined a jewellery factory in Mšeno nad Nisou, where her father worked, painting spoons and jewellery. When she got married, she moved to Klatovy, in 1979 her son Pavel was born and in 1983 her daughter Alena. Son became an electrician and then finished his secondary school diploma, daughter Alena is a researcher at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Faculty of Applied Sciences. Hana Jonášová worked at Kozak Klatovy, then at Obzor Klatovy and Obzor Plzeň. Her marriage was not a happy one, since 1998 the couple have been separated. She has been retired since the age of fifty-eight and regularly meets with the deaf people from the Deaf Association Pilsen.