Helena Juráčková

* 1946

  • "I know that he allegedly had one employee who was Jew and the whole war was hidden there in that workshop. He also helped with work. And after the war, when the poor man climbed out, the neighbour who used to live next to us - he was believed to be an informer - said, "He was there all the time?" And my father said yes. `There's the toilet. 'The neighbour was angry that he didn't know it. He would probably betray him. I don't know what his name was, who he was, but he worked with my father in that workshop. Then the workshop was expropriated. My father mentioned that if the neighbour knew about the Jew, the poor man would not have survived. The workshop was on the ground floor, on Sancova Street 1. We lived in the first gate and this was in the third. You could also go through the cellars, to such a yard. And he allegedly went to the yard at night to walk around. And he didn't show up during the day. "

  • "Grandma was divorced. The grandfather left because they somehow lost all their money - I don't know if he played cards or he invested all his money in securities and didn't succeed. So he left. Grandmother with two children stayed here. My father has already married. So they somehow managed to solve it that they wouldn't have to go to Bohemia. They stayed here. But I know they mentioned that they lived on the first or second floor. And the one who left them here told them, 'You know what, so that you are not visible to some people (as you are Czechs), rather take the apartment on the fourth floor. These were somehow cooperative flats, but the size of the flat was the same, but they had the largest balcony of all. ”

  • "When they bombed the Apollo Refinery, they hit their house as well, because it was a short distance across the rails. Then the father went out, my mother sent him, saying, Go and see, for they live there a little. And my uncle was a shoemaker, he had a small business. So before they bombed the Apollo, he ran upstairs, probably for some money or I don't know what. And when the bombs flew, they told us, so he hid in the toilet. And when it stopped, he opened the toilet and there was a huge hole. If he was in the other half of the apartment, he would have died. He ran into the toilet and stayed alive. And then he went downstairs, and those in the cellar on that side were dead, and some of his apprentices also died, and those on that side survived. And I know that they then mentioned that those apprentices had a funeral. for two or three of them, in the Andrew's Cemetery. "

  • "When I was two years old, I got milliary tuberculosis. I was on an X-ray last time and I mentioned it and my sister says, 'Yes, I know what it is.' There were no medicines for that, so my father brought them to me from the London Olympics. My father told me that one of the athletes mentioned it and the people collected money [to buy me the medicine]. And those drugs were already there. He brought them from there. Streptomycin. It was not even penicillin, but streptomycin. And they gave me injections. I also said that the doctor had already said that it was too late. Because I still got smallpox in that hospital. The nun, she was there, because she is in the picture, she said: "Doctor, they bought it, brought it, so let's give it to her." I'm 74 slowly and I'm here! "

  • "I was standing at the bus stop with another gentleman. Ivan went to the afternoon shift because he was working in a store. An old lady went upstairs to the big dormitories and said, "Don't wait, no bus will come, there are Russians and Hungarians everywhere. Everything is full of troops. The gentleman stood up and went home, he lived opposite the cemetery. So I also went home and said: Ivan get up, a lady outside told me that there are armies in the city and I shall not wait for the bus because it won't come. He was making fun of me for listening to an old foolish woman. He turned on the radio, where they already broadcasted we are being occupied. We had a Pioneer motorcycle then, so we went to town. My mother-in-law got up and went to the grocery store, probably if there was a war, so we could have something to eat. We young people, who had a wedding in June and they [Russians] came in August, got on a motorcycle and went to see the city, to see what was happening. We were stopped by Romanians asking whether we had a rifle. Ivo tells them, "Here, on that motorcycle, where?" "You don't have any? You can go." There was a tank at the post office, I was 22 at the time, and I still recall a woman, who stood in front of him and waved a flag and shouted: "Go home!" Like an idiot, I kept observing what was happening. And Ivan pulled me away, "Come quickly, for they can start shooting here." So he grabbed my hand and we went to Kamzík and then they shot up there. The woman provoked the soldiers, but it only occurred to Iva that they could start firing their rifles as well. But they then shot at the tower and then repaired it. "

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    Bratislava , 02.07.2020

    duration: 57:55
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    Bratislava , 24.07.2020

    duration: 01:00:19
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Vďaka olympiáde v Londýne som prežila

Helena Juráčková was born in Bratislava in 1946. Her mother was from Pressburgg and her father was Czech. The whole Czech father’s family moved from Litovel in Moravia to Bratislava in 1930. Her uncle was Major Stanislav Mareš, who fought against fascism and died after Allied troops attacked a colony of political prisoners near Melk in 1945. During World War II, Father Bohumil Kobza hid a Jew. He had his own bookbinding workshop and shop until he was nationalized in 1948. He also served as an international boxing referee and participated in two Olympics. Thanks to a drug he brought from London in 1948, Helena Juráčková recovered from an illness. She trained as a ladies tailor in Vzorodevo, where she worked for ten years. For the next ten years, she worked as a hairdresser in Slovšport, later as a tailor with a private entrepreneur. After the revolution, she helped her husband in business. She married in 1968 and had two children. They watched the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops with their husband right in the centre of Bratislava in the close proximity of the Main Post Office.