Zdislava Kodešová

* 1930  

  • “It’s kind of a provisional statement: ‘We confirm that Josef Štancl’s company, a warehouse store with flour, fats and agricultural crops, Příkopy 31, Prague 1, tacitly approved that their office worker O. Němcová,’ I think her name was Otýlie Němcová, I still remember her from when I visited my dad a couple of times, ,code name Marta,’ they all had code names, ,could use the company’s rooms and equipment at any time of day or night for the purposes of the leaders of a military resistance group.’ Which means that father didn’t know about it but the resistance fighters were hiding somewhere there. ‘Thus allowing the creation of a resistance center that assumed significant importance over time. The leading figures of military resistance worked in that office, as well as hid themselves and their belongings, they were fed there and so on. These were Josef Balabán, code name Pavel, lieutenant colonel Josef Mašín, code name Pobera, staff captain Václav Morávek, code name Vojta, lieutenant colonel of the general staff Jaroslav Kašpar, code name Pátý, and secretary of the military resistance Josef Eliášek, code name Plicka, and many others.’ This lady, Němcová, was dad’s secretary. They didn’t tell my father anything because they were all single but father was married and already had us kids, so they were scared something could happen to him. Father allegedly didn’t know about it but he suspected something because once when he came to the office and there were blankets scattered on the divan in the entrance hall of the office. So he asked: ‘What is this? Who was here?’ And Ms. Němcová jumped to her feet and said: ‘Excuse me, I must have scattered it’, a quickly started cleaning it. Dad found it suspicious, thinking something must have been going on there.”

  • “We were exercising with these rings. We were marching and there was Gottwald standing at the grandstand. While marching, we turned our heads away and we didn’t wave in that direction at all. The youth had their performance at the Strahov stadium prior to the adults. When we were assembling at the marshalling yard, we called: ‘Long live Beneš! Long live Beneš!’ and other such shouts. The Sokol chief entered the grandstand and said: ‘Please keep it down. Calm down! Quiet! This can end up bad.’ So we calmed down.”

  • “The Poppers who owned the Popper company, they had a sister. Everyone had left but that sister stayed here, she was Jewish too. They had a daughter, she was one year older than me, and she used to visit me at our house, to play with me. At the times when they had to wear the Jewish star, she would always cover it with newspaper when she came to visit, so that it would be hidden. We played together, she was one year older than me and had a white dog called Floček. This one time she came and was smiling, that was when it was coming to them being taken to some camps, and she said: ‘Imagine this, they stated that I’m adult already and that I can go together with my parents, I don’t have to go alone to a children camp.’ She was thirteen. She was happy to go with her mum and dad. Her name was Margit Pokorná. And I told her: ‘That’s good, at least you won’t be alone.’ It was in 1942; they were deported to camps and never returned back.”

  • Full recordings
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    Poděbrady, 22.07.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 48:14
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Poděbrady, 23.07.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 22:32
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Movement is a free medicine

Zdislava Kodešová (1950s)
Zdislava Kodešová (1950s)
photo: archiv pamětníka

Zdislava Kodešová was born May 2, 1930 in Poděbrady. Her father Josef Štancl, a warehouse owner in Prague, was interrogated multiple times during World War II for his alleged contacts with Jewish emigrants. His health deteriorated due to the mental strain and he died in 1944. The family faced hardship and financial difficulties after his death. In order to contribute to her family’s income, Zdislava started working in glassworks instead of studying at high school. In 1945 she learned that resistance fighters had been hiding in her father’s company during the war, supposedly even members of the legendary group called the Three Kings. Soon after the liberation in 1945, Zdislava joined the Sokol movement where she used to meet Ctirad Mašín and Milan Paumer. At the 11th national Sokol festival in 1948 she took part in the symbolic act of disapproval of the communist regime together with others. She worked as a modern gymnastics coach in a sports club in the 1960s. Following 1989, she contributed to the restoration of Sokol.