Vlasta Křenková

* 1922

  • “We were at grammar school at that time, and our director Bartošek came to the classroom once. He was a smaller man, a lovely guy really. Some two men came with him. We recognized immediately that they were Germans because they wore leather coats and had those hats. And with his voice quavering, Mr. Bartošek read the list of the girls who had to leave the classroom that instant. Those men took them away. Only one came back from the concentration camp. All of them died except Milena Tomská--she was the only one who returned. I met her after the war.”

  • “I was terribly impatient and by the time she was ready with it (Mum was making an American flag) I already took two Czechoslovak ones and went out with them. I left the American flag alone. I hurried up there with it; I went to Bělehradská and wanted to carry on down along Bělehradská, but there were already cars heading to the radio. Wireless had already called for help. So I threw my bag on my shoulder, I sat on the first lorry, and we went towards the radio. At the radio, what to do with us, of course (?). We had to go through first-aid courses because it was compulsory and all young girls had to do it so we could give first aid help. But there was a horrible mess at the radio because the Germans were trying to seize the radio and the Czechs were nowhere. They locked themselves up in those rooms, and there were many casualties there.”

  • “I got there and there were two guys in civilian dress in the office. I said that I had my certificate there and I came to ask why I, a native of Prague, had to move out of my home town. They looked at each other and one of them said: 'Come on, you said you wanted to have a cup of coffee.' He sent him out. He was sitting at a table and he let me stand. There was no offer for me to sit down. He stood up from behind his table and I quote what he said: 'You swine, you whore, you beast, you bastard, you damn reactionary! You are so insolent to dare ask why we are moving you out of Prague? Bugger off before I lock you up!' So I buggered off, what else could I do?”

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    U pamětníka, Praha, Jižní město, 24.01.2010

    duration: 01:58:19
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Everybody has got some kind of fate but your nature plays a crucial role

Vlasta wit her parents
Vlasta wit her parents
photo: pamětnice

Vlasta Křenková, neé Holá, was born in Prague on April 30, 1922. She was brought up in the patriotic spirit of the First Republic. She was considerably influenced by her father who was an Italian legionnaire. The family lived in the centre of Prague where Vlasta attended primary school and later on grammar school in Dušní Street. Over time, the aversion towards Germans intensified more in society, which rapidly culminated after the events in 1938 and 1939. Vlasta didn’t join the resistance movement at the beginning of the war. However, her father was active. She herself participated in the resistance movement after the father of her friend had asked her to do so. She distributed parcels including magazine In Fight all over Prague. After a year and a half, the Germans arrested the core of its publishers, which meant the end of her distributing activity. She worked in labs for testing seeds at the end of the war. Her mother got the job for her to protect her from the threatening recruitment for work in the Reich. During the days of the Prague uprising she helped as a nurse. She was capable of dragging a shot rebel in a heroic way to an improvised first-aid station. She started studying Art History after the war. However, she got married after two terms, and because of her bad personal file she and her husband had to change their address. They lived in Levín in Litoměřice region. Nevertheless, they moved back to Prague soon, especially because of the SNB (State Security) checks that were organised by their greedy tenant. She got divorced from her husband and luckily got a job in conservation. Then she got married again and moved to Frenštát pod Radhoštěm. She studied Pedagogy and started teaching Czech and History in the local Secondary School of Engineering. After the death of her husband she returned to Prague.