Hana Lobkowiczová

* 1928

  • “Me and my future husband used to walk together from school towards Jirásek bridge, side by side. Already in the fourth year of grammar school, incredible. But it was a different sort of dating than what we see today. It was really purely platonic. We would give each other looks and so on.” – “Did you know about his family? Or was it spontaneous?” – “Of course, I knew it because of his name. But he was immensely humble. His mother, my future mother-in-law, was a widow and they had no money. All of us kids ate bread with some spread on it. But he would always eat bread with tomato paste because they had no money to buy anything fancier. It was impossible to buy butter at that time; one had to get it at the black market or something. He was really incredibly humble. He never bragged about anything, let alone about him being a Lobkowicz.”

  • “I knew I didn’t have a choice. There was no way, the assignment was automatic. Not only to Eastern Slovakia where the ‘unwanted people’ were commonly sent. So I knew that I would be sent somewhere. And in the end, Ústí was more manageable than Eastern Slovakia. I started in there on 1 January 1953. They assigned me to the isolation ward. I had to examine the patients. Back then, people still suffered from palsy and meningitis. I had to learn to examine spine functions and similar things. I worked from seven to twelve in there. And at 1 p.m. my other shift began at the district clinic. I would work there every day from one p.m. to seven p.m. On Saturdays we worked until one. At noon, the whole Ústí nad Labem got up to catch a train and go to Prague. Luckily there was the so-called ‘Berliner’ – a direct express Berlin-Vienna. The whole train was full of doctors. And on Sunday at noon we had to be on our way back, reporting at work again.”

  • „Jednou za mnou přišli do nemocnice. V baráku na Hřebenkách měla moje tchyně už předtím domluvené s diplomatickým úřadem, že tam budou bydlet jejich zaměstnanci. A to jí nesebrali. Jednou tam bydlel nějaký Maďar, jednou tam bydlela nějaká Angličanka a tak. Přišli za mnou do nemocnice a říkali: ‚Vy tam míváte Angličany nebo cizince. Víte někdy, co si povídají?‘ A já jsem říkala: ‚Ne, já jim nerozumím, vůbec jim nerozumím.‘ ‚Ale to by bylo tak skvělé. Představte si, mohla byste jezdit do ciziny, mohla byste všecko, když byste nám občas něco řekla.‘ A já jsem si prostě tvrdě stála za tím, že neumím tu řeč, že jim vůbec nerozumím. Tak odešli. Ale teď jsem si uvědomila, že půjdou třeba rovnou do našeho bytu. A tam byly dopisy od švagrových, tuzexy a módní časopisy. Říkala jsem si: ‚Propána!‘ Protože telefony nebyly, nemohla jsem telefonovat. Pak jsem se nějakým způsobem z práce uvolila a odešla. A oni naštěstí nepřišli. Protože viděli, že jsem tak blbá, že prostě nemají šanci.“

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 19.06.2015

    duration: 02:07:18
    media recorded in project Bohemian nobility
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“I could always rely on my sister Věrka.”

Hana Lobkowiczová, historical portrait
Hana Lobkowiczová, historical portrait
photo: soukromý archiv pamětnice

Hana Lobkowiczová, née Nováková, was born on the 17th of January 1928 in Prague. She and her twin-sister Věrka who later became a renowned illustrator and four of their siblings grew up in Prague’s Braník quarter. Thanks to her father Bohumil Novák, a lawyer and an intellectual who for some time served as mayor of Braník, their villa with a large garden became the center of the local social life. Hana Lobkowiczová was a teenager at the end of WWII and witnessed the shelling of Prague as well as the expulsion of the local Germans. After the war, she graduated from medical school and became a doctor. In 1952, she married František Lobkowicz whom she had met during her studies at Jirásek grammar school in Prague. As a member of the nobility, her husband was considered politically unreliable by the communist regime and soon after their wedding was sent to do his compulsory military service with an Auxiliary Technical Battalion. Following his return, they enjoyed family life. In his free time, František became an expert in genealogy and heraldry. Their daughter Janička was born with a handicap and died at fourteen years of age. Hana then gave birth to another girl Marjenka and to a boy whom they named Michal. After the Velvet Revolution, Michal became a member of the Czechoslovak Parliament and later the Czech Chamber of Deputies. He was a member of the Christian Democratic Party, Civic Democratic Party and finally of the Freedom Union. As a minister of defense serving from January to June 1998 he pursued Czech Republic’s admission to NATO. Ever since 1989 and following her husband’s death in 1998, Hana Lobkowiczová travelled extensively. To this day, she remains in contact with the Czech nobility.