Jana Singerová

* 1932

  • "There were a lot of people here, at least in TOS I got to know a lot of people, mostly from the trade relations they came from. They were not subject to it. We avoided parades. We always hid; we just did not want to undergo that. Moreover, we did the same in Prague. We always went out together - and immediately got lost. Here, people mainly went to the cemetery, and on May 1st, I probably haven't been even once." - "Did it have any consequences when they found out that you did not attend the parades, or did they let you go?" - "Not really, you know. I somehow slipped through. But, I slipped even after that, when I was already employed. At first I was employed at TOS, after giving birth I did not want to go to the factory. I was in an apprenticeship school. Fortunately, there was a communist director, but he knew that I was not inclined to do that. He didn't force us, or me, I'm reffering to myself, so he never forced me."

  • “He actually ended it by bombing Dresden, when he was standing with that train just outside Dresden. He said that the train was completely jumping, what was the force of the pressure. There he decided to return home, to leave. It probably was not overnight, because he had to go back to his base station, Gőrlitz, and secretly take his things and walk home. It was February. I know that the raid on Dresden was in February. Dad always walked only at night; he hid during the day and did not come home until April. He was in very bad shape and still risked being taken away. There was a wonderful head doctor at the Paka hospital. He offered to take Dad to the hospital as he was wounded anyway. He had to go for a medical check anyway, as he was not well after that trip. And so he lived to see the end of the war.”

  • "Here he drove a locomotive and again worked as a stoker. He had the best certificates, so he could also work as a machinist. Because he was the youngest employee who came, and they were obliged to send I don't know how many people, but my father was among them, to work in Germany. I already know this for sure: my father was assigned to the main station in Gőrlitz - what is the name of Gőrlitz in Czech?" - "Zhořelec." - "Yes, to Zhořelec, and throughout the war he travelled with weapons to the Eastern Front. We didn't even think about it, we children, mom did. Mom just had a really hard time. That was such a risky job, I only realized that later."

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    Vrchlabí, 13.11.2021

    duration: 01:17:30
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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In the oven the picture of the president Masaryk was hidden away from the Germans

Jana Singerová in 1994
Jana Singerová in 1994
photo: archiv pamětnice

Jana Singerová was born on August 22, 1932 in Nové Paca as Jana Waňková. At the beginning of the Second World War, father Alois Vaněk (Waněk) was deployed as a stoker and engineer on locomotives carrying German weapons to the East. He witnessed the bombing of Dresden and was shaken to the point that he decided to flee. He went to Nová Paka at night, secretly and on foot, arriving home in April. After the war, Jana graduated from a two-year business academy and obtained an economic position in Prague. The parents’ dream came true, they bought a farm with horses near Nová Paka, but in the mid-1950s the entire property was confiscated. They had to join a unified agricultural cooperative (JZD). The survivor started working at the company TOS (machine tool factory) in Vrchlabí, where she met her future husband Otto Singer, a well-known photographer from Vrchlabí and a promoter of local musical life. Until her retirement, she then worked as an economist in an apprenticeship school, a retirement home and the department of a regional architect. Together with her husband maintained contact with the German town of Baunatal.