Eva Štanclová

* 1923  

  • "It was really hard to find food, there was no butter, it was all made of plastics and everything was rationed. It was calculated that you could get two or three bananas per person for Christmas. It was not possible to buy a kilo or so. Carrots were the fruit you always got, so my son, who was born then, couldn't get fruit snacks, as we are used to give to children, so he had only carrots all the times. Then the doctor said to me, 'Does he suffer from jaundice, or what is it?' I say, 'Doctor, I don't know.' He said, 'What are you giving him for a snack?' I say: 'I cannot find anything other than carrots, so he gets grated carrots.'' 'Yeah, so he has carrot jaundice!' "

  • "We lived on the fifth floor under the radio at the synagogue. And when there was the alarm, it was during the day, exceptionally during the day, and they started bombing during the day, it was around noon. And they destroyed the whole Národní Třída (a street) by carpet bombing, they bombed the whole Národní Třída behind the radio on the top, even to Karlovo náměstí. They ended at Karlovo náměstí. I wanted to know - as they announced the end - how our apartment ended up, if we had anything left. So, they let me go out of the office. I went across Karlovo náměstí because it was not possible through Vinohrady, it was all dug up. And now I was climbing such piles, and when I was climbing the last one, close to our street, I read the sign and it said, 'Watch out, unexploded bombs!' So, I broke out into sweat, I must say I was lucky I didn't touch something because it could explode… It wasn't my last experience with the bombing. It was terrible that in one house there was a baby's foot… bloodied. And I was pregnant at that time, so you can imagine how I felt…"

  • "He was accommodated there in Hlávek's dormitory, from which they selected students at midnight. He told me about it. He went to school and in November they suddenly woke them up at night and he stayed in Hlávek's dormitory on the fourth floor, so he had time to get dressed, but those who lived downstairs… So, a bunch of Gestapo men with batons broke in and beat them out - literally - into trucks and those trucks took them to the riding hall, where they stood all day and night. They were not allowed to sit down when they had to go to the toilet, so they had to do it on the sawdust under them. Then the next day they were beaten back into the trucks, taken to the station. And they went, they just found out secretly - that they were driving north through Ústí nad Labem. They didn't know where they were taking them, no one talked to them. They didn't tell them why. And it was because on October 28, they celebrated the founding of the republic. Hitler said he didn't need intelligence, he just needed manpower. So, all the university students and some professors were picked up, no reason, they didn't condemn them, they just took them to the camp and they lived there like animals. They only went to work, they had the same suit for winter, for summer, such striped uniforms, the only thing they could warmed it up with was the newspaper. I say to myself, to make it through those four years… And do you know what helped them? Music. Eight boys met there - some were medics, they were also teachers, and they agreed, they liked music. They made a set of eight in the camp, and the set rehearsed songs both comic, merry and foreign, because they knew languages. There were students, also students who knew foreign languages… "

  • "They were taken to the camp. They had to take off their shoes, everything they had, and they had to tear the soles away from those shoes, in order to put a wooden one into it to make it clap. They then distributed the wooden ones and walked in them even in winter, they did not have socks, they had nothing. And they warmed them up only when they got some newspaper… Then the International Red Cross enforced that in about a year or two, I don't know exactly, they could send some packages [letters]. Before that, not even parents couldn't send them anything. And in half a year they had one correspondence card, dictating what they were allowed to write and what they were allowed to send home: 'I'm alive, I'm doing well, hello everyone.' So, imagine those parents how they lived, in what fear… And here the Štancl parents, who lived here, they went to Prague with a grandmother to the Gestapo to ask what was happening to the children. Fortunately, the officer who was there was not a badass, he just laughed at them, he kicked them out and told them they would get letters. And those letters were, as I told you. So, he had a hard school."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Ústí nad Orlicí, 10.07.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 01:20:02
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

She wanted to be a ballerina. She had to “dance” in between the bombs in Prague

Eva Okenfusová in 1938
Eva Okenfusová in 1938
photo: archive of the witness

Eva Štanclová was born on July 19, 1923 in Ústí nad Orlicí. She spent her childhood in the building of the Orlické Ústí railway station, where the Okenfus family had a railway apartment and the Zych grandparents ran a restaurant there. Jindřiška’s mother, née Zychová, was a cook, her father František Okenfus worked as a train dispatcher. Eva wanted to become a dancer from an early age and her aunt, with whom she spent a lot of time in Prague, supported her in her intention. She graduated from the Prague grammar school in 1943, and in 1944 she married Emanuel Kudrnáč. She experienced both major bombings in Prague during the war. Before the end of the war, she moved to Ústí nad Orlicí. She gave birth to two children in 1945 and 1948. Eva Kudrnáčová founded a dance department at the Folk Art School in Ústí nad Orlicí in 1951. Then In 1967, her daughter Eva Veverková took over the management of the department. In addition to Ústí nad Orlicí, she also founded the dance department at Folk Art Schools in surrounding towns, such as Lanškroun, Česká Třebová, Žamberk. She remotely completed her professional dance and pedagogical education. In the late 1960s, her son died in a car accident and Eva got divorced. In 1971 she married Karel Štancl (1919–2006). He was imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp for three years during the war. There, together with other fellow prisoners, he founded the music ensemble Sing-sing-boys, which with its musical production strengthened the will to live among prisoners in the concentration camp. In 2020, Eva Štanclová lived in Ústí nad Orlicí.