Vlasta Vaňoučková

* 1934  

  • “After our daughter was born in 1962, we asked my sister-in-law in Prague, who had been working as an English correspondent in Bulovka Hospital, whether she would be a godmother to our daughter. As my daughter had her name. And she would refuse, asking me not to be mad at her, stating that she just couldn't do it, as if they would know that she was in a church and was as a godmother, she would be persecuted at work. So I got mad and I told her: 'If you are ashamed of being a godmother in a church, you better stay home. And don't send anything to the girl and don't try to contact her.' It made me angry, as even back then I resented Communism so much.”

  • “People gathered around the Sokol organisation building. There were several tens of them, as it was quite a large field. There were flags and we would sing the national anthem. And even there was never a tank in Poděbrady, all of a sudden, there was this tank coming from the old railway station, through Fügner avenue all the way down to Rieger Square. And as they saw the people gathered in front of the Sokol building, they would stop and they would aim at people gathered in the field. And there was a stampede. I was at a corner of Proft and Tyrš Street. Poeple were running towards Žižkov so the tank wouldn't shoot at them. And the man who organised the meeting went towards the tank and he asked this German officer why they came to that place and what their business was. And he said that they would leave in peace if they would take down the Russian flag. So they would take it down and the Germans would turn and in peace, they would go towards the Rieger Square.”

  • “In 1945, every known German collaborator was arrested. There was this jail in the castle so they would bring them there and they would lock them up. Local men who were in the resistance during the war led them across the square. I was there, being just a girl, to see that, I was just eleven years old. And people, everyone who could, would hit the collaborators with anything they could find.”

  • Full recordings
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    Poděbrady, 19.08.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 01:01:07
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Poděbrady, 21.08.2020

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    duration: 20:41
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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In Sokol, we trained our bodies, in the Boy Scouts, we trained our souls

Vlasta Vaňoučková in 1957
Vlasta Vaňoučková in 1957
photo: archiv pamětníka

Vlasta Vaňoučková was born on July 30th, 1934 in Poděbrady. While living there, she witnessed the Second World War. As Hitlerjugend organisation took over many public buildings in Poděbrady, Vlasta had to go to school to a presbytery or to the local castle. During the uprising of May 1945, she witnessed a German tank aiming into the crowds, but in the end, the conflict was avoided. After the war, she witnessed collaborators being attacked in Poděbrady. Right in 1945, she joined the reestablished Sokol and Boy Scout organizations, in 1948, she took part in the 11th All Sokol Rally in Prague. She befriended Zbyněk Janata, who later joined the Mašín brother’s resistance group. After 1953, she witnessed the trial against the group members and after that also the execution of Zbyněk Janata. After graduating from a secondary school as a make-up artist she was working as a shop assistant and was also a trade inspector. She was a member of an amateur theatre troupe in Poděbrady. After the Velvet Revolution, she had bacome its chronicler.