Anna Vávrová

* 1929

  • “Oskar, he was at home. We just got a notification that the other brother is missing. He enlisted on the Three King’s Day, on January 6th, and we haven't seen him since. And he fell on September 6, 1944. I was in the field, serving in Old Town. I had a snack with me - we sat by the stream and ate bread with lard and cracklings. I swallowed it, packed the snack, had another bite and took the others home. September 6th, I remember it as if it was today. That was the same day.”

  • “I also used to accompany my classmate, who sat with me at the school desk, to Old Town. There is no more Herta Lackel either. There were three girls – Herta, Hildegard and Otýlie. That was sad. I also accompanied other people who had smaller children in strollers. I always told them that I would help them. 'Yay, Anička, we'd love it if you'd come with us.' – 'I'll go with you to the Old Town.' I pushed the stroller for them. They all walked to Old Town.'

  • "That was here in Šumperk. She served at Bittner's. They picked her up and took her and some other girls to Olomouc. Such a long time, and then they let her go home. When she came back, she came to me to the field and said, ‘Anička, don't you have anything to eat at home?’ I said, ‘Regina, I don't know.’ So I went home to Mrs Kopová and told her that Regina was hungry. So we fed her and then she went home.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Šumperk, 23.07.2021

    duration: 01:43:15
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Šumperk, 29.07.2021

    duration: 27:07
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

From the log cabin under the Paprsek chalet

Anna Hirnichová (Vávrová)
Anna Hirnichová (Vávrová)
photo: witness archive

Anna Vávrová, maiden name Hirnichová, was born on July 18, 1929, to parents of German nationality in Velké Vrbno (Gross-Würben in German). She spent her childhood in this mountain village on the southern slope of the Rychleby Mountains. During World War II, her three brothers enlisted in the Wehrmacht, and two of them, Oskar and Franz, lost their lives at the front. After the war, the family was exempted from deportation because of the father’s work in the lead mines. With few exceptions, no new settlers moved to Velké Vrbno due to its mountainous location. The vast majority of the houses in the village were demolished after the Hirnichs also left. Today, only the former school, the gamekeeper’s lodge and the building of the Financial guard remain preserved. In the 1960s and 1970s, two brothers of the witness (Herbert and Ruda), her sister Regina and mother Aurelie, left for the Federal Republic of Germany. Out of the eight-member family, only the witness and her brother Alois stayed in Czechoslovakia. From the age of fourteen, Anna worked in various places as a maid and later as a cleaner in the Šumperk sanatorium. In 1951, she married Václav Vávra, and together they raised their three children - Anna, Jiřina and Václav. At the time of filming (2021), she lived in Šumperk.