Věra Velínská

* 1935  

  • "They were watching us. Because by that time I started to... to like boys. And I was walking home from exercising, from Sokol, and some boys walked me home that the evening. And all of a sudden, when we were saying goodbye, all of a sudden a figure came out from behind a tree. It was a local policeman. So we knew they were watching us."

  • "There was a friend of ours who was hiding at our place, she was employed by us, but only on a paper, because she would have had to go to the Reich, that is, to work in Germany, in those factories for explosives and things like that. And she walked around in Byšice when the air raid started. That's where one of the fragmentation bombs fell down. And it injured a lot of people, there were a lot of people killed by the shrapnel. There was a colonial shop right next to the gatehouse - and she saw the owner of the shop, his head was cut off by the door. As a result of the blast. And she came running back to us, and she was in such a terrible shock that we had to sprinkle her with water, give her some rum to drink, all kinds of things. It took her all afternoon to calm down."

  • "He was constantly close to end up in jail. And there were many millers who paid for it with their lives, because they were selling flour illegally - because people had nothing to eat. And that's what we experienced during the war... When you're a child, you don't truly understand what is going on, it all just goes around you - but I was nervous. Because the Gestapo was checking on us, I don't know, at least once a quarter they came." - "Unexpectedly, unannounced." - "Unexpectedly. And I was about seven at the time. And the first time they came in, and we were listening to London broadcasting, and when I saw the skulls on those caps, I cried so much my mother had to comfort me. She kept telling me that nothing was the matter. And this happened over and over. And my father eventually ended up in jail."

  • "I remember he was somewhere on the Piave, that's in Italy. They were ordered to attack. And they discovered there, it must have been somewhere in the Cretaceous Alps or somewhere, that there was a hole in the rock. And they didn't want to fight, so they hid inside. And he said, 'There was a cave. There were Italians on one side, and we – the Germans - were on the other side, and we didn't fight at all.' That's what he told us. And then when they came out, they were heroes because they were one of the few survivors. And he was always terribly ashamed of that because they got medals. And he was ashamed of it and we weren't allowed to talk about it."

  • "There was an air raid on 9 May in Byšice. We always watched the silver fish in the sky, how the planes flew when they did air raids. So we already knew where they were going. And we'd say, 'These are going to Prague, these are going to Kralupy.' And things like that. We were also watching them on 9 May, where the silver fish were going. And suddenly they were coming closer. And we found the grass shaking, leaves falling from the trees. And we realized they were shooting at us. Because there were two old cars pulled in from the convoys that used to come down that Mělnická Street, so they pulled the cars in and we looted them. And there was nothing left in them. But they must have thought that we were soldiers or something, that we were near those cars, and they started shooting at us. Luckily we all got home safe. But we didn't have a basement at our place, because there was water right there, so we were experiencing all this with the terror that something was going to fall on our heads. Luckily, we ended up only with broken windows."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    v Byšicích, 17.12.2019

    duration: 07:34
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    v Byšicích, 18.12.2019

    duration: 01:17:27
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 3

    Praha, 27.09.2021

    duration: 02:05:58
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

When the war ended, people were in euphoria, they thought that nothing like that could happen again. But it’s still the same

Věra Velínská
Věra Velínská
photo: Archiv pamětnice

Věra Velínská was born on 6 September 1935 in Jičín into the family of miller Josef Pekař. In 1930 he rented a mill in Lejkov in the Mělník region. He electrified it, introduced new technologies and built a prosperous company that imported flour to the surrounding area. During the war, Josef Pekař was imprisoned twice for unauthorised milling and the Gestapo constantly checked the mill. Fortunately, the Nazis did not know about his involvement in the resistance and supplying the partisans. On 9 May 1945, the Pekař family survived the bombing of fleeing Germans by Red Army planes. In the following days, they welcomed Soviet soldiers, two of whom they accommodated in the mill. In November 1947, Věra’s father bought the mill, but after the February coup the communists nationalized it. They were labelled kulaks and they were constantly followed by the police. In 1951 Josef Pekař was imprisoned again. Věra graduated from the business school and she made a living as an administrative worker - for many years she worked in the company Geoindustria, which in the 1960s took over the mill in Lejkov. After the Velvet Revolution, Věra and her siblings restored the mill, but it was in dilapidated condition. In 2003 it was sold to a private owner who is gradually reconstructing it. Věra Velínská still lives in the house next door.