MUDr. Alja Vlasáková

* 1937  †︎ unknown

  • “It was early in the morning. My grandmother was a very kind person, but this was for the first time in my life that I saw her angry: ´I will not give her to you, you would have to kill me for that.´ I woke up in my bed, because the scene was taking place in the room. One of the policemen said that I should dress, but grandma said: ´You are not going to dress.´ I have never heard this from grandma, but still I did put my clothes on, because I didn’t know what was happening. One of the policemen warmed milk for me over the kerosene stove so that I would have something to eat before they took me away. There was also my great-grandmother who lived in another room with separate door, and so I ran past them and went to ask her what was happening. She wore long black skirts which reached to the floor, and she sat on the bench and shoved me under the bench and ordered me: ´Sit here and be quiet.´ She didn’t tell me anything else.”

  • “Mom did not give them a single name. But her roommate, a fellow inmate, told her: ´If you had had somebody here in the cell´ – they were placing informers in the prisoners’ cells – you would have ruined everyone, because what you haven’t told them during the interrogation, you told all at night.´ At home, we were forbidden to kill spiders because when mom was about to be interrogated for the last time when they were to decide where to send her, a spider crawled over her face early in the morning. It woke her up and she was thus preparing for what to say in the upcoming interrogation. The outcome of the interrogation was that they released her, but they expected her to work as a decoy – they would follow her and wait until she established contact with somebody. Mom obviously did not do it, because she knew that she was under surveillance.”

  • “Regarding the work for Obrana národa, dad worked for the motorist club, and every day he had fifty to hundred people on standby, who were helping with distribution of the magazine, carrying out various sabotage acts and helping to secure military material for the possible uprising. We had a radio transmitter and tanks for storing gasoline in our cellar, and weapons were walled in under the staircase. Obviously, there were enough traitors, and eventually somebody betrayed them, and there were three deaths because of the things that were stored in our house. The mason who had helped to hide the weapons in the wall was executed immediately, and the same happened to the housekeeper. The owner of the house and his wife were imprisoned. And one more man from our house was executed, three people in total.”

  • “When they arrived to Pilsen, they heard Prague’s call for help: the uprising has started there. Dad and Mr. Sítek immediately went to the Americans, who were under Patton’s command, to allow them to go to Prague. But unfortunately there was the agreement on the demarcation line, and since they were part of the western army, they were not allowed to cross the demarcation line. They thus left Pilsen and drove towards Prague, but they went only as far as Kyšice.”

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, v bydlišti pamětníka, 25.11.2013

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    duration: 01:13:05
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 2

    Praha, v bydlišti pamětníka, 19.02.2014

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    duration: 01:14:36
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We were forbidden to kill spiders in our home

A. Vlasáková in the 1940s
A. Vlasáková in the 1940s
photo: archiv pamětnice

Alja Vlasáková, née Pujmanová, was born May 29, 1937 in Prague. Her father Jiří Pujman worked as a clerk in an insurance company, and her mother Marie Pujmanová was a teacher by profession. At the beginning of the war, her parents joined the resistance movement through father’s friends, officers he knew from the military service. Her father became a member of the Obrana národa (Defence of the Nation) organization, which was led by major Sadílek. He operated especially in Prague 7 - Holešovice, and his work consisted mainly in printing and distribution of the V boj magazine and in coordinating the preparations for an uprising against the Germans. At the end of May 1940, her father evaded arrest by the Gestapo by sheer luck; he secretly crossed the border and via the Balkans got to the Middle East, where he joined the army of general Karel Klapálek. Alja’s mother was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo. She was then released on parole, but later she was interned in the camp in Svatobořice in 1942 -1944. After her father’s escape and her mother’s arrest, from June 1940 Alja lived for a short time with their friends in Žíchovec near Prachatice and later with her grandmother in Bavorov, where she eventually witnessed the liberation. Her father fought at Tobruk and Dunkerque, and in April 1945 he was assigned to the so-called combined battalion, with which he returned to Prague in May 1945. Mrs. Alja Vlasáková later studied medicine and worked as a paediatrician.