Hana Vodičková, roz. Lewitová
* 1918 †︎ 2013
“My first purely political memory was the Sacco and Vanzetti trial. My parents were watching it and they considered it as a juridical crime. They assumed that Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent and that the trial was a political murder. It is interesting that they were only two people but there was a worldwide movement to save them. I remember that, I was ten years old at the time."
“My parents were socialists, they weren’t members of any party but they had a strong left-wing orientation and we grew up in that environment. But my uncle, we lived in one house, was a member of the Communist party and was subscribed to Rudé právo. I remmber that my aunt always said that Rudé právo was the best newspapers because it had very clean pages.”
“And then Hitler came and the great depression. In my family, we couldn’t complain. But as my father was a doctor… We talked about it quite often that people whom my father took care of didn’t have anything to eat, that they didn’t have any work. They didn’t have a place to stay and they lived in the emergency houses and my father used to go there to examine the children. This social awareness finally brought us to the youth organization. We attended grammar school and any political activities were forbidden. We established Mladá kultura, which was truly left-wing. I was in the board of the organization."
“People knew a lot about what was going on in the USSR, we read all the newspapers, so we knew about the trials. We were very depressed from that and it was interesting that even the English intellectuals claimed that the trials were legitimate. There were discussions about the trials, very heated discussions … And the prominent English and French intellectuals sided the Soviet Union. We didn’t agree with the trials but we didn’t found them as enough of a reason to take a stand against the Soviet Union.”
“I was born in Trieste, 3rd of February 1918. It was in Trieste because my father was a doctor. He went to the war, or what else should we call it, as a doctor, but as a civilian and he refused to wear a uniform until it was prescribed by the law. Then they sent him to places where it wasn’t always so good.”
Full recordings are available only for logged users.
We didn’t leave the Party because we thought: If we go, there will be only the rascals left
Hana Vodičková, was born as Lewitová to Egon and Heda Lewita on 3rd February 1918 in Trieste, near the place of the first fights of the World War I, where her father worked as a doctor. Despite the fact that the parents were Jews, they didn’t speak at home about religion and the children were not raised in Judaism. After the war, the family moved back to Prague and Hana grew up in an intellectual, left-wing oriented environment. During her studies at the grammar school, she engaged together with her brother Karel in a left oriented youth organization Mladá kultura and also published an eponymous magazine. In March 1938, Hana left to England. She worked as a nurse and in 1941 she married Adolf Vodička, a former member of the International Brigades. In 1945, they returned to Czechoslovakia. In the period between 1938 and 1968, she was a member of the Czechoslovak Communist Party.