"In the end, I don't know, we were nagging at each other with my wife, and she [Mrs. Wagner] came up to me as in to defend my wife. I jumped up and grabbed her by both her hands, and I blurted out that I'm not little Rolf any more, that I'm Václav Zelenka! The way I blurted it out without thinking, I made a mistake of course, but she understood, she went over here, sat down and cried..."
"So I started saying how we had had a cow, and mainly that we had had two dogs, because I love dogs, I started telling her what all animals we had - and I described exactly how we had things placed around the house. Well, Mum was like in Jiřík's dream. And I also told her about the woman, what I had dreamt about her. And I told her that she had this grey-green-blue dress, a kind of indistinct colour... with a square, but not that kind of square like is on the tablecloth, but just sort of strings in a square. And Mum said that she really did have a dress like that. And since she wore them a lot, it stayed lodged in my memory. I dreamed about her. But you know how it is, sometimes you dream of something and you think about it, but I didn't think about it, because a dream is a dream, that's how I took it, that it was just a dream. So that's how I proved that I really was Václav Zelenka, not some Jerry."
"I remember one moment, because I like animals, and remember that we were somewhere, that there were heaps of children, that there were huge stables, and that there were horses and ponies trotting around. To this day no one has been able to tell me where we were."
"To tell the truth, I didn't think about it. Well, and maybe I took like something that is just supposed to happen... And that just another change or I don't know... Or I don't know! I just don't know, I'd be lying otherwise..."
"Mum said: 'Come on, we're going to see Dad.' So we went to see Dad. And then we're in the middle of a bare plain... Do you know what that plain looked like? Bare, just corn, and I kept asking: 'Where's Dad?' And she said: 'In that grave.' My brain just didn't get it."
Where war is, nothing humane remains. People turn into, I don’t want to say animals, because no animal is capable of what humans can stoop to.
Václav Zelenka was born on the 9th of September 1938 in Kladno. He grew up with his parents in Lidice. After Lidice was burnt to the ground, he was chosen for re-education in Germany. But until the autumn of 1944 he lived in an orphanage in Puschkau, from whence he was transferred to a Hitlerjugend training camp in Oberweis. In April 1945 he was sent to the family of Karl and Johanna Wagner in Bühlau near Dresden. After the bombing of Dresden, the family moved to the town of Lohs. Zelenka returned to Czechoslovakia on the 28th of May 1947. He met with his mother, who had survived internment in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, and together they lived in Kladno until 1951, when they moved back to the renewed Lidice. Zelenka completed elementary and primary school, going on to study at a secondary school of electrotechnology in Prague. After graduating, he started work at Aritma, remaining there up until the ’60s. He experienced the year of 1968 as an employer of the Administration of Airways. Since the ’70s he has been publicly active in the town council of Lidice, in 1998 he was elected mayor. During his time in the office, he has succeeded in completing the Lidice Memorial. Václav Zelenka died on 13th November 2021.