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Věra Čepelová, roz. Vokatá (1935) - Biography


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My mother dear, I'm here now.

Věra Čepelová was born on the 3rd of March 1935 as the first and only child of Mr. and Mrs. Vokatý of Lidice. Her father was a miner from Buštěhrad, her mother, a local from Lidice, took care of the home hearth and helped out on the fields. The family lived in a small house above the graveyard. They were forced out of their home by the Nazis during the fateful night of June 9th, 1942. They shot her father, together with other Lidice men, including her grandfather, the oldest man of the village at the time. Věra and her mother were taken to the Kladno grammar school. From there they were transferred to the children's camp in the Polish Łódź. She was one of the children chosen and sent for re-education in a children's home in Puschkau. She went through one more camp in Blütenau, there she was picked up by a German couple. Her adoptive parents were fond of her and cared for her like for their own. They had no children themselves. They lived not far from Blütenau, in a secluded homestead that they had presumably seized for themselves. Her foster father was drafted into the army in 1944, only visiting his family for Christmas. In January 1945, little Věra and her foster mother were forced to move by the rapidly approaching front. The end of the war was nearing and Věra, as a Germanised child, fled with her foster mother across Poland to the German border. They did not manage to escape, Russians captured them, took all their valuables, their horses and their cart. In the end they had to run by foot to the borders with other Germans. The adoptive family met up at last and settled down in a village near Bremen. There they were discovered by Mrs. Židová, a Lidice woman and member of the repatriation commando that searched for Lidice children in Germany. On the 22nd of September 1946, Věra returned home and met with her mother who had survived the concentration camp in Ravensbrück. Věra became a seamstress by craft. In 1951, she and her mother received a house in the new Lidice. In 1953, Věra got married, bearing a daughter and a son. She has not left Lidice since.

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