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Hedvika Mikulášová, roz. Páleníčková (1925) - Biography


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A deaf girl died because of stupid Nazi laws

Hedvika Mikulášová, née Páleníčková, was born on October 17, 1925, in the village of Úhonice (near the town of Rudná nearby Prague). Hedvika turned deaf after she had suffered from measles at the age of two. This was a huge shock to the family because no one was familiar with the upbringing of a deaf child. Fortunately, the family was aided by the sister of Hedvika’s father, who lived in Prague and took care of everything. Thanks to her, Hedvika was allowed to attend the Výmola Institute for the hearing impaired (Prague 5, Radlice). However, the attitude of the teachers, as well as the instruction itself was rather daunting. It was strictly forbidden to use hand language on the premises of the school. The children were thus reliant solely on speaking and lip-reading and this significantly limited the amount of information that they were able to absorb. After completing her compulsory education, she became a seamstress and had to integrate herself among her hearing colleagues. In the course of the war, she suffered a great deal of hardship, which was further aggravated by her handicap. During the bombing of Prague in 1945, she was very lucky to survive with only scars on her hands that were inflicted by bomb shrapnel. However, the biggest blow for her probably was the imprisonment of her father, who spent one and a half years in prison during the war for political reasons. After the war, Hedvika became interested in football and that’s how she met her future husband, Bohumil, who originated in Slovakia and was a successful football player. Like Hedvika, Bohumil was deaf as well and this had almost become lethal to him when he encountered a German soldier during the war who took him for a guerilla fighter. As a trained seamstress, Hedvika found a job at the Tvář (Face) company in Vodičkova Street in Prague and also as a seamstress of the Vinohradské divadlo Theatre. Today, Hedvika lives alone in Prague and has two hearing sons, a grand daughter, a grand son and 4 great grand children.

 

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