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Jaroslava Svobodová, roz. Smutná (1915) - Biography


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Those soldiers were singing the song ‘Where’s My Home?’ But at that time it has not yet been made the national anthem

Jaroslava Svobodová was born on April 2, 1915 in the family of Václav Smutný, an official in the state railway company. Immediately after the end of the First World War when Jaroslava was still a little girl, the family moved to Slovakia where her father was offered a good job. At first they settled in Český Brezov, where they witnessed the invasion of Hungarian Bolsheviks in 1919, and the family thus fled to Turčianský Svätý Martin. They soon moved to Lučenec, which became their permanent home. Apart from Slovaks there was also a community of Czechs who lived there alongside a Hungarian minority. Jaroslava attended an evangelical school, she joined the Girl Scouts and she was a member of the Sokol organization. When Fascism came to power and Slovakia separated from the Czechoslovak Republic, the family relocated to Bohemia, at first to Prague and later to Soběslav in southern Bohemia. Jaroslava was in love with Franti Wurmfeld who was deported to Terezín with his entire family due to their Jewish origin. Nearly all of them, including Franti, later perished in Nazi concentration camps. Jaroslava was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo for her contacts with Jews, and she spent a short time in the prison in Tábor. After the war she studied a teachers institute and she worked as a teacher at first in Slovakia and later in Bohemia as well. She has two sons and in 2015 she celebrated her 100th birthday.

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