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Věra Kalná roz. Ježková (1929) - Biography

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Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you

Věra Kalná, née Ježková, was born in 1929 and comes from tha family of a farm administrator. She grew up on several different estates in Central Bohemia, which were managed by her father. At the farm in Zaječice she met the Klingers, a Jewish family that suffered the same fate as many others - the mother and children were able to flee in time, but the father was deported to a concentration camp. Věra learnt to speak good German in Zaječice. Then her family moved to an estate in Tvoršovice near Neveklov - including the local manor house and a distillery. However, the region was seized by the German army and served as training grounds for the SS during the war. Most of the inhabitants had to move out, only some of the villages and farms were retained, though those were placed under forced administration by the SS. Věra's father stayed in Tvoršovice on the request of the original owner. The family witnessed the turbulent end of the war here, the retreating German army, the arrival of Soviet forces and Czechoslovak tank brigades. Property was plundered and looted, until finally the original inhabitants were allowed to return, faced with the complicated process of post-war restoration. When the Communists came to power, they forced the old farmer families out again, and the subsequent collectivisation wrecked the farming estates, including Tvoršovice. Věra Kalná graduated in German and Russian from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague and then taught these two languages for many years at her alma mater. In the 1960s the family moved to Říčany near Prague, where the witness lives to this day.

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