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Vedunka Stehlíková Režná (1927) - Biography

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My father’s legacy stayed always with me

Vědunka Režná was born on 22 April 1927 in Zagreb, Croatia. Her father, Vojtěch Režný, had been sent to Rijeka in 1912 to teach the children of Austrian sailors. He married a Viennese Czech there, and she gave birth to their daughter, Vědunka. Due to a conflict with some Slovak compatriates, the family moved to Sarajevo. Besides his official employment as an educator, her father was also an active journalist and was intensely engaged in supporting his Czech compatriates. When World War II broke out in 1939, he wrote articles against the Nazis. When Yugoslavia was attacked in 1941, he started doing intelligence missions for the Allies with the support of partisans. In spring 1944 he was arrested, imprisoned, and in February 1945 he died in Dachau - although the family did not find that out until later. In January 1945 Věda and her mother were also arrested by the Gestapo. Young Vědunka was kept in solitary confinement at first, which was a horrifying ordeal. After further imprisonment in a cell with strange women, both she and her mother were finally released. Soon after she witnessed the liberation of Sarajevo. Her mother immediately began to search for her husband, despite the terrible postwar chaos. In the end she allowed herself to be convinced that the only way to find out anything about his fate was to search for him from Bohemia. Mother and daughter left for Czechoslovakia by the first repatriation transport. Under dramatic circumstances they finally managed to find very humble accommodation, and it was not until some time later that they met a friend from the Czech community in Yugoslavia, who told them the sad news of the father's death. Vědunka found a job as an accountant - a profession that she retained until her retirement. She was happily married - her husband's job even made it possible for her to visit her beloved Yugoslavia.

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