Our family sacrificed a lot for our country
Marie Bednaříková was born in 1921 in Velký Újezd in the district of Olomouc. Her brother, Bohumil Bednařík, and two of his friends fled the country in January 1940. They eventually made it to Britain. One of his friends was Jaroslav Švarc, who was killed together with the plotters of the Heydrich assassination in the vault of the Charles Borromeo Church on June 18, 1942. The Gestapo started the so-called Operation E (Emigranten) with the aim to arrest the relatives of those Czechoslovak men who fled abroad and were suspected of joining the allied armies. On September 17, 1942 the Gestapo came for twenty-year old Marie and her parents. At first, they were imprisoned in Lipník nad Bečvou and then at an internment camp in Svatobořice. In the meantime, her father Josef was imprisoned in the Kounicovo dormitory. They stayed in the Svatobořice internment camp till the summer of 1943. Her brother, Bohumil Bednařík was in England at that time and he joined the special services where he was trained for special operations. He became the commander of the CHALK group tasked with the navigation of allied bombers to their targets in enemy territory, sending intelligence to London and helping with subsequent allied paratrooper landings in the area of southern Bohemia. They were dropped together with other paratroopers nearby Větrov not far from Kamýk nad Vltavou. The members of the group were finally captured by the Gestapo and except for Vladimír Hauptvogel, they all survived. Bedřich Bednařík was liberated in the course of the Prague uprising. However, he was put in prison again in May 1945, this time by the Soviet secret police (the NKVD). Eventually, he was accused of having committed military treason. However, in February 1946 he was acquitted. Still he was dismissed from the Ministry of national defense in June 1946 without any explanation and he subsequently worked in manual professions until his retirement. He died in 1973. Marie Bednaříková stayed in Velký Újezd after the war. She worked for OP Prostějov and then in Morávia in Mariánské Údolí. Today, she lives in the Saint Anne home for the elderly in Velká Bystřice.