„Nikdo mě nezaměstnal. Byla jsem zaměstnaná v závodní kuchyni. Tam jsem byla vedoucí, protože tomu jsem 'strašně' rozuměla. Ale byla to práce na nic. Představte si, že máte za sebou válku a studium, a před sebou život a pak jste nýmand. Až kolem roku 1968 jsem byla zaměstnaná v kanceláři adekvátně. Pak už jsme byla zaměstnaná v Čedoku jako právník. Ale vždycky tam byl nějaký vedoucí, který byl u komunistické strany a tak dále.“ - „Co všechno jste tedy dělala za práce do roku 1968?“ - „V domácích potřebách. Prodávala jsem, nebo jsem seděla v účtárně. To už ani všechno nevím.“
„Rakousko bylo zbytek takové velké říše. Byla tam velká chudoba, nezaměstnanost a tak dále. Pak se to zlepšilo, ale pak tam nastal takový trochu fašistický režim. Byly tam v zásadě jen dvě politické strany – levice a pravice, obě velmi silné. Dnes bych řekla, že tam nastala taková občanská válka. Bylo to vlastně poprvé, kdy Vídeň neměla sociálně demokratickou vládu. Psal se rok 1938 a kolegové z univerzity otce varovali, aby utekl. My jsme měli dvojí pas připravený na československém vyslanectví. Otec uprchl a my jsme tam s matkou byly ještě tři až čtyři měsíce. Pak jsem tedy žila s rodiči v Praze. Než jsme se v Praze ale všichni sešli, Hitler byl už v Praze také a to pro nás bylo nebezpečné.“
“My mom wanted to go to see her parents, but the communists did not allow this to us any more. Mom wanted to go to Vienna to visit them. That was already in 1948. We wrote a letter to Mrs. Gottwaldová. Three letters. ‘It is not possible. The visit of Mrs. Führingová in Vienna is not allowed.’ I don’t know how, but mom eventually received a permission and she crossed the border. Since there was nothing to eat there and the supply here was much better, she had her suitcases packed with food. They had nothing to eat in Vienna. There was no train over the order. They carried her and her suitcase on a draisine vehicle. And the railwayman who inspected her said: ‘Your name is Venclová? Professor (Vencl) taught me at grammar school in Vienna. He taught me German and Czech language. He is your husband. You can take the food with you then.’”
“The year when Hitler ‘liberated’ Austria was approaching. There had already been great pressure on the Austrian government before. The atmosphere began to turn Nazi. Daddy had Austrian citizenship since the beginning, but we always had a Czechoslovak passport as well in case of some emergency. Then there was the last All-Sokol Rally and we did not want to go back to Vienna anymore. Since my father had Austrian nationality as well, he said that he would never again wish to fight against his own homeland. We were in Velehrad, and there is an institute where priests go for spiritual exercises. It was a very modern building, and they provided accommodation for us there. It was just before the Munich agreement was signed. Dad was afraid. His colleagues with whom he had studied at the university – they were Austrians, but good ones – told him: ‘You know, Eda, if you can, leave. Your name is on the list of those with whom the Nazis will deal immediately.’ My father went from Vienna to pick up his passport and then he went to Czechoslovakia. I went with my mom from Velehrad back to Vienna, but obviously we had to escape from Austria, because Austrians were already interning Jews in concentration camps. The Gestapo office in Vienna was in the Hotel Metropol, where Jews were coming to apply for emigration. We had to register there.”
“It was in 1948, I was still a student and I was about to graduate soon. When the funeral of president Beneš was to be held, at four o’ clock in the morning they arrived for me and took me to Ruzyně. More students were already imprisoned there, about fifty of them. They released us some six weeks later. When the political court trials began, we were quite afraid in Ruzyně. It was about a month before I was to graduate. I have already passed all the exams. The Ruzyně prison was still a fancy prison at that time. A warden would come in the morning and advise us: ‘Girls, take some bread rolls today, there will be none tomorrow. Rolls will come the day after tomorrow.’ Or: ‘Take more carrots in the kitchen today.’ I lowered a message for my aunt Herma from Liboc through the bars in the window. Liboc is close to Ruzyně, and someone brought the message to her. I wrote her that I was interned in the Ruzyně prison. They probably detained me as a preventive measure. My rightist orientation, that was obvious. Of course, they were not able to imprison nearly all students from the law faculty. They did not ask us anything at all. We did not know why we were there. We thought that it was because we were against the political regime. But we were never called for interrogation, or anything like that. Then the court trials started and we did fear at that time, that’s for sure. In spite of all this, they allowed me to graduate. The action committees were already in place at the faculty and those students profiled us whether we were the good ones or not, and whether they could give us a recommendation. The guys from the faculty gave me the recommendation nevertheless. We were still friends at that time. They signed a paper that I was allowed to graduate. I graduated and that was the end of my career as a lawyer. I received a doctoral degree, but afterwards I was not employed as a lawyer all the time until 1968. For example, I worked as a manager of a company cafeteria in the Kovoslužba company.”
I accept emigration only when one’s life is at risk
Věra Bezecná, née Venclová, was born February 18, 1922 in Vienna to Marie and Eduard. Her father was a professor at the Czech grammar school and he was active in the Czech community in Vienna. This had a significant impact upon Věra. She studied a Czech school and she interacted mainly with people from the Czech community. In 1938 they were forced to leave Vienna and move to Prague. Věra graduated from the Law Faculty of Charles University. She was one of the founding members of the Všehrd Association of Czech Lawyers, and she became its vice-chairman. At the time of the funeral of president Beneš she was interned in the Ruzyně prison as a preventive measure. Although she did receive her doctoral degree, for the following two decades she was not allowed to work in her profession as a lawyer. She worked in the cooperative Soluna as well as in others jobs. In 1949 she married František Bezecný and their daughter Monika was born a year later. The marriage however broke soon after. At the time of the political thaw during the Prague Spring, she got a job in the legal department of the Čedok travel agency, which gave her satisfaction, and she managed to keep this job throughout the subsequent period of normalization. She retired in 1995. In the 1990s her former classmate Felix Kolmer became her partner.