Věra Čepelová

* 1935  †︎ 2023

  • "My foster father left and my foster mother told me that the British officer would come for me the next day to take me to my real mum. So she packed all my things, I had this sturdy canvas bag, she put all my things in there. She braided my hair to give it a bit of a wavy look - I had kind of long hair at the time. Cockerel style, that's how they wore it back in the days. I added in one quilt and one plain grey blanket. The second day they came for me, and both them and me were crying. I had been with them for over three years and we didn't do bad. They didn't have any children, so I was like a single child, I can't complain. They didn't [beat] me, they were strict, yes, but they didn't [beat] me, or punish me in any way."

  • "There should be two chestnut trees here. Those are original, the one closer to us should be ours, and this is where Mrs. Emilie Rohlová lived. That would be this house probably. But the gardens were next to each other, my mother always described it like this: 'This one is ours and this other one Mrs. Rohlová's.' So it'll probably be this one. You can see a small house on the picture, we had just a small house, two rooms, one was the kitchen, leading to it was a wide-ish corridor with the entrance to the cellar, and next to that was one room. Mum - my she knew how to be thrifty- well she was working on the fields and saving up, being thrifty, and she wanted to start building, they had something in the bank. They had bought it as an older and smaller house and they wanted to build on to it."

  • "I also remember there was a shop belonging to the Maštalířes somewhere here, and there was this enormous boulder by it, they said it was one of those erratics. I don't know exactly, but it was a great big shop, like this on a corner, and I was always afraid - always when we were sledging from up the top there - I was always afraid we would crash into the boulder."

  • "In January [1945 - ed.] we had to quickly and suddenly [flee]. I wasn't even ten years old then, not until March. It was all a rush, we slaughtered a pig, lined it cured in a barrel and up on to a wagon, a stick on top of it and a carpet over that, and then we loaded up blankets mainly, because it was in January and there were hard frosts. I remember how there were fallen horses along the road, and carts, how the Germans were fleeing from the approaching front and the Russians."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Lidice, 12.09.2010

    délka: 02:29:13
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

My mother dear, I‘m here now.

Cesta z Německa přes Klenčí fotografie s J. Jindři (historic)
Věra Čepelová
zdroj: archiv pamětnice a současné foto V. Faltýnek

Věra Čepelová was born on the 3rd of March 1935 as the first and only child of Mr. and Mrs. Vokatý of Lidice. Her father was a miner from Buštěhrad, her mother, a local from Lidice, took care of the home hearth and helped out on the fields. The family lived in a small house above the graveyard. They were forced out of their home by the Nazis during the fateful night of June 9th, 1942. They shot her father, together with other Lidice men, including her grandfather, the oldest man of the village at the time. Věra and her mother were taken to the Kladno grammar school. From there they were transferred to the children‘s camp in the Polish Łódź. She was one of the children chosen and sent for re-education in a children‘s home in Puschkau. She went through one more camp in Blütenau, there she was picked up by a German couple. Her adoptive parents were fond of her and cared for her like for their own. They had no children themselves. They lived not far from Blütenau, in a secluded homestead that they had presumably seized for themselves. Her foster father was drafted into the army in 1944, only visiting his family for Christmas. In January 1945, little Věra and her foster mother were forced to move by the rapidly approaching front. The end of the war was nearing and Věra, as a Germanised child, fled with her foster mother across Poland to the German border. They did not manage to escape, Russians captured them, took all their valuables, their horses and their cart. In the end they had to run by foot to the borders with other Germans. The adoptive family met up at last and settled down in a village near Bremen. There they were discovered by Mrs. Židová, a Lidice woman and member of the repatriation commando that searched for Lidice children in Germany. On the 22nd of September 1946, Věra returned home and met with her mother who had survived the concentration camp in Ravensbrück. Věra became a seamstress by craft. In 1951, she and her mother received a house in the new Lidice. In 1953, Věra got married, bearing a daughter and a son. She has not left Lidice since. Věra čepelová passed away on November, 25th, 2023.