Jan Hauer

* 1947  †︎ 2022

  • “My dad never gave up searching for his children and all of his family which was killed in a concentration camp. He didn’t believe they died. In 1968, through Dr. Pipka we were able to get on a tour to Austria, while my dad obtained a permit to visit various concentration camps around Europe. And since he was elderly he needed someone to accompany him – and that was me. So, we travelled camps and various institutions around Europe. He kept searching but couldn’t find anything. In the end, I stayed with my dad in Germany for two and a half years. He used to have German papers and obtained the Reisegewerbeschein – a freelancing license. He travelled Germany, selling things. This is how we made our living in Germany. We travelled along with our relatives in such buses where we slept and all. We travelled Germany from town to town, from village to village, like they did in the past with horses and carriages. Now, it was with cars. We were selling various things – couch covers, various fabrics and such things.”

  • “My dad never gave up searching for his children and all of his family which was killed in a concentration camp. He didn’t believe they died. In 1968, through Dr. Pipka we were able to get on a tour to Austria, while my dad obtained a permit to visit various concentration camps around Europe. And since he was elderly he needed someone to accompany him – and that was me. So, we travelled camps and various institutions around Europe. He kept searching but couldn’t find anything. In the end, I stayed with my dad in Germany for two and a half years. He used to have German papers and obtained the Reisegewerbeschein – a freelancing license. He travelled Germany, selling things. This is how we made our living in Germany. We travelled along with our relatives in such buses where we slept and all. We travelled Germany from town to town, from village to village, like they did in the past with horses and carriages. Now, it was with cars. We were selling various things – couch covers, various fabrics and such things.”

  • “For the guys, imagine, a horse was more valuable than a woman. Really, I’m not lying one word. Having a horse meant it could pull a trailer and whatever. When selling it, one could get a lot of money for it. One could get a different horse in return and extra money on top. So, at that time, horses were really valuable for the guys. On the other hand, a woman – unless she would go steal and bring back chickens, geese and such things – had zero value. She was only a mother of one’s children, and he wasn’t even interested. This is really how things were. For the women, those must have been terrible times. Ever since childhood, I recall the guys playing cards under a tree while the woman had to take care. Things really were different back then. When the communists took power, those guys were forced to go to work.”

  • Celé nahrávky
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    Praha, 16.03.2017

    (audio)
    délka: 01:53:09
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

It is important to know who our ancestors are and where they came from

Jan Hauer
Jan Hauer
zdroj: PB 16.3.2017

Jan Hauer was born in 1947 in Olomouc as the second of four children of Antonín and Beatrice Hauer. His parents had met in the late years of WW II in Prague after both losing their families. Jan‘s father was given out to the police and the Gestapo imprisoned him in Olomouc. His first wife and four children were deported to Auschwitz where they died. His second wife, Jan‘s mum, survived imprisonment in camps in Lety u Písku and Terezín. Even after the war his family wasn‘t allowed to live in peace because as Sinti, his parents were on a list. Due to doing door-to-door fabric selling, both of them served time in prison. Jan‘s relatives were affected by the Act on the Permanent Settlement of Footloose Persons adopted in 1958. Prior to being assigned an apartment he lived with his father and siblings in a trailer in Prague. While his dad was a natural-born bussinessman, Jan learned from his grandfather the craft of grinding. After finishing school he used to beat carpets, distribute coal at around Žižkov, drive a motor crane until settling at Vinohrady for a decade as a grinder and umbrella repairman. His life hobby is searching for his ancestors. As soon as in 1967 he went to Germany for two years with his dad, tracking the war history of his first family. He remained in touch with archives and registers all around Central Europe, and collected historical documents and photos of his ancestors. Jan Hauer died at the end of August 2022.