Eva Hauerová

* 1939

  • “I remember the air raid where we were hiding in the cellar under the villa with the baron (Emil Škoda) himself. Because the air raid came so unexpectedly, he didn’t have time to leave. I remember he was in German uniform, which terrified me. I was small and I had heard all sorts of stories at home. But I needn’t have been afraid of him: my dad was the manager of the brickyard, and it was with the baron’s consent that he secretly employed Jewish families there, Jews from Pilsen. In that way they saved them from the transports and a likely death.”

  • “We had to move out, because Mum and Dad and me - I was fourteen at the time - we had been on the square (demonstrating against the monetary reform). Mum was curious about what would happen there. But she didn’t shout anything, we’re not that type of people. Our throats were choked and we cried when people started signing the national anthem. It was such a gathering of people there, so many for such a small town as Pilsen. It was nice, even though the consequences were quite the opposite.”

  • “We stood transfixed, watching the horror, the Pilsen actors parading along Main Street in blue overalls. They were mostly from the theatre. They had blue overalls and red-and-white spotted scarves - in workers’ clothes, to be appropriate. They sang pioneering songs and displayed some banner. They came right up to the statue, and there a well-known Pilsen actor (I think he also regretted the act later on) through a halter over Masaryk’s head, they got him swaying and knocked the statue down. They took him away in the night, and I heard they melted him in the Škoda Works.”

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We had to move out in 24 hours

Contemporary photo
Contemporary photo
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

Eva Hauerová, née Švíglerová, was born on the 18th of September 1939 in Pilsen-Doudlevce. Her father, Václav Švígler, was the manager of a brickyard belonging to Baron Emil Škoda, where a number of Jews hid during the war to avoid being transported to their deaths. After the war, her father worked as the director of the West Bohemian Brickyards in Stod. The family moved to a house in Bory which had belonged to Eva‘s grandfather Rudolf Havel. Havel owned a wood works - this was nationalised after the 1948 communist coup. On the 1st of June 1953, Eva and her parents joined a demonstration against the monetary reform in Pilsen; they also witnessed the communist demolition of the monument to T G Masaryk, Czechoslovakia‘s first president. The Havels and the Švíglers were then evicted from their house in Pilsen under Operation B. They found harbour in their summer cottages in Dolany (now Hracholusky Reservoir). Václav Švígler‘s Czechoslovak Communist Party membership was no help - the eviction was punishment for participating in demonstrations, and the former factory-owner Havel was judged a capitalist with a bad view of the new state regime. Life in the holiday house was very difficult, there was no water or electricity. In the winter, the family was helped by some farmer friends from Dolany. They were not able to return to Pilsen until 1956. Eva Hauerová worked as a pastry cook, later gaining employment in the „Cigaretka“ facility of the Škoda Works.