Vlasta Maněnová

* 1948

  • "Sometimes it's stupid not to tell people that you love them. We were both worried about it and I know that Vašek was also worried about it. And then Andrej Krob said that it would be good to meet Václav. So, we're thinking about it or worrying about it at home. And then we decided that we would go there. The security boys always stopped by. And the boys said, 'No one will be there.' Because there was a condition that Dáša would not be there. Well, Tonda got ready once. I thought, "Okay, I'll bake vanilla cookies for him, because I knew he liked them. Tonda took the cookies and went to Hradek. Let him be the hero he was, the soul in him was small, because it was a really big decision. Vašek slept. There were the Sisters of St. Borromeo with him. He said that he would let him sleep, but they said that he knew about him and was looking forward to seeing him. So, they woke Vašek up. Vašek came and it basically followed up on how it was. And Vašek said: 'Vlasta sends me the cookies, she knows I like them!' Well, that´s how it was and they never came back to why it happened or what happened. Well and let Vlasta come too. It was terrible for me to enter Hrádeček, and then I thought: Well, I do not want to blame myself my whole life for being mad at him. They left us alone in the kitchen. So, I made a step into the kitchen. And suddenly it was the same as before. He said, 'You're still the same as before.' So, we started to talk somehow and then we started visiting him there, because let everyone say what they want, but he was very lonely there in Hrádeček and he was very afraid that he would die there alone. We were going to see him and talked like we used to, I was there about two days before he died, and I can tell you that when I was saying goodbye to him, I held his hand, and then he didn't even want to walk. Then Tonda came there to at least take him out into the yard to make him do a few steps. Well, to this day I can feel his hand holding my hand when we were leaving for the last time."

  • "First of all, Olga was used to taking care from an early age. She took care of the children of her sister Jaruna and she was just used to taking care of everyone and she had such an emotional intelligence. She didn't feel sorry for people, but she was able to help. Consider how it used to be with disabled people back then. She was able to hide them, and she actually helped those people to the public, I know that what happened to Honza Kašpar was a huge stimulus, I know that it worked there and that it may have had such an initial impulse that he was after the accident. If it hadn't happened to Honza, Olga would have found something else, for example, but she would have definitely found a charity project that would make sense. It was natural for to help others. But without expecting any response, any success, or some applause. She just helped. I may have witnessed several times when Vašek received the various prizes one after the other. He had a whole hall of fame where it was. Each prize was associated with a certain amount of money, not a small one. And she said: ' You get this one now, but you give me the next one for the disabled people.'"

  • "I don't know, we were even in danger. I remember, when the presidential election took place, we were in Hrádek with the whole family. Tonda also kept it a secret from me, but there were anonymous announcements that Hrádek would fly into the air on the election day. So, at that time, let´s say in such a meanwhile, Tonda was actually guarding Hrádeček. He was sleeping there. I cannot say that he was not afraid there, he was afraid there, but he was there and guarded there. And when the election took place, we were actually there with the whole family. And I remember that right now. I cannot say anything different; I was stupid. We were there, we were watching the election in TV in Hrádek, we were all happy and as a part of that two man were there with us. Well, they were definitely the State Security officers. Just two men who got in there, perhaps on the pretext that they would also watch over Hrádeček so that nothing would happen there. And we were happy to watch the election of the President of the Republic. We were in euphoria. It never occurred to us that maybe someone might not like it, the incredible naivety that someone wouldn't be able to agree with Václav Havel becoming the president. And I know those guys were sitting there. To this day, I don't know who it was, and they looked really annoyed. And it seemed awfully strange to me that someone wasn't happy. You're glad it all turned out that way. "

  • "I got into a program at a Swiss homeopathy clinic. Those were things that were completely forbidden here back then. Nevertheless, I managed to get the homeopathic drugs. However, they were not afraid to blackmail my husband through my health. And then when Tonda was at the interrogation, he was still persuaded to tell on Václav. They were persuading him and said, 'Well, if you give us information about Vašek or sign, we'll send your wife to SANOPS.' Which was absolutely disgusting. And these are situations that are sometimes unsolvable. I don't even want to talk about it. We did not get scared, neither of us. At the time, that bond was great. Or I don't know if we should have told on them or something. We would never have thought of that."

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Till now, I feel Vašek´s hand which I held two days before his death

Vlasta Maněnová, Hrádeček, 1982
Vlasta Maněnová, Hrádeček, 1982
zdroj: archive of the witness

Vlasta Maněnová was born on May 19, 1948 in the village Dolní Branná in the Krkonoše foothills. Her father Václav Prouza worked as a forester, her mother Věra Prouzová was a kindergarten teacher. Vlasta went to a primary school in Trutnov. Subsequently, she studied the grammar school in Trutnov and graduated in 1966. Then she first started her practice at the East Bohemian Woodworks and after a year she started studying at the University of Forestry and Wood Technology in Zvolen, which she did not complete due to a serious illness. Her father did not undergo standardization checks at the time and was fired. Vlasta Maněnová enrolled in an evening school for workers and graduated after two years. Immediately after graduation, she received an offer to teach at this school as a teacher of practical teaching. She practiced this profession until her retirement. In 1974 she married Antonín Manena. In the same year, Mr. and Mrs. Maněna met Olga and Václav Havel, who often stayed in a cottage in Hrádek near Trutnov. Because of this, they had problems with the State Security, which constantly monitored them. Antonín Maněna worked in a chimney sweep cooperative, which dealt with repairs of factory chimneys. After 1989, he founded a private chimney sweep. In 1991, Antonín Maněna accepted an offer to become the commander of the Castle Police and the commander of the Department for the Protection of the President of the Republic. Vlasta Maněnová thus had the opportunity to follow the current post-revolutionary events in the vicinity of President Václav Havel closely. In 2001, Antonín Maněna resigned from this position. He died in 2018. Vlasta Maněnová lives permanently in Trutnov. She has one adult son. She is still interested in current political and social events.