"We were there every week, either on Saturday or Sunday. Friendship... Well, it was such a wonderful respect, of course it was from me, I was respectful, it was respect and admiration, it was from me, I think he felt that. The first time I drove alone from Teplice to Nymburk, I drove by car, I know he'd been there about an hour before running down the Kersko road waiting when I was going to come. And when he saw me there he just started cheering that I had arrived safely. And he always said: 'Oh, Friday, the girls are coming, the Teplice girls are coming.' So we went, me and my mother, so we came, we went to my grandmother in Nymburk and we worked there. And in the evening we went to Kersko."
"There they asked about the pilot, I was in this basement room where there was just a little barred window to the sidewalk, and there was just a desk and nothing else. They were unpleasant and they took turns, one came there and went and another came again, they weren't together like that. They left me alone for over an hour, I had no sense of time, I lost that, I didn't have a watch. It was very uncomfortable, they were asking me questions about planes, about dating a pilot and what I knew about it and where I was with him and why I was with him and what I was talking to him about. They just kept wanting to know something, where the airport in Čáslav was and if they were flying. But I didn't talk to my boyfriend about that at the time."
"They were on the train, they were boarded up, closed from the outside. A man came in, introduced himself, said he was a railwayman, that they had escaped somewhere, that they were hidden in the woods nearby, and why didn't they escape? And she said that they were locked in there, that they couldn't escape, that they were prisoners. That they had walked some terrible miles, that they were exhausted, that they couldn't walk at all. And he said that they would be there for a few days in that forest, and if they managed to escape, they would wait for them there. Well, then the low-flying aircraft – as there were the raids – destroyed the train, and they broke up their wagon, too. And aunt Helen - or I called her aunt – said that she didn't know anything, she just knew that the fellow prisoners were digging her out of the sand and that they dug her out. And the railroad man was from Kolín, and they took her in a wheelbarrow and brought her all the way to Nymburk. She had grenade shrapnel in her legs, in her back, in her buttocks, in her head, and that she begged them many times to kill her, that she couldn't stand it, the pain, that she was at the end of her strength."
I hid my fear at the State Security interrogation, but I felt hellish
Deanna Skalleová was born on 23 August 1947 in Teplice. Her grandfather and other relatives died in Nazi concentration camps because of their Jewish origin. Her mother, who was a mixed Jew, first worked as a forced labourer in several factories. Then, fearing transport, she went into hiding until the end of the war. She later told her story to documentary filmmakers of the Steven Spielberg Foundation. In the early 1950s, they were assigned tenants in their family home in Nymburk and from this point on they had to live in two rooms. The witness tried several times in vain to get into medical school, until she finally succeeded. The reason for the previous failures was probably the anti-Semitism present in the admissions committee. In the 1970s, the witness visited Italy with her mother, and the two established a friendly relationship with the Italian military attaché in Prague. After several invitations to the Italian, English and Canadian embassies, the State Security (StB) became interested in her. They suspected her of military espionage and interrogated her severely several times. The witness and her family were friends with Bohumil Hrabal for decades. Deanna Skalleová worked all her life as a physician in the field of hygiene and epidemiology. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she worked using all her strength in the vaccination center. In 2023, she was living in Nymburk.