Januše Straková, roz. Štefanová

* 1936  

  • “We went down Grébovka towards Vršovické station. There we waited for about an hour, nobody came. So we were returning and already saw men standing on stepladders and up on ladders and tearing down Germans labels or colouring them. Everyone was crying: ‚That is the end of war!‛ So I ran to the third floor shouting at my mum: ‚It is the end of war!‛ Mum said: ‚That is not possible.‛ I replied: ‚Well look out of the window.‛ And when mum saw, what was going on, she put the flags out straight away. At that moment shooting from Londýnská street came, so we were crawling at the ground, as all street windows had already been blasted. And then it started for real, so we went down the covers. I had a small bed removed there, but still I could sleep in it.”

  • “I remember the terrible raid over Vysočany, when Libeň also got hit. We lived close near Rokytka, in the street near Libeň brewery. And a bomb fell right at the Rokytka stream. Thanks god the last house in the street was not built yet, so there was free space there. We used to play there as kids and near the Rokytka too. Raid on Vysočany was awful, as in the cover, when the bombs were falling, (an electricity went off and we were there in darkness). And I remember there were red flames coming from ventilation shafts. It was probably a brick dust but it looked like flame lights, it was something terrible. And after the raid, when we went out, a bomb fell between Rokytka and the wall behind it. And two human bodies were smeared over the wall. It was awful.”

  • “And moreover my dad saved two sons (of a Jewish factory owner – editor´s note). He was hiding them for about eight months. First he asked his friend, a barber, to die their hair. He made them look blond, so that they were not noticeable. And then, in critical times, when the Jews were hunted, he just hid them. He let a wall made in the factory between the dressing room and the showers, a wall without any door. There were door only to the garden, which my dad had for himself. It was fenced with a thick wooden fence, so that no one could see, what was inside. He let the boys out each night and brought them food for the whole day and took them to the factory each night to have a shower, a shave and do their daily hygiene. He kept doing such a risky thing for eight months.”

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    bydliště pamětnice, Praha 10, 27.07.2016

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To live in truth and honour

12 - a young Jana Strakova
12 - a young Jana Strakova
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Januše Straková was born on 19 September, 1936 in Světlá pod Ještědem in a family of Emanuel and Marie Štefan. At the age of two she moved to Prague Libeň with her parents, where she went to elementary and secondary school. During WW2 she experienced air raids of Prague. Her step-father Novák saved two sons of a Jewish owner of a colour factory from deportation, where he worked. At the time of the Prague Uprising Januše witnessed shooting of German soldiers to the windows of Štefans ´flat in London street in the centre of Prague. She also helped building the barricades. After was during studies of the High School of Economics she became a member of the High School Art Group in Karlín, and they together travelled across several countries. Later she worked at the State Statistics Office of the Prague City Administration; since 1991 at the Czech Statistics Office in Invalidovna. In 1994 she retired and currently lived in Prague 10.