Zdena Zajoncová

* 1921  

  • “[I was selected] to wish the Soviet Union on 7 November, because I was no longer employed and I had a cheap train ticket. I emphasize just that [as I was not chosen] for I was not someone special, but I had those options. I did not work and I had free train tickets. So I was selected to congratulate the Soviet Union in Prague. I was told which hotel to sleep in and on November 7 I was supposed to go to the business mission in Vinohrady. There I went there with the letter signed by thirty-six young people in the letter. It was the congratulations to the Soviet Union to endure in our struggle for our freedom.”

  • “[The people] from the political and cultural sphere passed through Ostrava to Poland, and then there was a group in Poland that was leading people over the borders. Some went to England, some went to Moscow. And our house in Prague that could have been said a kind of a place for those passing through, for the people who had fled from Prague. Our parents gave them the chance to stay with us one night or more to sleep over. There was a great risk.”

  • “The Germans looked out of the express train, and from the amplicon it sounded "gefangene" as prisoners. We all straightened up, stood up, stepped with our left leg as the members of Sokol did to march with dignity and show that we were not prisoners, but that we were simply more. We got on buses, where there were several tiny spaces made from a single area, meant for two people, but maybe five or six of us squeezed in.”

  • Celé nahrávky
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    Brno, 29.04.2017

    (audio)
    délka: 04:09:55
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

In Ostrava prison we communicated through the toilet

Zdena Zajoncová, September 1945
Zdena Zajoncová, September 1945
zdroj: archiv Zdeny Zajoncové

Zdena Zajoncová, née Sawová, was born on 16 November 1921 in the village of Polanka nad Odrou. Today the village is a part of Ostrava. Her father, Petr Sawa, came from Poland and worked in Ostrava region as a train conductor. Her mother, Anastasia Krischová, was a house-wife. After graduating from the school of commerce Zdena Zajoncová began working in the publishing house Iskra, and under the left-wing influence of Odon Závodský (1913-1986) she joined an illegal National movement for the working youth (NHPM) in 1939 and participated in anti-Nazi events. Amongst the NHPM activities there were anti-Nazi leaflets and press distribution, painting of anti-Nazi posters, but also the youth education. After Odon Závodský and the brother of Julián Sawa got imprisoned, also Zdena Zajoncová was imprisoned by the gestapo on 4 December 1940. Gradually she was in the prisons in Ostrava, Breslau and Cejl in Brno, from where she was left free on 1 August 1941. Following the WW2 she worked as a writer in the publishing house Melantrich and then as an editor and deputy chief editor in Prague for the magazine Vlasta. In 1970 she was fired from her job and began working in an infant care centre as a sanitary worker. In 1991 she retired. Her husband was Jiří Zajonc, who was originally also one of the resistance activists in NHPM. Their son Jiří Zajonc signed the Chart 77 and had to immigrate to Austria, where he has been living until today. Currently (2017) Zdena Zajoncová lives in Brno.