The plaque of fascism victims

Every day for four years I go to school passing the marble plague with inscription: ”Our victims of the struggle for freedom 1939 – 1945”. At the beginning of June 1988 I saw the bunch of flowers there. I wondered who had brought that. Later I found out that they were the schoolmates of Antonin Zimmer and Pavel Kohn. They came to Teplice to meet 55 years after their graduation examination at Business Academy. I started looking for more details. It was not so easy I had expected but I am glad I have managed.

The plague placement

Ing. Josef Neuman, the former student and then the teacher of Business Academy (BA) is speaking: ”After the Munich Pact signing we needed to move BA from Teplice. We had two possibilities – Roudnice or Louny. We decided that Louny was better. During the occupation our school in Teplice - Šanov, MetelkovoSquare was used as the barracks for the German army. That is why it was really damaged after the war. Still wearing my uniform I came to Teplice and immediately started to prepare our school for reopening. We could not get our former building so we found our teaching aids and materials at German BA and gymnázium and transferred them to the former German secondary school in Lesnická (now Čs. dobrovolců) Street. This school was the first one in this area that started educating students on September 1, 1945.

I initiated the placement of the plaque with the names of the students and teachers who died during the war.

It was completed and fixed on the wall at the entrance stairs. Czech gymnázium was in 1945 in the building (waiting from 1938) in Lipová Street. BA was later to move to Havlíčkovy sady (contemporary site) and gymnázium occupied the building in Čs. dobrovolců street. The plaque is still fixed at its original place.”

Biography of personalities named at the plaque

Adéla Eisnerová – a teacher. She started teaching at BA in 1925 and used to teach Czech, German and French language. She worked at Academy for Workers and with her colleagues W. Jankovec, ing. Ludmila Jankovcová and Jarmila Faustusová organized classes for the Czech people of this district. In 1938 she was transferred to Kolín and later dismissed. She was employed as a worker in the garden centre then. She had to wear the Star of David – Jewish symbol. She was brave enough to meet her schoolmates graduated in 1932 at a special gathering. Then she died at the Concentration Camp in Majdanek. Jiří Padevít in the class chronicle of BA 1936-1938 Louny: ”Our teacher was really demanding but fair. She was always ready to help. She knew the problems of that time and financial situation of the students’ families. We will remember her for ever.” Her colleague Ludmila Jankovcová 1988:”She was very honest. Being at her friends in France during the holidays 1938 she was warned not to go back home. Her belief in democracy and feeling of duty did not let her to stay in a friendly country.”

Wolfgang Jankovec – a teacher. He was born in Plzeň October 10, 1896. He graduated at BA there and then at Prague Technical University specialized in business science. After the foundation of the first Czech Republic he started teaching at Plzeň BA, then left for Košice, where he married his colleague ing. Ludmila Stračovská in 1923, they both came to Teplice- Šanov BA. They taught there and simultaneously they worked at Academy for Workers as well. Mr. Jankovec used to be its Chairman and his activities were really wide. In 1930 they left for Prague and taught at Smíchov and Karlín BA. Ludmila was dismissed in 1938 and her husband was arrested for his activities in The Petition Committee ”Věrni Zůstaneme” illegal organization. He was interviewed in Prague, Kladno then sent to Vratislav, Golnov, Štětín, Berlin, Zhořelec and on October 23, 1944 he was sentenced to death and 58 day later executed. Newspaper Právo Lidu December 20, 1945 M.J. writes: ”His nickname was Havelka, called VUK (Wolfgang in Serbian language). This is the text of our members how written by him: Remembering the name of president Liberator (Masaryk) I promise I will do my best to liberate Czechoslovakia, I will do all I am assigned, I will keep secret the names of my colleagues…

František Bedrna. He was born on December 13,1907 Teplice, where his father worked as a teacher. He graduated at BA Teplice- Šanov in 1926. I was not too successful getting information about him. I was only said by ing. Neumann a teacher, that FB came to Teplice in 1938 to help during the evacuation of inhabitants after the Munich Pact. He was a police clerk, later arrested and executed.

Ing. Karel Hladeček. He was born on March 1908 in Most, where he used to live in Pontazumova Street and used to commute to Teplice – Šanov BA every day. He graduated with honours in 1927. Univerzity of Commerce he finished in 1932 and started teaching at BA in Kolín, where he became the member of The Petition Committee ”Věrni Zůstaneme”. His activities were the reason for being sentenced to death and later executed.

Věra Hynková. She was born on January 25, 1915 in Prague. Both of her parents were the teachers and moved to Teplice after WW I. Vera attended primary school in Teplice and later the family moved to Cukmantl (now Pozorka). In 1938 after the mobilization they went back to Prague. Before that Věra Hynková started her studies at BA in 1929 and graduated in 1933 and then continued at University of Commerce in Prague. She led a rich political life. She was the member of students’ organization KOSTUFRA and was its representant in Czechoslovakian Student Union. She took part at both congresses in Brussels and in Paris. She met Mira Holzbach and a group of Yugoslavian students there. All of them were going to join the Spanish Civil War. One of them was Věra´s future husband Ivan Vejvoda. Ms Holzbach was a dancer and Věra was her interpreter. Later she worked as an editor of the Czech volunteers war newspaper and then as a librarian of officers school of international brigade in Pozzo Rubio. She escaped from encircled Barcelona on her own in a small boat and got to Madrid to work for the Czech radio broadcasting. International brigades were then to go to France, concentration camp in Saint Zacharie near Marseilles. Věra was in that time the wife of Ivan Vejvoda and was pregnant. Her son was born in Paris. The Germans were coming to Paris and children and women were evacuated. She was on the farm in Gironde. Later went to Yugoslavia, Karlovac. There her father in law welcomed her and was really pleased by her coming. He was the Czech who left his country looking for work in the period of Austro- Hungarian. Věra´s husband escaped to the mountains and joined a group of guerrillas. Věra immediately started to cooperate with them leaving her son at her relatives. Her nickname was Mara. Fascists took the offensive in Přímoří and Gorsk to liquidate partisan’s camp in the woods around Delnice near Presica village. There were a thousand of soldiers against fifty partisans. Věra managed to hide archives and important documents but her heroic life finished. She was buried by the village people from Delnice at the local cemetery wall after ten days. They used to bring flowers to that place for a long time. She was decorated by the Řád Rudé hvězdy (1966) and Yugoslavian the Řád prvobojovníka in memoriam.

Pavel Kohn-Kubín. He was born on June 10, 1913 in Žamberk. His parents then moved to Chomutov and he attended classical gymnázium there and later BA in Teplice. After graduating at University of Commerce he become a commercial specialist. In the time of Jewish persecution he managed to escape for Paris. There he joined the Czech foreign troops on December l2, 1939. He fought in the battle of France and then escaped to Britain and met there his schoolmate from Teplice BA František Fajtl. It happened on July 13, 1940 in Cholmondeley Park near Liverpool, the place where all evacuated overseas soldiers were concentrated. F. Fajtl writes in his book Vzpomínky na padlé kamarády (Recalls of dead friends) this: ” Paul, I called when I realized him walking through the camp. Pavel Kohn! The student of classical gymnázium, graduated at University of Commerce, the commercial specialist, the intellectual speaking fluent German, English, French, Russian and Latin,: the admirer of old Greek and Roman philosophers:, the civilian and pacifist. My schoolmate who never joined us going to a merry-go-round or a swing, the man who used to observe us sporting! He wants to join RAF?…I saw him for the last time at Christmas 1943 at Beaulieu airport in South England. The 311th Czech bomber squadron organized the party. I was introduced to his wife, red hair English woman who was jealous of Czechoslovakia. She was smiling telling me: ”He loves that country more than me.” She wanted to see her rival but her dream did not come true. Two months later she was sent the notice that her husband disappeared. His screw was not able to send a message and died in the Bay of Biscay. He was decorated by the Czech War Cross and by the medal Za chrabrost. In memoriam he was promoted to captain.

Antonín Zimmer. He was born on January 24, 1914. He soon lost his parents. His friend and roommate for four years, František Fajtl says: ”He did not like boasting and over talkative people. That is why he had a lot of enemies. As they could not exceed him in a mental way, they used to laugh at him not being good at physical exercises and his plump body. He was sorry about it and that is why one day he asked me to enrol him in the Sokol organization. He used to do exercises twice a week and he trained hard at home as well. At the beginning he used to fall down from a horizontal bar, parallel bars and was not able to do exercises on rings. But he had an iron will! He got maximum points at the pre- meeting (slet) competition and he joined the group of adolescents from Krušnohorská župa." After graduation he become an accountant and went to military service and military academy. He became a professional soldier and was given a title an air force observer. When the fascist occupation started he left for Poland. On July 24, 1939 he enrolled in a foreign resistance movement and sent to the camp Bronowice. He spent a short time fighting in France. He was at the air force base at Tour. When France was defeated, he was transported to England. There he came on June 23, 1940. He became a member of 311th Czech bomber squadron and worked as a radiotelegraphist. Having been trained to flight British planes he left for his first task on June 11, 1941. After 200 operating hours he wanted to start a bomber pilot training. At the night from September 15 to 16 at the air raid of Hamburg his Wellington crashed. Antoním Zimmerman was decorated by the Czechoslovakian War Cross, by the medal Za chrabrost and by the Czech medal of Great Britain. He was promoted to a staff captain in memoriam.

 Valerie Friedová. She was born in Teplice in 1917. Her father Hugo Fried ran his own butcher’s shop. She graduated at BA in 1935 and died with all her family at the Concentration Camp Osvětim.

Soňa Frontzová, IV. A, March 1989