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Anna Růžičková

Anna Růžičková known as Nána, née Růžičková (1928, Sulice, Prague-East district - year of death unknown)

  • Testimony abstract

    Anna Růžičková was born the eldest of seven siblings to Johana and Robert Růžička. They had four horses, her father was a carter and violin dealer, and her mother sold quilts. The family prospered; they bought two houses, one of them at Zdaboř. The children went to the local elementary school. Růžičková describes very good relations with non-Romani neighbours, citing as an example the school principal Staňek, who was always saddened when "they took them away", or neighbours in Zbraslav and Ďáblice, who were afraid that the Růžičkas would sell their house and someone else would move in.

    Around 1942, Anna Růžičková's father received a warning from Ulrich, a policeman in Březové Hory, that they would "go to the camp" and recommended him to join the partisans. But the father refused, because they were expecting the birth of a son at any time. Because of the air raids, the family stayed in their house in Zdaboř, which was situated apart, close to the forest. At 4 o'clock one morning, Czech gendarmes came for them with someone in a German uniform and took them to the prison in Příbram, where they separated Anna Růžičková and her mother from her father and brother and placed them in different cells. Before leaving, they had managed to give their lodger, Mrs. Kocourková, the address of her uncle and aunt in Lysá nad Labem, asking her to inform them. The family was then taken to Prague and placed in a wooden outbuilding, to which other Romani families were brought in red buses. They were then called by name and taken away, but the Růžičkas were released. Her uncle and aunt, who were very wealthy, ransomed them; her aunt, who was not Romani, had the name of Blümlová before she married. They ransomed them three times in total, and the Růžičková aunt mentioned a certain doctor of law (probably named Beneš) from Hanspaulka [in Prague] who helped mediate it for them.

    Nevertheless, Anna Růžičková was eventually interned along with her aunts. The aunts in the camp acted as wardens in the children's barracks and lived in a separate room where Růžičková lived with them and helped them with the children. In the camp she contracted diarrhoea and suffered from herpes. Lice were a big problem, and she and her aunts washed the children's heads and cut their hair, but even then it was impossible to get rid of them. They were mostly given bread to eat, and soup at noon.

    She also remembers the ubiquitous mud in the camp.

    After the war Anna Růžičková lived with her parents in a house in Březové Hory near Příbram and later in family houses in Prague or Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav.

    Her sister Karolína [Kozáková-Vdolečková, see her testimony in the database] trained as a printer and moved to Brno. Her sister Jana [Schindler Růžičková] graduated from the conservatory and moved to Geneva, where she taught at her own ballet school.[1] Her brother Jan worked in the office of the Jáchymov mines and her brother Josef worked as a chauffeur in Sankt Gallen, Switzerland.

    Anna Růžička married Augustýn Růžička nicknamed Gusta (1925, Štoky, Jihlava district - year of death unknown), a childhood friend who returned from the concentration camps as an orphan. A daughter and a son were born to them. Her husband was a trained grinder, but he made his living mainly by selling cloth. Anna Růžičková opened a textile stall.

    • [1] Jana Schindler Růžičková, born 1948. (ed.)

    How to cite abstract

    Abstract of testimony from: HORVÁTHOVÁ, Jana a kol. ... to jsou těžké vzpomínky. 1. svazek. Vzpomínky Romů a Sintů na život před válkou a v protektorátu. Brno: Větrné mlýny, Muzeum romské kultury, 2021. ISBN 978-80-86656-45-8, 89-91, 333-334, 345-349, 367, 395, 435, 506, 542, 695-696. Testimonies of the Roma and Sinti. Project of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories (Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences), https://www.romatestimonies.com/testimony/anna-ruzickova (accessed 4/13/2024)
  • Origin of Testimony

    Anna Růžičková's testimony comes from two interviews in Czech. The first was conducted on 19 June 1997 in one of her homes in Stará Boleslav in the form of a video recording, and is stored in the collections of the Museum of Romani Culture (MRC) and available online at the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The second interview was recorded by Jana Horváthová on 26 May 2005 and is also in the MRC collections. The book "They're Painful Memories" refers to additional source material: Výzkumná zpráva 21/2006 – Čeští Romové – Sintové (Research Report 21/2006 - The Czech Roma - Sinti) and Paul Polansky's book Black Silence. The memoirs are supplemented with photographs from the MRC collections.

  • Where to find this testimony

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