Veronika (Věra) Rýmonová

* 1942

  • “I remember that my aunt kept telling me that my mother was going to come but I couldn’t imagine anything real behind those words. I remember that my aunt lived in a rather dark apartment in a cellar. Somebody was holding my hand and they were telling me that it was my mother. I didn’t remember her and I didn’t come to greet her. We were raised in a strict way with many restrictions and orders about what we were and weren't supposed to do. So I was afraid of her as if she were a stranger. It must have been devastating for her. She survived the concentration camp because one of the things that kept her alive was the fact that I was here. And I regarded her as a stranger.”

  • “I missed having a father. I didn’t cry but I felt sorry for myself when I saw other children at school in Kročehlavy calling their fathers. And I didn’t have any. I just had my mother who would hit me when I came home and did something she disapproved of. She didn’t speak very much. She just looked at me hard or she hit me right away.”

  • “I came to my mother and told her: ‘Listen, I’m fifteen and everybody calls me Věra. Věra written on my school reports and suddenly there will be Veronika on my ID?’ And she answered that she didn’t remember. How is that possible to forget! As far as I know, it’s the parents who choose a name for the child. My second name came from my godmother - Františka, so I was lucky I didn’t get called Fanynka or Nanynka... I was really angry with my mother at that time. I felt really offended by that.”

  • “When the leader of our Pioneer group tied the scarf around my neck, she told me that I should wear it proudly because my father died for it. And I thought to myself that she could as well have skipped that one. They kept telling us that we were from Lidice and that we should act as role models for the others. But I didn’t join the youth organisation for that. I thought: ‘All right, teach me maths and I will be a role model.’ I was always bad at maths. I was good at languages and literature but maths was always a problem... When we were in the Pioneers, we didn’t have anything against greeting delegations. Each time somebody came we went to the greet them. It didn’t bother us so much.”

  • “The ‘friendly armies’ came to help us. There were so many soldiers here at Dívčí hrady that we were completely surrounded. And at that time I realised what it must have been like when Lidice was surrounded by German soldiers.”

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    Praha, 20.11.2010

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I missed my father my entire life.

Rýmonová Veronika
Rýmonová Veronika
zdroj: Vilém Faltýnek

Veronika Rýmonová was born on the 22nd of January, 1942 in Kladno. Her mother called her Věra, but her real name in the birth register is Veronika. Now, she uses both names. Her family lived in Lidice until the village was wiped out during the aftermath of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. Her father was executed with the other men from Lidice and her mother was taken to Ravensbrück concentration camp. As a four months old baby, Veronika was taken to an orphanage at Karlovo Square. The orphanage was housed in a building which formerly belonged to the Czech Technical University. Later, she was moved to the hospital at Karlovo Square, to Krč hospital and finally, during the Prague uprising, she was placed in the custody of her relatives. After her mother‘s return from Ravensbrück, they both lived with relatives. In 1952, they moved into a newly built house in Lidice. After completing her basic school education, Veronika enrolled at the Film Technical high school but she was immediately employed at the Barrandov Film Studios. She got married, and after her maternity leave returned to Pragostav, where her husband worked and where she stayed until retirement. She lives in Prague, has one son and is a member of the Czech Association of Freedom Fighters.