Česky English Deutsch Francais
Milena Hubschmannova and two miracles in wartime Prague
19-05-2005 - David Vaughan

Dr Milena Hubschmannova is the Czech Republic's foremost scholar of Romani, the ancient language spoken by millions of Roma across Europe. At the time of the German occupation she was a little girl, living with her family in Prague's New Town, close to Wenceslas Square. Here she recalls two memories from that time. They seem unconnected, but both show how in war the smallest chance can mean the difference between life and death.

Milena Hubschmannova "I was a child during the war, and I remember very vividly when in 1942 the Gestapo came and they took my father to the internment camp. He was there three years. And they came at six o'clock in the morning. They always used to come at night or in the morning. My brother at the time was three months old, I was nine and my sister was six. They took my mother too.

"The Gestapo people said, 'We have to put your two girls (that means myself and my sister) into a children's home.' At half past six in the morning my mother's aunt came by just to say, 'How are you?' Usually she never did that. Why would she come at half past six in the morning? She said, 'I was just at the church - St Stepan, just round the corner.' My mother winked to her and showed that she should agree with everything that my mother said. So she told the Gestapo people that our aunt was staying with us, and that she could take care of us - of me and my sister. So they didn't take us to the children's home. We stayed with my aunt. So this was really God's little miracle!

"And here is the other story. You know the Tancici dum (Dancing House) - a new building which was constructed about ten years ago, very modern. Next to this building there is a house which was built after the war. It was bombed - it fell down into ruins. It was in February 1945.

"My mother went for a walk with my little brother, who was about three years old at the time, and the wind took her hat. So she went into that house and she wanted to comb her hair and put her hat on her head, because there are mirrors in the halls of those old apartment blocks. So she combed her hair and she went home. As soon as she got home there was a bombing raid, and this house fell down.

"So these two little miracles happened to us during the war."

Related articles
30.08.2014Romany writers at home on FacebookNews
09.11.2013Romany writers at home on FacebookNews
13.05.2007Tera Fabianova: a poetic pioneer diesNews
12.09.2005Milena Hubschmannova: a champion of Romany language and culture diesNews
12.09.2005Milena Hübschmannová diesNews
12.09.2005Chad Evans Wyatt remembers Milena HübschmannováNews
11.09.2005Milena Hubschmannova, founder of Roma studies in Czech Republic, dies in car crashNews
22.01.2005We Still Breathe their AirNews
05.10.2003The neglected wealth of Roma writing in the Czech RepublicNews
26.02.2000PhDr. Milena HubschmannovaPersonalities
Format for printing
Send as e-mail

Also in section "News"
31.10.19  Roma children’s choir Chavorenge and members of the Czech Philharmonic to perform in UK
13.09.19  Archaeologists discover graves of Roma persecuted during WWII in Lety camp
02.06.19  Ida Kelarová and her Romany children’s choir Chavorenge
29.05.19  Two Roma activists to receive Charter 77’s František Kriegel Award
07.04.19  Romany music from the Czech Republic
13.03.19  Czech singer Věra Bílá, dubbed the Ella Fitzgerald of Gypsy music, dies days before her comeback tour
21.11.18  Roma social worker from Ostrava listed on BBC 100 Women list
12.10.18  Why are there so few Roma politicians?
17.09.18  Virtuoso pianist Tomáš Kačo: When I tell somebody I’m a Gypsy in the US, they’re excited about it
06.06.18  Study indicates ethnic hate is contagious
Archive of the section

Most popular articles
3153053   26.02.00 Some Basic Information about the Roma Population in the Czech Republic
290319   27.01.05 The 'Devouring': A look at the Romani Holocaust
184516   26.02.00 The History and Origin of the Roma
141463   26.02.02 The Language of the Roma
107706   13.06.00 The History of the Roma Minority in the Czech Republic
105260   26.02.00 The Traditional Family Life of the Czech Roma
103929   02.06.03 The Roma Holocaust
88238    World famous Roma Personalities
88174   21.02.04 Extreme right activists demonstrate for skinhead in jail
74801    Photographs by Romani Children
Copyright © Český rozhlas / Czech Radio, 1997-2023
Vinohradská 12, 120 99 Praha 2, Czech Republic