František’s Sword

David Vaughan and Jakub Liška
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Written by Jakub Liška, aged 15 (inspired by my great-grandfather)

I heard stories about my Great-Grandpa, however I don't really remember much about him. He was born on June 25th 1925 and he died on February 16th 2014. He was 89 years old. I remember some experiences with him. I was born on July 24th 2006. I was seven years old when my grandpa made a wooden sword for me. I only remember this because it was very significant for me. I also remember that when he gave me the sword I was extremely happy, and I remember how I said that it’s the best present ever. When he gave me the sword I really deeply hugged him, and I think it was the last hug before his death. When my Great-Grandpa died, my parents didn't tell me about his death for a month, and after they told me, I could feel that something was wrong. I also remember that I didn't speak to anybody for the whole day, because my parents told me that I spent a lot of time with my grandpa, which unfortunately I don't remember.

Village of Ráječko | Photo: Jiří Komárek,  Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY-SA 4.0

My Great-Grandpa lived his whole life in a village called Ráječko, where I currently live also. He lived through the Second World War which was a very significant event in his life. My mom told me a story that my Great-Grandpa told her, that during the beginning of the war when the Nazis were taking over countries like the Czech Republic, he said that when they first came to Ráječko they asked everyone in the village who was Jewish and who wasn't. My great grandpa said to my mom that he had a Jewish friend, who was unfortunately sent to a concentration camp. People at that time didn't know that they were going there, but eventually my great grandpa discovered and was very sad about it. Luckily, the Nazi occupation didn’t really do anything to people that were living in small neighbourhoods, only those who were Jewish were treated badly in his neighbourhood.

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My Mom told me that František was very rich, which was quite unusual in his time. He owned many parts of Ráječko land and he had 3 houses, which was a very good investment. However, one of the worst pieces of news he got in his life was that the communist are coming to power in Prague and the whole of Czechoslovakia, this was the key point in František’s life, because he knew that if the communists discover that František owns so much land and three houses that he was renting, the communists would automatically take it.  This really happened and the communists took almost everything that František had. He lived in a small house with his family where he didn't have a lot of food, and was made to take a job where he didn't get paid like before. My grandma told me that František told her when she was young, that this was the worst event which happened in his life. People didn't have a lot of food. Almost all businessmen went bankrupt because of the communists. In such a short period of time people went from being very rich to very poor.

Let's Write | Photo: Radio Prague International
Author: Jakub Liška
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