Анна Гавранова

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Born on 7 April 1992 in the village of Sinevirská Poľana in Carpathian Ruthenia. Following the Hungarian occupation in 1939 she decided to escape to Poland, where her aim was to join the nascent Czechoslovak legion.

She crossed the border at the end of August 1939 with her sister Mária, her cousin Vasilina and almost 40 other young people. The escapees spent three nights wandering around Polish forests before coming upon Soviet soldiers, who arrested them. As a captive she passed through the villages of Breza and Ludvikovka. She was put to work at a quarry while at a transit camp in Skole.

On New Year’s Eve 1939 she was placed on a transport to Dnipropetrovsk. On 2 July 1940 Havranová was sentenced to five years in a labour camp for unauthorised crossing of the border.

After sentencing she spent two months in Kharkiv. Later she was again placed on a cattle wagon and transported in inhumane conditions to Siberia. The female prisoners were then forced to build a camp once they had arrived. On the advice of a guard, they requested transfer to camp seven, known as the Temnikovsky camp.

On 21 June 1943 Havranová was conscripted into the army. Following training in Buzuluk, she was placed in the anti-aircraft artillery. On the advice of a doctor she underwent a medical course and took part in battles at Kiev and Bila Tserkva as a nurse. At Bila Tserkva she remained in the rear and attended to 42 wounded men.

At the very beginning of her deployment she met her future husband Fedor Havran. As a nurse Anna Havranová experienced all the battles of the Dukla operation and also took part in the liberation of Czechoslovakia.

After the war she settled in Žatec, where she and her husband ran the Hotel Praha. Some years later the hotel was nationalised so the family, now including children, moved to Ústí nad Labem. Later they relocated to Teplice, where she lives to this day.

The story was processed by Post Bellum SK for the project Central European Map of the Gulag.


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