Alena Hájková

Alena Hájková (11 October 1924 in Prague – 2 August 2012 in Prague) was a Czech Communist resistance fighter and historian.

Alena Hájková
Alena hajkova 1980s.jpg
Alena Hájkova in the 1980s
Alena Divišová

(1924-10-11)October 11, 1924
DiedAugust 2, 2012(2012-08-02) (aged 87)


Alena née Divišová was born in 1924 to a working class Prague family in Vršovice.[1] At 14, she left school and went to train as a seamstress. It was in her job that she met a Jewish friend, through who she was introduced to a Jewish circle of leftist Hashomer Hatzair. This group of Jewish and non-Jewish Communist friends formed in 1943 the resistance group Přehledy. Among them, Hájková met Jany Lebovič from eastern part of Czechoslovakia, with whom she fell in love. When the transports to Theresienstadt started in fall 1941, Hájková and her family helped the deportees with food and preparation for transports.[2] Later, the gentiles in the group supported the Jewish members avoid transports under a false, non-Jewish identity. Among those who had gone to hiding was Lebovič. Hájková participated in help for Jewish friends and other resistance: in the first months of Terezín ghetto, she visited a few times and smuggled food to her friends. Later, she actively organized papers for those who went into illegality.[2] In March 1944, she was arrested and deported to Small Fortress Theresienstadt and in July 1944 to Ravensbrück concentration camp. Before her liberation in April 1945, she was forced to do forced labor for the German armament industry, firm Hasag in the Schlieben and Altenburg satellite camps of Buchenwald. Hájková escaped in April 1945 from a death march during a bomb raid in Zwickau.[2]


Upon her return to Prague, Hájková learned that her fiancé had been arrested together with most of the Přehledy in August 1944, and murdered in Auschwitz. She and a friend from Přehledy, Miloš Hájek, married and had two sons. Her granddaughter Anna Hájková is a historian at the University of Warwick. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1971. She started studying in 1945 at the University of Political and Social Affairs (Vysoká škola politická a sociální), but her studies were interrupted when her children were born. In 1952, at the height of Slánský trials, she was one of the few who supported her friends when they were arrested. Via long distance, Hájková studied history at the Philosophical Faculty of the Charles University and, in 1960, received her PhD. All the while, she was supporting her husband who was doing academic career. In 1960, she started working full time as historian: until 1965, she worked as lecturer of humanities at ČVUT, next five years at the Czechoslovak committee for history of antifascists resistance.[2] During normalization, she spent her last working years as specialist in the defense ministry, where it was her job to write confirmations about participation in resistance according to the law 255/1946. This law enabled many former resistance fighters, who were now dissidents, to live on an early pension.[3]


Hájková's expertise was leftist and Communist resistance in Second World War; she focused on individual people and wrote about Jewish Communist resistance fighters who were politically unpopular. Her books and articles are still in circulation, unlike most of contemporary Czech scholarship. In 1989, Hájková was reunited with her old Jewish friends from resistance who had emigrated to Israel and US. In 1991, she was awarded the title Righteous among the nations."[4] In 1995, she coedited a critical edition of Julius Fučík's Notes from the Gallows. She cooperated with Miroslav Kárný on researching the Holocaust and resistance in the Protectorate, and contributed to the research of the Terezín Memorial, including their prisoner database.[5] Hájková continued researching until her 80s; and died in Prague in 2012. Her papers are at the Czech National Archive.


  • Hájková, Alena; Janáček, František; Novotný, Josef (1975). Strana v odboji (in Czech). Prague: Svoboda.
  • Hájková, Alena; Gebhardt, Jan; Kuklík, Jan (1980). 2245 dní odporu (in Czech). Prague: Svoboda.
  • Hájková, Alena; Janáček, František (1984). Praha v komunistickém odboji (in Czech). Prague: Svoboda.
  • Hájková, Alena; Tomášek, Dušan (1988). XYZ: Poslední popravy v Terezíně (in Czech). Prague: Svoboda.
  • Hájková, Alena (1992). Kárný, Miroslav; Blodig, Vojtěch; Kárná, Margita (eds.). "Die sieben Tapferen," Theresienstadt in der "Endlösung der Judenfrage" (in German). Prague: Logos. pp. 202–212.
  • Fučík, Julius (1995). Janáček, František (ed.). Reportáž, psaná na oprátce. První úplné, kritické a komentované vydání (in Czech). Prague: Torst.
  • Hájková, Alena (1997). Erfassung der jüdischen Bevölkerung des Protektorates", Theresienstädter Studien und Dokumente (in German). pp. 50–62.
  • Hájková, Alena (2002). "Říkali mu Jany," Terezínské Listy (in Czech). pp. 109–116.


  1. ^ Dalibor Státník, "Spravedlivá mezi národy: Alena Hájková (1942-2012)," Dějiny a současnost 34,9, (2012), p. 6
  2. ^ a b c d Bořivoj Čelovský, ed., Alenka: K osmdesátinám dr Aleny Hájkové (Šenov u Ostravy: Tilia, 2004), festschrift
  3. ^ "Národní archiv - Hájková Alena, PhDr". (in Czech). LemonBone s.r.o.
  4. ^ "Alena Hájková". Yad Vashem.
  5. ^ "Polizeigefängnis Theresienstadt 1940-1945 (věznice gestapa v Malé pevnosti Terezín 1940-1945)". Památník Terezín (in Czech). Památník Terezín. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  • Dalibor Státník, "Spravedlivá mezi národy: Alena Hájková (1942-2012)," Dějiny a současnost 34,9, (2012), p. 6

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