Daniel Eduard Langweil 1855-1929

Otto langweil
Anna Gregorová
Marta Tučková
Jindřich Langweil

After his marriage to Marie, the second-born son, Daniel, was living in Kněžice and later moved to Městec Králové. Marie ran a variety store and Daniel traded in coal and grain. In 1912, he established a factory manufacturing buttons named Daniel Langweil. He and Marie brought into the world two boys, Otta and Jindřich, and two daughters, Anna and Marta.

Daniel’s daughter, Anna, married “Aryan” Eduard Gregor. He worked in a sugar refinery in Městec Králové. After the wedding, he was a works engineer at a sugar refinery in Croatia, where their son Miloš was born. Their daughter Zdenka was born upon returning to Prague. Since 1943, anti-Semitic measures started to more and more drastically affect mixed families. As Eduard refused to divorce, Anna he was deported to Sonderlager in Bystřice by Benešov, which was the camp for inadaptable Aryans and for people of Jewish mixed descent. Miloš was the next one forced to depart. He was slightly over twenty. His journey led him to Klettendorf: a work camp by Wroclaw in Poland. Anna was the third child to leave, her journey lead her to Theresienstadt in February 1945. All three lived to see the end of the war. Zdenka was not called to transport.

Daniel’s other daughter, Marta, married Jindřich Tuček, clerk and later on director of the District Savings Bank in Městec Králové. He died in 1928 and her father, Daniel Langweil, died the following year. In June 1942, both widows were transported to Theresienstadt. According to the family recollection, Marta asked to accompany her mother in order to help her. However, their paths went different ways. Immediately upon her arrival to Theresienstadt, Marta was sent with the next transport to a work camp in Trawniki. After four months of the stay in Theresienstadt Marie was transported to Treblinka. Neither Marie, nor Marta ever came back. Marta’s children of mixed descent, Miroslav and Milada, were not transported.

Her farther, Daniel Langweil, was preparing their sons, Otta and Jindřich to take over his factory, which happened in 1920. From 1930 till the closure of the factory, it was called Brothers Langweils. Otta directed marketing and Jindřich oversaw production. During that time, their children were born; Otta had Pavel and Alena while Jindřich had Vladimír and Jiří. In their factory they employed 200 workers. When they realized that in Městec they were not able to further develop their business, they courageously made a risky step. In 1927, they left Městec Králové and moved machines to Roudnice nad Labem. Since 1932, the company started using the name Button Factory Butonia. Despite the economic crisis at the time, the factory prospered. More than half of the production was exported around the world.

The Langweils observed Hitler’s expansive efforts with growing anxiety. During the construction of defences, they sent their workers to dig trenches. Jindřich went himself with a shovel on his shoulder and led the whole factory to the outskirts of Roudnice, while refusing an offer from Chicago to lead a local button factory. Jindřich’s son, Jiří, remembers his father’s words: “I am a soldier, war is approaching and I have to protect my country!” Almost immediately after the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the German army, his factory, worth two and half million crowns, was subject to Aryan management. Otto, his family, and Jindřich were transported to the Thereseinstadt ghetto in February 1942. Jindřich followed the advice of his lawyer and in time divorced his “Aryan” wife and thus he spared her and their children the risk of being transported.

After less than a month, Otto and his family were transported to Izbica. It was a transit station from which prisoners were deported to either Majdanek, Belzec, Chelmno or Sobibor extermination camps.

Jindřich spent the longest time in Theresienstadt: two and half years. He was then transported to Auschwitz. Records of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Memorial Museum show Jindřich’s name in the list of prisoners working in the economic department. He did not survive to see the liberation.

Courage to stay
Jindřich had a possibility to leave. However, he did not want to abandon his family and also his patriotism played a big role. For this fearless attitude he paid with his life.