Sonja Babej-Doelle

* 1945  

  • “It was on November 17, 1959 around half past 1 or 2 p.m. It was a day when we received our quarterly school reports and I was excited that the doorbell rang, as I had a grade 3 from the Math. So I was happy I could run away from that report. However, through the glass door I saw there were two men standing, looking similarly as described in literature – ŠtB members, Secret Police. A hat, long coats… They asked if Dr. Dölle was home and I said he wasn´t. I thought how smart I was and that they would leave then. But they didn´t. In front of the house´s entrance they had their car as well. So they came in, meanwhile my mother and father came, too. A house search. We didn´t ask why, what and how. Our parents were like little lambs taught by the war times not to protest. But they took our father. He didn´t come home since the house search. They said they needed to take him for interrogation, but that it was not a harmful thing and he would be home soon. In the meantime they turned our home upside down. They threw out everything from the wardrobes, drawers, in the kitchen as well, they took some keys and I don´t even know what else. They left and the father was gone, too. We didn´t know whether he would come home that evening or the next morning. He didn´t. He didn´t come for a very long time and we didn´t even know where he was. We stayed alone with our mom.”

  • “Our friends, colleagues, they all turned away from us. Nobody wanted to have anything in common with us, because they were afraid to be the next ones in turn. We suffered also at school. We had beautiful hair. I had beautiful hair, so I was able to wear a ponytail. During the lunch break we always used to go to the school yard. It was our obligation to walk around. And suddenly I saw one teacher – a German – coming to me, holding scissors in her hand. She cut my ponytail off. She said it was a capitalistic bourgeois relic and I was not allowed to wear a ponytail anymore. She simply cut it off. And my hair just bristled. However, instead of going home crying and motivating my mom to go complaining to school, I went to my class the way I was. When I came home, I entered the door and I never forget the way my mom looked at me.”

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    Praha, 10.08.2015

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Our parents went through horrors

Sonja Babej Dölle
Sonja Babej Dölle
zdroj: internet

Mrs. Soňa Babej, née Dölle, was born on September 30, 1945 in Poprad. On February 6, 1948 her sister Zuzana Kunstadt, née Dölle, was born in Levoča. Lives of both sisters were in a great way influenced by two tragedies, which affected their closer as well as wider family. The first strike that afflicted wider family of the girls was holocaust. During the times of the Second World War Soňa and Zuzana lost many of their relatives, along with their grandparents from both mother´s as well as father´s side. Even though their parents never talked openly about this loss with their daughters, they felt they held a great grief for that inside. Despite of this fact it seemed, that girls´ childhood won´t be much different from other children in their age. However, another tragedy struck this family on November 17, 1959, when the members of the State Security arrested their father, Ľudovít Dölle. Ľudovít was as a doctor, pediatrician accused of taking bribes. In a trial he was sentenced to two-year imprisonment and other side penalties. The whole process brings out several features of fabricated trials. His daughters as well as their mother felt the father´s trial caused quite aloof attitude of their neighborhood, friends, acquaintances, and even of their family. After Ľudovít Dölle returned home from prison, in the following years the family tried to move abroad from Czechoslovakia. They managed to do that yet during the era of ending Prague Spring. Later on, Ľudovít Dölle opened a private practice in the city of Leverkusen in Germany. The older daughter Soňa settled down in Frankfurt am Main with her husband, who has also been a doctor. Younger Zuzana together with her husband immigrated to Canada. This way they all began to live their lives in countries, where state authorities didn´t perceive own citizens as enemies. At the same time, new environment at least partially helped them to break free from the shadow of tragedies that afflicted their family in Czechoslovakia.