Olga Horníčková Nováková

* 1922  

  • “Besides, she lived longer than my grandfather. When my grandfather came to Poland for work, the war started and the Russians grabbed him and sent him to Siberia because he was an Austrian citizen. So my grandmother stayed alone with her two daughters. My mother, she was about 16 and her sister a bit older. When the Czechoslovak Embassy was formed, my mother found a job there, she was a secretary. There she met my father. Then they got married and my sister was born in 1921 and I exactly a year later in 1922.“

  • “He never came back home again. In the beginning it was completely impossible. And then when it was possible, he would go to the Consulate to Montreal to get the permission. Well, and there he was given a kind of paper to fill it in. There, the most important part was that he should ask the Czechoslovak President for forgiveness for leaving his country without the permission. Miloš didn´t like it a single bit. He tore the paper and said: I´m not going anywhere. They should ask ME for forgiveness as they destroyed my beautiful country.“

  • „I could go there. In fact I had it the easy way. They didn´t ask me too much because I was born in Warsaw. So they said: She is a Pole probably and I was given the permission really fast. I remember when I came to Prague. Prague seemed to me very sad. Grey and sad, nothing was in repair, things were broken. I felt it especially in the metro. When sitting in the metro, people didn´t speak to each other at all. Simply put, it looked as if everyone was afraid. They were frightened to say anything to speak to each other – what if this person was an informer. They were afraid. Later, this all changed. When the Communists were no longer, there was laughter and talking, simply a life.“

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    V Multikulturním centru Praha skypem do Montrealu, 27.11.2017

    (audio)
    délka: 46:06
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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Love one another and forgive each other

Olička in England 1940
Olička in England 1940
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

Olga Horníčková - Nováková was born on 22nd September 1922 in Warsaw where her father worked at the Czechoslovak Embassy. She spent her childhood in Poland. After the Munich Agreement the family had to undergo a complicated escape to France, later to England. In Oxford, Olga graduated in French, her sister Vlasta in English. After the war, the family lived shortly in Prague, then the Novaks went to Belgium for work and after the February 1948 Communist coup, they emigrated to Canada. The Czech part of the family was badly persecuted by the Communist regime. In 1977, Olga was given the permission to visit her Prague family for the first time in 30 years.