Naďa Ludmila Hübnerová

* 1926

  • „My arrest took place after they had arrested Mirek Komárek. His brother, who lived abroad, kept sending postcards for Mirek to my address, because he knew that there was tight censorship in Czechoslovakia. I always gave or showed them to him. I did a mistake, however, because I should have kept them or destroyed them, but instead I gave them to Mirek and he hid them somewhere in his laundry. Unfortunately, these postcards were found in a search with my address on them. And this brother of his who lived abroad, he apparently worked for some foreign intelligence agency. So they came across my name because of the postcards.”

  • „I also sat for quite a long time in solitary confinement in this Pankrác prison. When they afterwards put me back into my cell, I was completely happy. This solitary confinement is terrible. I don’t know why but I had some special punishment all the time. There was something about me that provoked them. Later somebody told me I had this derisive look. Although I wouldn’t say anything, it was still fairly obvious what I thought just from the expression on my face. They were very sensitive to that. I always had trouble in prison but I resolved that whatever happens, they must not break me. Time and again I had halved daily rations of food, every other day a hard bed, no walking tours. But I was resolved that they will not break me.”

  • „It was from April 1952 to May 1953: The ceramics works in Rakovník, which were part of Praha-Pankrác prison. June to September in 1953: the rubber works in Gottwaldov – an independent formation. October 1953 to May 14, 1954 in Minkovice – prison Liberec. From there I went home. I was administered under my preceding name of Ludmila Náda Mašková.”

  • „The hardest moment in prison was when my father died. I even wasn’t able to attend his funeral. My mother had some friends that tried to get a special permission from the ministry for me, but the ministry eventually wouldn’t give me that permission. All the time I was just hoping to see my father one more time. He wasn’t allowed to come and see me in prison. One of my cousins, a doctor, took him by car to the prison to see me one day. As a doctor he was able to arrange the meeting under some pretext. My daddy was so happy he could see me one more time. That was the last time I saw him. He died shortly afterwards.”

  • „I was arrested on March 21, 1951. After one year of waiting in Pankrác prison, I was on trial on April 9, 1952. Then the prosecuting attorney appealed and I was tried again on July 9, 1952. That’s when they augmented my sentence from 3 to 6 years. That means they doubled my sentence.”

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    Praha, 23.07.2008

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Although I didn’t say anything, the expression on my face must have irritated them

Hübnerová-dobové foto.jpg (historic)
Naďa Ludmila Hübnerová

Ludmila Naďa Hübnerová was born on October 8, 1926 in Prague. Her father, Vilém Michel, was a hydraulic engineer and a governmental counselor. Her mother, Lída Michelové, (born Šalátová) came originally from Croatia, but was of Czech extraction. Her education, however, took place in Croatia and later on also in Italy (she studied opera singing in Italy). After marriage, the family stayed in Prague, where Ms. Naďa attended primary and later grammar school. After graduation, she enrolled in law school, but studying law didn‘t satisfy her so she abandoned law studies after a year.  She further studied languages and started to work in an English aviation company. Before her arrest, she got married with René Mašek. She was arrested on March 23, 1951. She was held in police custody for nearly a year without a trial. She spent this time in the infamous Prague prison of Pankrác. She didn‘t experience any beating but was in solitary confinement, frequent „corrections“, halved daily food rations, incredibly hard beds etc. The main session of the trial took place on April 9, 1952. She was on trial together with Miroslav Komárek, Jaroslav Libeňský, (whom she didn‘t know at all) and her first husband René Mašek. The verdict was 3 years of imprisonment for assistance in espionage according to paragraph 5 of the law nr. 117/52 and for the criminal offense of espionage according to paragraph 5 law nr. 231/48. After the verdict, the prosecuting attorney immediately gave a notice of appeal as the sentence seemed too lenient to him. Therefore, in September 1952, there was another trial, in which the attorney actually got his way. The sentence was augmented from 3 to 6 years imprisonment. After the verdict, she was transferred to Rakovník, where she worked in a ceramics works (the so-called „šamotka“). She then worked as a tile manufacturer. From June 1953 to September 1953 she was placed in Gottwaldov working in a rubber-works that produced rubber boots. The last place of her imprisonment was Minkovice near Liberec, from where she was set free on April 14, 1954. During her time in prison, the most daunting event was the news about her father‘s death. She herself describes that moment as the worst and most painful in all of her life. Life after discharge from prison was rather normal. She stayed in touch with her girl-friends from prison, she didn‘t talk too much about her past. After she met her second husband Josef Hübner, who worked as a planning engineer, happier times came. She gave birth to two sons: the older Vilém and the younger Richard. The focal point of her life became her family. Her husband, Mr. Hübner, lived long enough to see the end of the communist regime but he passed away after a few free years. Freedom brought the intuitive joining of the Confederation of Political Prisoners and regular meetings with other political prisoners in Žofín. She has enjoyed meeting old friends here ever since. As the years passed, however, the ranks of her old friends grew scarce and at this year‘s meeting of the political prisoners, she didn‘t recognized any more familiar faces in the aula. When she looks back at her years in prison, she realizes that they gave her the unique opportunity to meet very special people. These were people that she in all probability wouldn‘t normally have had the chance of meeting. Only the years in prison enabled her to fully appreciate her idyllic youth and the spirited environment, in which she grew up. As far as forgiveness is concerned, she perceives her imprisonment at an impersonal level. It happened because of the regime and the people who served the regime. These people were of a totally different nature than she is, but she doesn‘t feel any hatred for them.