Why does a fourteen-year-old girl have to see this?
Božena Ivanová, née Koutná, was born on May 18, 1927 in Prague. Her parents left to the Soviet Union to work in 1931 under the surname Fiala. She followed them in 1933. Her father worked in Podolsk near Moscow, later in Lugansk. After the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany in June 1941, the plant was evacuated, and so the family moved - first to Omsk to Siberia, later to Almaty. There they learned about the emerging Czechoslovak military unit in Buzuluk, where they went in 1942. Her mother worked in the kitchen there, her father served in a machine gun company. Božena went to school in Buzuluk and in January 1944 she was recruited into military service and in August she was assigned to the 2nd Czechoslovak Parachute Brigade as a signaler. She underwent hard training, including three parachute jumps. She did not participate in the direct battles of the brigade in Slovakia, in January 1945 she was assigned to a training unit. There she also met her future husband Pavel Ivan, whom she married in October 1945. The husband worked in the army, so the family with two children often moved, depending on where her husband was transferred. In 1963 they settled in Česká Třebová.