When people are willing to help, it is possible to survive anything
Patra Karadžu was born on the 9th August of 1926 in the Vovousa village in Greece. During the WWII and the civil war in Greece she only attended the school for two years. During the WWII, the fascists burned their village down but otherwise, she and her family survived the war safely. During the civil war, her brothers volunteered for the Greek People‘s Liberation Army, the military branch of the National Liberation Front and two of them became casualties of war. The family risked persecution after the civil war so they opted for the possibility to join the organised emigration to the Soviet bloc countries. In November 1949, a group of about 70 persons tried to cross the mountains to get to Albania. The group was split on the way and her parents and sisters were arrested and imprisoned in Greece. It was only Patra Karadžu and her two nephews who managed to cross the border. After having spent a week in Albania, they boarded a cargo ship with other groups of Greeks and they sailed to Poland via the Straits of Gibraltar. From Poland, they went on a train to Czechoslovakia and lodged in a refugee camp in Mikulov. The health checks and official paperwork took four months, after that, the witness and many others moved to the castle in Miletín. From here, she started commuting to the Juta textile factory in Dvůr Králové where she worked until 2005. When her nephews started going to school, they were housed in a children‘s home. Back in the refugee camp, the witness had met her future husband Sotiris Karadžos, they raised three children together. In the 1960’s, her nephews moved to Tashkent in the Soviet Union where their father lived. Patra Karadžu kept in touch with them as well as with her family in Greece; after the political thaw in the 1980’s, she was able to visit her homeland many times.