Memory of Nation


Mgr. Naděžda Dočekalová (1940)

Mgr. Naděžda Dočekalová (1940)
You will not go to study journalism, you are a daughter of a Russian immigrant

Emigration in 1969 did not take place

“My husband said definitely: ‘I will not stay here.’ Everything was already arranged and we were abroad. But our son Michal was in Czechoslovakia, because they did not allow him to travel with us at that time. It was at the beginning of 1969. Husák just got to power. We had a few months before they closed the borders for good. My husband meanwhile arranged for us that we would stay in Switzerland where we had some relatives. I was to go back for Michal afterwards. But suddenly I realized what would happen with grandma. She was as old as I am now. I thus said that I will not be escaping anywhere. Because I would not be able to do that to my grandma, to make her emigrate for the second time – from the homeland to which she had grown attached. My husband said: ‘All right, but never in my life do I want to hear that you miss something,or that you do not have something, or that you desire something.’”

  • born December 16, 1940 in Chlumec nad Cidlinou
  • her father Boris Kestřánek was born in Russia to a Czech father and a Russian mother
  • her father re-emigrated to Czechoslovakia with the grandparents after 1918
  • after WWII the family feared forcible repatriation to the USSR by the Soviet counter-intelligence organization SMERSH
  • as a daughter of a “Russian immigrant,” Naděžda was not allowed to study journalism
  • she graduated from library and information science
  • worked in the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information in Prague
  • she has never been a member of the Communist Party; in spite of that she managed to keep her job even after the political screenings in 1968
  • her son Michal, present-day director of the drama ensemble of the National Theatre, became the leader of the students’ strike at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU) in November 1989
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