Memory of Nation


Mgr. Naďa Köhlerová (1944)

Mgr. Naďa Köhlerová (1944)
My husband hadn't returned from Germany on time and the secret police harassed us for the next 20 years

Husband's late return from Munich

"The problem was the following: in 1969, president Husák decided to close down the border. However, my husband didn't care about politics and about who was president. He just wanted to live, be free and enjoy life. So he missed the tiny detail of Husák ordering him to return to Czechoslovakia on time. And so he didn't. I got in touch with him, telling him if he doesn't return, he'd get in trouble. And trouble there was. Upon return, they confiscated his passport and he was listed as a returnee from exile. As such he was under secret police surveillance. They also conducted a house search at our place which was a really unpleasant thing."

  • born on 2 September 1944 in Žilina to Věra Šaradinová, a Jew who had been in hiding in a cellar since 1942
  • after her birth, her mother was hiding with her in the mountains and later in a cellar in Žilina
  • she only learned about her Jewish origin and about her grandma's death in a concentration camp once she was of age
  • her uncle Juraj Glaser was sentenced to 13 years in prison in a show trial against the head of the Slovak secret police division Osvald Závodský
  • finished a farmaceutical school in 1966 and married the photographer and musicologist Ivan Köhler
  • from 1966 till 1970 lived in Česká Lípa
  • in 1969 Ivan Köhler ignored an official appeal to return from abroad and ever since was targeted by the secret police
  • in 1970 the couple moved to Rajec, Slovakia where the harassment intensified
  • secret police focused on Naďa with the aim of her convicing her husband for collaboration; she protected him at all times
  • Ivan Köhler organized jazz festivals in Žilina and collaborated with the Jazz Section
  • after 1989 got divorced and moved to Prague
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