As they were confiscating my passport they said, “You shall never travel anywhere again!”
Albín Berky Jr. comes from a famous musician’s family. His father, a cellist virtuoso Albín Berky Sr., was in years 1940 – 1967 a soloist of the Slovak Philharmonic and a representational character of Czechoslovak classical music. Albín Berky Jr. was 15 years old in 1968, when he experienced the Warsaw Pact troops occupation in Bratislava streets. Yet, during the August events he decided to leave and stay with his father in the West, where he worked legally back then. At Christmas of 1968 he returned to see his mother and right after the arrival, his passport was confiscated. This way Albín was unable to continue his studies in Ireland and moreover, he became a person put down on a blacklist due to his father’s decision not to return to CSSR. Because of the regime’s obstructions, Albín couldn’t find appropriate job for years at home, and so he applied for exit permit. After being refused three times, the communists finally approved his emigration request under the condition of renouncing his Czechoslovak citizenship. In 1980 Albín emigrated to live with his brother in Australia. There he started his life over and a year later, after unsuccessful attempts of legal emigration, his fiancée Júlia escaped from Czechoslovakia as well. In Australia they got married and together they founded their own musical school – The Berky Music Academy. There they still actively work today and bring up further generations of concert artists. Albín and Júlia have two children: a daughter Jacqueline, a successful flute player, and a son Richard, who is an economist.