Eugenie Číhalová

* 1944  

  • “In Russia there was no regime change, for a hundred years it has remained the same. And maybe now it´s even worse than it has been before. And I find it horrible - and I see it even here - as people are brainwashed by propaganda and the way they have been living without any horizons. But today the situation is a bit different. But the intellectuals, as in 1920, before they were all murdered, they would leave as they knew that they just could not live there, as in every revolution the intellectuals have been the first to be eliminated. And now it begins... We call it the fifth wave of emigration from Russia. Even young people left in their masses. In the 70s many of them would come here.... They went all over the world, of course, but many stayed here. College graduates who understood that there would not be any freedom, or at least that they won´t live to see it. So they thought that here it would be better. But they went all over the world. When I come to California to visit my brother, I could see it was full of Russians, even the retirees, even the retirees were leaving. Florida is full of retirees, full of Russians, all of the sudden you see that the world is full of Russians. Russia is dying out as the conditions are getting from bad to worse, the pressure is growing. And the people live in poverty but they don´t understand as they are living the glory of the ‚нерушимый Советский Союз‘.”

  • “At that time there were no laws protecting those animals, there was no such thing as animal cruelty laws. At that time they would experiment on dogs mostly. And they would get the dogs as every Friday a covered van would come with a Hungarian or Slovak plate; they would open the door and dogs of all races would rush into the kennel. And they would spend a week in quarantine and then they would be used for experiments. And at the time I have been working on kidney transplantation and conservation. And we were trying several conversation solutions so the kidney could be preserved before it was being transplanted to a recipient.”

  • “When they were deciding whether we should move out, they just could not decide. Then they stated the date: 'On this day you are moving out.' And we liked it as we didn´t have to go to school. So we would stand... Two Holan moving company cars came. They were waiting outside and people were eager to see what's going to happen. And we stood outside, since we were not allowed to go to upstairs to our flat. So the people who were not at work would stand there next to us waiting what´s going to happen. And they started to move our stuff, they would carry it out and pile it. And I have to say that they were quite careful as they could just throw it on the ground. After they carried out quite a lot of our stuff my mother said that there is a cabinet, my father´s file cabinet. And my brother said that he wouldn´t go without the file cabinet, that he wouldn´t move out without it. As we would play when our father used to file the materials for the insurance company, my brother would occupy the cabinet and he loved to play with the shutter. It would distract father but my brother could do anything that came into his mind. So he said that he would not go without the cabinet... And he was screaming that he needed it. But in the cabinet, there was still my father´s patient record archive as my mother locked it all up. And they couldn´t... They were not able to move it. So in the end they would... As we stood there with my mother and the residents and all the passerby they would move the cabinet out of the window. They just moved it out and it would smash, all the papers would fly in all directions and my brother would start to roar as a tiger as... Not because of the papers but because of that cabinet of his. And I remember that my mother, as we stood next to her and my brother screamed like mad, she would grab me as if she wanted to pierce my shoulder, and she has to grab my brother also as he stopped to scream suddenly, and my mother would say, 'Silence, not a single tear!'

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 21.06.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:54:33
  • 2

    Praha, 02.07.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:38:42
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

When a relative of yours pays you a visit on a tank, that´s a terrible situation

Eugenie Číhalová in 2018
Eugenie Číhalová in 2018
photo: sbírka Post Bellum

Eugenie Číhalová was born on May 13th 1944 in Praha. Her father Jevgenij Feofilovič Djukov was born in Velký Kupjansk in the Russian Empire and during the Russian civil war he joined the White army. After Wrangel army had been evacuated from Crimea he accepted the offer made by the government of Czechoslovakia and settled in Praha. He studied medicine at the Charles University, then he worked as a general physician at Smíchov and also as a company physician at Škoda manufacturing plant. Together with his wife Erika Kaprasová he managed to escape the forced repatriation to the Soviet Union in May 1945. After he passed away in 1951 the family was evicted from the flat. Eugeine studied at a secondary medical school and also at the Charles University´s Faculty of Medicine. After giving up her studies in 1969 he worked as a laboratory technician at the Institute of experimental surgery at the Thomayer Hospital and also at the Institute of clinical and experimental medicine. She is the founding member of the Oni byli první committee, she is a member of the Ruská tradice association and also Ruské slovo journal editorial board member.