Kateřina Irmanovová

* 1947  

  • "It was 1945, when the KGB began to get emigrants, and they all knew about it. And so it was, that they came to the parents who lived together with a lady in Kožní street. Mom was alone and three men arrived, very well dressed, it was obvious they were Russians. One of them was Czech, who spoke an excellent Czech, the other two Russians did not. And they asked where Vaclav Irmanov was. My mother, a twenty-three year old woman, told them that he had left her and that he had fled to Paris. She began to cry out real loud, and they were surprised. She kept telling them that he had left her and they had gone away. But there was a terrible fear. Věra Chytilová told me that my father had been visiting Karel Ludwig and my mother had come there advising he had to hide. And back then he was hidden for a very long time, several months with Arnošt Kafka, the singer. He was a little older than the father and there were no big friends, but he was a brave man. Because to hide someone, who was persecuted by KGB, was very dangerous indeed."

  • "I was divorced from my husband and he escaped, emigrated, which was quite a problem, because I was interviewed by the state police. I was a young girl with a small child. From Kosmonos I went to Prague and just before my husband ran away, I got a place in the Vinohrady hospital in the children's ward, I had an experience with child psychology and I wanted to do it, and then suddenly the head doctor called me in, told me that the state police visited him and told him to let me go, but he told me he did not want to fire me. He was an old communist and told me that he would extend my contract each month to realize that I was being monitored. So I used to go to the interrogations. They asked me, where my husband was and I said I did not know. They kept asking me something, I did not know anything, of course I would not say anything to them, I did not tell them whatever I knew."

  • "My grandmother in Finland made her living by working in the factory and working at the belt and at night she painter. Not as a young woman, but later on, all that she experienced in Russia was terrible. For example, her brother was executed and she went for him to have him burried, and when he pulled him out of the hill of corpses, he found out that he was still alive. And together with her mother she took care of him. That was my grandmother's son. But he got crazy as a result, he was just a seventeen-year-old boy and they then took him all across Russia all the way to Finland, and lived for a long time, and she cared for him, so her life, besides not having any support of her husband, that was a difficult life."

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    Praha, 05.04.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 02:16:09
    media recorded in project Memory of the Nation: stories from Praha 2
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When I fall down to the bottom, I always throw manage to bounce off

Kateřina Irmanova 2017
Kateřina Irmanova 2017
photo: archiv pamětnice

Katerina Irmanova was born on 21 January 1947 in Prague to the family of Vjačeslav and Jana Irman. Her father originated from the family of Russian nobles and was a fine artist, actor and a successful jazz singer until 1948. When she was one year old, her grandmother drove her to Finland in early 1948. After returning to Czechoslovakia and attending elementary school in Prague, she was not allowed to study at high school due to her background. She has already played a role in the successful film directed by František Vláčil named Holubice. After various peripetitions, she managed to take up a gymnasium and after graduation she was again banned from studying at college. For one year she worked at the agricultural school as a governess. Then she studied at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University. She worked in marital counseling, where she also worked with MUDr. Miroslav Plzák and a private psychologist. He lives in Prague 2 and is currently working on the screenplay of a new historical film.