„V roku 1968 sa mi narodila dcérka, boli sme tu na Zochovej ulici v Bratislave. Potom som išla dole k maminke, kde som bola ešte s malou Barborkou, keď prišli Rusi a manžel mi povedal: ,Prosím ťa, ak môžeš, zostaň ešte v Senici, lebo bývali sme pri Lafranconi, oproti Lafranconi je tank a má namierené rovno na náš balkón.‘ Nestrieľal, ale mal to namierené, veľmi deprimujúco to pôsobilo. Tak som bola v Senici, chodila som sa prechádzať, mama ma podržala. A viem, že v Senici nepustili Rusov do kasární, Rusi museli ísť, samozrejme to stálo mnohých vojakov miesta - tých funkcionárov, ale museli ísť sa ubytovať pod les.“
“Our little daughter was born and we lived on Zochova Street. I was with my daughter Barborka at my mom’s when the Russians came and my husband told me, ‘Please, if you can, stay in Senica for a bit longer, because opposite to Lafranconi there is a tank aiming directly at our balcony.’ It didn’t fire, but was aimed directly at us and it was all very depressive. So, I stayed in Senica. I was going for walks and my mother helped me a lot back then. I know that in Senica the Russians were not allowed to enter the military barracks and they had to leave to the forests. Of course, later due to that, many soldiers lost their posts.”
“Many colleagues lodge an appeal, but my husband didn’t. That’s what I appreciated about him so much. Throughout his whole life, he was a very pure man. He was a technician and he led me to logical thinking. Many people used to tell me, ‘Oh my God, Eva, are you marrying a technician?’ And why not? I could even set my music right. He was a musician – autodidact, he used to play as a student. They had a student band, where he played on clarinet and saxophone, and that’s how he earned money for his studies before he left to Prague. Together with his friends they took part in student demonstration of 1956. He was one of those being differently dressed or undressed, carrying slogans and proclaiming freedom. But technical professors from Bratislava university advised them not study on, but to leave. That’s why they left to Prague. The Czechs accepted them without problems and my husband even graduated with distinction at the Czech Technical University in Prague.”
“I remember the shock when they came to search our house. A man, who came, completely fumed over my mom’s Scout shirt. It was that summer, when my father was arrested… My mom’s sister with her kids was on holiday in our house. One afternoon, such two gentlemen came over saying, they were awaiting the bus from Bratislava, where my father worked. My mom offered them coffee and we waited together. It was 4 o’clock and 10 minutes and the same men, that finished drinking the coffee, showed us their Secret Police IDs and the house search began. We didn’t have a clue what was happening at all, for two years we didn’t have a clue. And then we finally realized what was the fabricated political trial about. My dad told us that once, walking down the Bratislava’s street, he met a man. ‘Hi, how are you?’ ‘I’m fine!’ ‘Are you with us?’ ‘Sure, I am.’ And that man sold my dad out, because he claimed my father had anti-state intentions. That’s how it happened.”
What hurt us the most was that we were silenced in our best creative years
Eva Kamrlová, née Čekanová, was born on October 23, 1942 in Bratislava. Since 1945 she lived with her family in Senica. Later on, her father travelled to work in Bratislava. Life of the family was greatly struck by the communist takeover. During 1950s after fabricated accusations, her father was arrested and imprisoned for two years. In years 1957 – 1963, Eva studied organ at the Conservatory in Bratislava (with Irma Skuhrová), and in years 1963 – 1968 she continued her organ studies at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (with Prof. Ferdinand Klinda). In 1966 she won the third prize and the title of laureate in the international classical music competition Prague Spring. The normalization had also affected Eva’s family, especially her husband, who lost his post of a director. For twelve years she worked as an organist in crematorium. From 1981 to 1987 she worked at the Public Arts School in Bratislava and taught organ theory and piano lessons. As a non-party member, in 1987 she became a secretary of the Concert Artists Section of the Slovak Union of Composers and Concert Artists, where she helped to organize various concerts and festivals. She remained the secretary of the Concert Artists Section until 1994. Afterwards, in 1994 – 1999 she taught organ playing and founded a church choir at the Church Conservatory in Bratislava. Currently, she lives retired in Bratislava with her husband Jozef Kamrla and together they have two children, a son and a daughter.