Eva Mádrová

* 1927  †︎ 2009

  • “I was brought up with the ideals of Masaryk and I’ve always placed great emphasis on them. I tried to live my life according to them. At the time I sought out a friend of mine of whom I already knew that he’s involved in some illegal activity. I told him that I’d like to write an analysis of the book ‘Documents on the antinational and anti-popular policies of Thomas Garrigue Masaryk’. So I analyzed the book on some fourteen pages and gave my analysis to Mirek Káňa to send it abroad. He was producing an archive in his attic with all sorts of articles and material. We were soon revealed to the police. Actually it started with his wife giving me a call and telling me that Mirek and Zdenek Kessler had been arrested. She knew that I had something to do with it so she advised me to be careful. I should add that Mirek Káňa had also given me more material, so that was on top of it.”

  • “I actually never saw or heard anyone of the others testify and I was the last one to testify. The others could, on the contrary, follow my testimony. I think I didn’t do too badly. I was the only one with Kessler, who didn’t regret it. I even defended some of my views, told them that some things had been a bit different, that sort of thing.”

  • “My name is Eva Mádrová. I was born in 1927. My parents are: Ing. Miloslav Kopřiva and Anna Kopřivová. My dad was an architect employed by the Technical University. My mother was at home, as it was then, usual. My mom was a very intelligent woman – she knew several languages and much more.”

  • “Faith certainly played a big role during my imprisonment. I already told you that ‘for those who love God, everything serves the good’. I had such an experience in jail, but it’s hard to communicate. On the first Christmas I spent in jail, I had a sensation that Jesus is present. I felt somehow that he is with me there in the form of light. I felt safe because he was there with me. The second Christmas - I was already in Želiezovce by then - I gave a speech to the other inmates. I tried to make them think not just about home, but more about what we were experiencing at the moment, but not in the negative sense, but in the positive.”

  • “It was immediately obvious to me that this would destroy our nation. I really felt this way since the beginning. At the faculty we were a group of five friends of which eventually only Jiří Jirásek got a regular job. Josef Medek got arrested already in the first year and then it was my group: Mirek Káňa and I - Mirek was my classmate. Dáda Táborská then got dismissed from the faculty and Renata came to prison about a year after me. So of the five of us everyone got persecuted in some way. I think this in itself clearly shows that we didn’t exactly love the Communists.”

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    Brno, 01.10.2009

    duration: 02:23:37
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“For those who love God everything serves the good”

Mádrová photo from prison
Mádrová photo from prison
photo: NA

Eva Mádrová was born on 9 July, 1927, in Brno. Her father, Miloslav Kopřiva, was a professor at the University of Technology in Brno. Eva’s mother Anna, née Leherová, was at home. In the thirties, her father was a city architect in Košice and Eva completed her elementary education there in 1938. When things began heating up in Slovakia, the mother and daughter returned to Brno. Eva attended a grammar school back in Brno and after her graduation continued with university studies of philosophy and history at the Philosophical Faculty. She joined the Academic Club Tábor, a student platform growing out of the intellectual climate of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church. There she met her husband, Pastor Adolf Mádr. She started to teach at a secondary school in Vranovice and in September 1951, she was transferred to a high school at the Institute for the physically dysfunctional in Brno. Eva Mádrová has since her university studies moved in circles of friends who have very strong attitudes toward the communist regime. Apart from her classmate Miroslav Káňa, it was particularly Zdeněk Kessler. Kessler - together with his colleagues from an informal post-war political club - began to systematically collect and archive contemporary information about the political and economic situation in Czechoslovakia, which he was trying to send abroad. Eva worked as the intermediary. She also wrote an article in defense of the ideas of Thomas Garrigue Masaryk. The group (sometimes known as POP) also published a clandestine magazine called “Flame”. Its activities, however, were monitored from the beginning and they became infiltrated by the secret state police (StB). On 26 November, 1953, the secret police agents came for Eva Mádrová. She was originally confined in Prague-Ruzyně, later in Brno where she waited for her trial. The trial took place on 19 March, 1954, in Brno. Eva Mádrová was sentenced to four years of heavy prison for high treason and espionage. She further lost her civil rights for five years, was deprived of half of her property and had to pay a cash fine of 1000 Czech Crowns. Two and a half hard years in Communist prisons and camps in Pardubice and Želiezovce lay ahead of her. She was, however, eventually paroled in August 1956. Coming home was, nevertheless, not the same as returning to freedom. Mrs. Mádrová had a hard time looking for a job. The situation was resolved for a time with the birth of her sons. Then she managed to get at least a place in a warehouse. She was later transferred to the services department of the city of Brno, where she worked till 1973. During the relaxation of the political situation in the second half of the sixties, Eva earned her diploma in psychology, and from 1973 until the age of 73, she worked in pedagogical and psychological counseling. In the beginning of the nineties, together with Luděk Skála and other members of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, she set up a foundation, which later became the association “Betanie”. This association is engaged in Christian aid with the aim of helping those in need, especially elderly people. Today this association - among other things - runs the Villa Martha, the home for elderly people in Hrušovany near Brno. She passed away on 29 November, 2009, shortly before the official opening of Villa Martha.