Eva Malá

* 1950

  • “When we met at Christmas, it was not very joyful because we did not even have money for presents to give to each other. We were glad that we laid the table and there was something better and tasty on it. Each time there was a photo of someone who could not be with us on the table. I remember that there was a photo of uncle Radek Pavlovec for many years. It used to be propped against a candlestick or it was the photo of my grandfather. It took almost fourteen years before my whoe family could meet for the first Christmas.”

  • “My uncle Radek was imprisoned in Rtyně in the area of the Giant Mountains, in Jáchymov and I do not know how many prisons he went through. We went to visit him as children with our grandmother and grandfather because children were not counted. I think that it must have been Rtyně because we walked through the forest. I know there were bunkers there and we got to the wooden barracks. When we got there and it was our turn, they took us to one of the wooden barracks. It was long and divided in the middle by planks and there were windows cut in the wood in certain parts and they led us to one of these windows. They brought Radek, a warden was on each side, Radek in the middle, and we were on the other side. We could at least see him, and my grandmother and grandfather could talk to him. We were so little that he could see only our heads.”

  • “In a few days, when I came from home, there was a man in a long coat standing at the front door when I opened it. When he saw a little girl, he let me be, he did not ask me anything. I went upstairs to the flat where my grandmother and grandfather lived. And as I was walking upstairs, I was looking around. There were pictures on the wall and there were tags on all of them. Then I entered their room and there were also tags everywhere, tags by the books. It seemed to me as if I were at a children's carnival and they were raffling off what you won. Those were like locker room tickets. They found out when they put down the fire in the factory – they found documents from Sokol there which my grandfather had hidden from the Germans. They were somewhere under the floor together with some material which he had also hidden from the Germans. However, times evolved in a different way, so it stayed there in the 1950s. They found out about it during the fire, and they imprisoned my grandfather as well. So, my grandmother had both her son and husband in prison.”

  • “It was a forced labour camp. And I was born at the time of my father´s imprisonment in the 1950s. That is why it was written in the column “father” in my birth certificate: at that time in the Mírov forced labour camp. And it meant a reputation for me for the years of my education and my youth because you need your birth certificate at school and for many other activities. So, everyone could read that my father was imprisoned, and nobody cared if he was someone who fought for our nation and put his life on the line for our nation every day. Everyone more likely thought that he had done something wrong or that he might have been a thief or something.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Nová Paka, 06.10.2018

    duration: 01:33:40
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Liberec, 24.05.2021

    duration: 01:40:32
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

It was written in the column “father”: at that time in the Mírov forced labour camp

With her grandfather Václav
With her grandfather Václav
photo: Eva Malá´s archive

Eva Malá was born on 23 June 1950 in Nová Paka. Her father served as an RAF fighter pilot in Great Britain during the Second World War. He was arrested in January 1950 and later sent to the Mírov forced labour camp where he was kept until June 1951. Eva was born at the time of her father´s imprisonment and in her childhood, she was not spared the consequences of repression, which also affected other relatives. Her uncle Radek Pavlovec was sentenced to serve twelve years in prison by the communist judiciary for attempting to leave the republic. His grandfather also did not avoid imprisonment and trial in 1960. Because of the reasons given above, Eva had extremely limited options of further studies when she completed compulsory schooling. The only possibility became a vocational field in Industrial Automation Plants. Her siblings (older sister Marie and younger brother Otakar) also had to face a similar fate. She started to study at Secondary Industrial School in 1968 and she graduated from it in 1973. Paradoxically, she was fired from her job at the same time. She started to work in the Rozvoj company in Nová Paka where she worked her way up to the position of head of technical control. Her father was promoted to colonel after 1989. Eva is active in the Confederation of Political Prisoners of the Czech Republic and in the Daughters society which unites the daughters of political prisoners of the 1950s. She has a son David from her marriage to Ota Malý. She lived in Semily at the time of recording (2021).