Eva Mašková

* 1937

  • “And indeed, Brno was liberated in April. Everyone was awfully relieved: the Russians are here. So we went to welcome them, with lilacs in hand, as you see it in films. Except they rode in on horse-drawn carts, that was General Malinovsky’s army, mostly pardoned criminals, a lot of Asians, with terrible scowls. You couldn’t say they returned our welcome in like. And because we’d been living in a cellar for two weeks, while the battlefront had passed over us and Russians had shot at our street from the other side of the road. They took up the block with the barracks, including our house, so they’d have two holes in the bedroom instead of windows, when they made the rounds at night to check if we were hiding Germans - they were afraid to go inside. A huge adventure, enormous losses. As far as I know, Mum and the neighbouring women, young ladies, Mum was thirty at the time, they were afraid to go out on the street. The Russians harassed and raped women. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but I know that Mum was afraid. I know the officers would often even shoot the soldiers for that. Compared to Konev’s ‘salon’ army in Prague, it was a massive difference.”

  • “We’d arrive at the meeting point, some people would be given parade sticks, everyone was anxiously trying to avoid getting stuck with a banner or anything of the kind. There were people designated for checking attendance, how many had come from thermodynamics, how many from R&D. But when it started, no one passed by the grandstand, we all sneaked off. We did at school as well, instead of going in the parade we went to Petřín. We’d sabotage it as best we could. The first time I joined the parade gladly and of my own volition, with my family, was in 1968. What an atmosphere. People were well-behaved, Dubček was popular, he behaved decently, not like an idiot. One almost started to like those Communist people. But that only lasted a very short time.”

  • “My husband and I were in Austria in sixty-nine. We had our children with us. When we drove up Grossglockner, with our [Škoda] Octavia, he informed me he’d rather not return, that he’d emigrate. And I must admit I was the dunce who said no. Because it was raining, it was cold, we only had the car, our two children, and a tent. I said: ‘Zdeněk, I pretty much don’t have any skills, how would I support our family if something happened to you.’ He was a responsible man, so we went back. And I must give it to him that he never once reproached me for it, despite all the rough times he had. That’s who I was. I wasn’t a hero. I was a coward and a dunce.”

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    Praha, 08.12.2015

    duration: 01:52:36
    media recorded in project Memory of Nations Sites
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I’ve always regretted that we didn’t emigrate

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Eva Mašková
photo: Dobové:archiv pamětnice, součané: Eye Direct

Eva Mašková was born on 8 March 1937 in Brno; her father Václav Urbánek was awarded a post at the Supreme Inspectorate in Prague. When she was thirteen the family moved to join him. Before that, as a child, she witnessed the bombing and the liberation of Brno, including the lynching of local Germans. In the 1950s she gained employment at the Research Institute of Aviation in Prague; her department was later reassigned to Motorlet. There she met her future husband Zdeněk Mašek, an expert on aircraft engine development. During the political profiling following 1968, her husband refused to agree with the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the Warsaw Pact. He was expelled from the Communist Party and barred from advancing his career. The family was not allowed to travel abroad, their children had difficulties when applying to schools. Eva Mašková tried out several different jobs; her whole life she has regretted refusing her husband’s request that they emigrate together.