Tatiana Moravec Gard

* 1922  †︎ 2016

  • Ah, that's beautiful! (June, 2015, at the Dvorak family garden on the east coast of the USA. Tatiana Moravec guard with Dagmar Dvorak, they are close friends.)

  • Then we arrived at the Polish border, where we stayed at a small hotel. We met our guide there who was to take us across the border, and the next day we set off. We walked through a forest and managed just fine. She brought us to a clearing and said, "There, on the other side, is Poland, where you have to go. The German guards can't get there because it's a 'no man's land' but they can shoot." So we ran across the meadow and got safely to the Polish customs house. We were expected there, as they knew we would be trying to get out to safety. We were offered vodka, which we refused, and then tea or water to relax a bit. Then we were given a guide who took us by train to Warsaw. None of us spoke Polish, but somehow we arrived in Warsaw. There we went to the Czechoslovak Embassy which was still in Czechoslovak hands. Then the other families of members of Father's group who had also safely reached Poland arrived in Warsaw and we all went by train to the port and by ship to England.

  • We survived the war in England. At first, we lived in London, but when the bombings increased, the English government gave us a large house in Buckinghamshire to move to. This was near where President Beneš lived, so my father was able to easily talk to him and hand over the news reports that he needed.

  • One day my father said he was leaving on a trip to Moravia. In the morning, his driver picked him up and they left. Then, in the evening the driver came to see us and said, "Well, the Colonel is safe. He, with some of his colleagues, has flown to England. And when your time comes, I will also take you where is necessary." In the following morning's paper there was a picture of people from Father's group at some English hotel where they were staying, so we remained calm. We knew he was safe and alright. Then a policeman came to see us - a Czech one - who told us we should hand him our passports and if we didn't, the Gestapo would come and it would all be much worse. We didn't have the passports, though, as they were with an officer from Father´s group who had remained in Prague. I went to speak to him. He gave me the passports and said I should not worry that he would arrange everything necessary. Then he told us that we were to cross the Polish border by foot. There was no time to worry, and the situation simply was as it was. Father's driver took us first to Čáslav, where our uncle lived, to leave our belongings. We left our dog and a suitcases there, which were supposed to be delivered later to us in France or wherever we ended up, This, by the way, has never happened.

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    skype New York - Praha, 12.04.2015

    duration: 46:29
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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To go on, no matter what happens

About 1949, Tatiana Moravec Gard, Washington, D.C., USA
About 1949, Tatiana Moravec Gard, Washington, D.C., USA
photo: soukromý archiv Alan Moravec Gard

Tatiana Moravec Gard was born in Plzen on July 20th, 1922, as a youngest daughter of Vlasta and General Frantisek Moravec, who was the head of the Military Intelligence Service in pre-war Czechoslovakia. Both Tatiana and her older sister studied at gymnasium in Prague, yet neither had time to graduate. After the Fascist occupation in Prague, the Tatiana and her family had to flee the country. The journey was extremely complicated but they finally settled in England and lived there during the war. Due to the war bombings, London soon became a dangerous place to live and so the family moved to Buckinghamshire for the time being, and after the war finally ended, the Moravec family was able to return to Czechoslovakia. For a short time, Tatian worked at the Ministry of Foreign Trade in Prague and London, and she could feel the growing influence of the Communists and the political situation of the country worsening. After February, 1948, Tatiana’s parents had to emigrate again, this time to the USA instead. Tatiana moved shortly after from London to America in order to be closer to her parents, and has been living there ever since. Diein in 2016.