Milada Pabianová

* 1936  

  • “All I remember is that one time there were two priests staying with us. They came by train, we lived close to the station. At the time I suspected that they probably wanted to cross the border, but no one spoke of it, nor was there any commotion because of it.”

  • “It wasn’t till I was about eighteen that I went to Leopoldov. We went there all four of us, we had one other brother and Mum. For about half an hour, or how long, we talked through a glass wall, there was a tape there. There were several [prisoners] there, so it was quite noisy, we could hardly hear. I know that father was allowed to give us a kiss and that we couldn’t drag the boys away afterwards. Always: ‘Where’s Daddy?’ - ‘You see, Daddy is behind some door and he can’t open it.’ And Ota here [her brother - transl.] said: ‘You know, Mummy, when I grow up, I’ll be a locksmith and I’ll go open the door for him.’ That’s how we lived.”

  • “I had Free Europe switched on when [the State Security members] came for my mother. And we forgot it. He stood there like a Gestapo, there were two of them standing in leather coats - one on each side of the door. He said: ‘They won’t tell you much.’ So we realised that Free Europe was playing, so I switched it off.”

  • Full recordings
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    Prapořiště, Domažlice, 14.01.2014

    duration: 02:22:13
    media recorded in project Iron Curtain Stories
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

My father and my husband were both marked by the prison

Milada Pabiánová
Milada Pabiánová
photo: archiv pamětnice

Milada Pabianová, née Tulačková, was born on 1 June 1936 as the oldest daughter of Ota Tulačka, a clerk at the Kdyně cotton mills who organised a network of border guides following the Communist coup in 1948; among others, the network facilitated the escape of Col. Alexander Hess, Ivana Tigridová, or president Beneš’s chancellor Jaromír Smutný. In September 1949 Milada’s father was arrested by State Security and in May 1950 the state court found him guilty of high treason and espionage, sending him to prison for life. Tulačka spent time in Pankrác, Valdice, Leopoldov, and Mírov. He was amnestied in 1964. In the meantime his family struggled along in bad conditions. They were expelled from their flat and were forced to sleep over in various nooks and crannies of friends and relatives. Milada learnt to be a locksmith by trade and she attended a secondary technical school of machinery for a few years. She had to end her studies prematurely and begin work to help her mother feed her young brothers. From 1955 until her retirement in 1991 she worked in the Kdyně Machine Works. She married Jaromír Pabian, who was also imprisoned for guiding people over the borders like her father.