I was always oriented towards the West
Blažena Stránká, née Hromádková was born on 5 August 1925 in Pilsen. Her father Hynek was a mining engineer and he and her mother Marie lived in the village of Břasy where the witness attended elementary school. Her further education was interrupted by WWII. After it, she went to England for a two-year study stay. She returned to Czechoslovakia after the communist putsch in 1948 but she could not find a job in Czech companies because of her stay in the West. She worked for Reuters and for British-European Airways for some time. She decided to escape across the borders to the Federal Republic of Germany because she was afraid that she would have problems with the regime. There she found a job in Radio Free Europe where she also met her future husband Jan Stránský. She moved to the USA for good in 1952 and she has lived there ever since. She returned to her homeland in the 1990.