Eva Turner

* 1948  

  • “First, we bought the most expensive champagne there was and then over time we started seriously considered whether we should go back or not, and we decided that we couldn’t go back because our life was already here. We have two British kids and our life is here. And Karel had his brother and his family and mother here at that time, so it wasn’t even really possible. For us, emotionally, it wasn’t possible. It wouldn’t be a return home, it would be a second emigration. We would be returning to something we no longer knew, something completely different than what we had left.”

  • “It was shock. Back in 1968 when I was here, I worked in a chocolate factory, a coffee shop, I worked here and there. Then three months of hitchhiking. Then I left for Oxford where I worked at the dorms, handing out food to students and I didn’t really have any idea what I would do and I didn’t care. But in 1978 I did care because suddenly I was thirty and I needed to somehow organize my life. I was unhappily almost divorced and separated from my husband, with whom I hoped I would stay together. It was very dramatic. I had to find myself and, most importantly, I had to start taking care of myself on my own for the very first time.”

  • “They left in 1939, that is the families sent their kids to this organization that coordinated transports to Palestine with fake visas to Shanghai. It was very dramatic, they sailed the Danube river. First they went to Bratislava, but they had closed it there, so they sailed the Danube to Sulina which is a port in Romania by the Black Sea and there they embarked on a coal cargo ship under a Turkish flag, there was absolutely nothing there, a steel construction and layers and layers of coal dust, they had to adapt somehow. They left and subsequently got to Haifa where they got locked up by the British; my mother went to Atlit, which was a refugee camp, and my father was sent to a different camp.”

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    Londýn, 29.11.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 01:03:51
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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That wouldn’t be a return but a second emigration

Eva Turner in 2019
Eva Turner in 2019
photo: PNS

Eva Turner, née Krausová, was born January 21, 1948 in Prague into a Jewish family. Most of her relatives died in concentration camps during World War II. In 1967 Eva managed to leave the country to be an au pair in Great Britain. Meanwhile in 1968, Czechoslovakia was occupied by Warsaw Pact troops. Eva considered returning home, which she did in early 1969 because her father had fallen ill. In the 1970s she met Jerry Turner, an Englishmen whom she married and acquired British citizenship. The marriage ended in divorce but Eva nevertheless legally left for England in 1978, where she successfully graduated from college and worked in IT. In London she married Karel Šling, an emigrant and grandson of Otto Šling who was executed in the 1950s. They live in London to this day.