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  1. Two Sisters – Miss S.

    • Category: The Daughters' Stories
    • j

      Looking for Miss S’s home with a pharmacy sign among the two storied houses painted with pastel colors makes me feel as if I am transferred to a world that I only read about in old Czech novels. I am imagining her father opening his pharmacy’s door in the mornings many years ago. Then most of the town people, that passed his house, would greet him with respect before asking for advice about their ailments. Then his social position would have equaled that of the town’s priest, the mayor, and the school principal.

  2. Politician’s Mom

    • Category: The Daughters' Stories
    • This interview takes place in one of Prague’s most famous cafés.  Mrs. D. and I find a place away from the window tables occupied by tourists, speaking many different languages.  I remember the times of my youth here.  During the years of Stalinism, one would turn when hearing someone speaking a foreign language.  Now it is almost the reverse.

  3. The Mayor

    • Category: The Daughters' Stories
    • Mrs. F’s house is near the center of this quaint village. The door is flanked open by a smiling middle aged woman, welcoming me warmly and leading me to a large light kitchen. A cross decorates the wall opposite the door. As we enter the kitchen, Mrs. F. tells me her husband is going to be with us while we talk.

  4. The Fighter

    • Category: The Daughters' Stories
    • From Mrs. P’s letter I am aware that she is afraid to travel.  She is waiting in front her apartment building.  Her manner of speech is rapid.  She acts hurried.  We climb four flights of stairs to her apartment. 

  5. The Traveler

    • Category: The Daughters' Stories
    • sThe chance to meet Mrs. V. has been uncertain from the beginning. She has retuned from visiting her son and daughter in the U.S. two days ago; they emigrated after the fall of communism. Over the phone, she let me know that she could talk to me only for one hour. She had too much work after being on vacation.

  6. The Nasty Grandmother

    • Category: The Daughters' Stories
    • l

      Mrs. L. lives in a Moravian industrial city considered for decades the steel heart of the country, a dirty and inhospitable place. In the post-communist era it has 23% unemployment rate by some estimates, and a strong communist base, still an active party in the Czech Republic. During the short taxi ride from the train station to the hotel I see very few renovated buildings. Gray, peeling facades along the main street serve as a perfect example for tourists interested to see what was behind the Iron Curtain. The appearance has not changed much here.

  7. They Called her a Kulak

    • Category: The Daughters' Stories
    • dcera-nepritele-statuMrs. G. waits for me at the railway station of her beautifully renovated holiday resort town. We agreed that I would recognize her by a white envelope in her hand. I knew about some of her experiences from her letter she sent after reading my advertisement in the newsletter. I am not sure why but I have a hard time not crying when I see her waiting eagerly. Although her story is moving, there is something else about her. Perhaps she represents to me the “typical” Czech woman I remember from my former life in Czechoslovakia. She is of small stature, with blond and gray hair, dressed in a sleeveless housedress. It is a hot day for September.

  8. Daddy’s Defender

    • Category: The Daughters' Stories
    • After Mrs. H. read about this inquiry in the political prisoners organization’s newsletter, she offered to participate with a letter that reflected her skepticism on anyone willing to picturehear their voice. In her opinion, few parents who have a daughter of the required age for this study are still alive. Only a few widows and their daughters are members of the organization and receive the aforementioned newsletter. Even fewer of the prisoners’ daughters would be willing, for whatever reasons, to reply to my invitation to participate in the study. She points out she would be very surprised if more then ten women responded.

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