A Czechoslovak family's escape to Austria (188)

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By Ian Sanders. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We continue Drea Hahn’s story with her family’s escape to Austria and the realities of being a refugee.

In 1986, under the pretext of a “ski trip” to Yugoslavia Drea’s family escaped to Austria. We hear about the sadness of being unable to tell anyone they were leaving and how her relatives were summoned to the police station to be detained for questioning. They didn’t communicate with anyone at “home” until 1989 or 1990 because it was too dangerous.

Once, in Austria, there was no certainty that that Drea’s family wouldn’t be handed back to Czechoslovakia as Austria was neutral and the government was keen to stay on good terms with their neighbours.

Drea’s family were in Austria for about 2 years living in a single room with a shared bathroom. We hear from her about the challenges of life as a child refugee in rural Austria.

In 1988 permission was granted to emigrate to the US and we hear of their elation when they arrive.

Extra info, photos and videos are here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode188

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I am delighted to welcome Drea Hahn back to our Cold War conversation…

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