Heda Ambrova visiting Janko Mayer in Jerusalem

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After the war I tried to travel a lot. This photo was taken when I (Heda Ambrova) was visiting Janko Mayer in Jerusalem in 1995. Janko lives there and works as a psychiatrist.

During the time of Communism we didn’t travel much. We lived modestly. We saved and said to ourselves that when the children would be grown and secure, it would be our turn. Then later we went on Cedok tours. Besides that, I was in Israel three times. The first time, in 1966, I went through Belgium. I waited three quarters of a year for permission to leave the country. We landed in Tel Aviv. The entire family was waiting there for me. I was very touched by that. It was amazing, a whole different world. Then my friends arranged it amongst each other and each one of them took me someplace else. All told, I was there five weeks. It was beautiful, but in order for a person to move there, he’d have to be young.

As far as Western European countries are concerned, around 1971 we did one tour, to Vienna, Luxembourg, Ostende, Dover and Paris. The trip lasted about two weeks. There was a big difference between Western countries and Czechoslovakia. You could see it in the accommodations, too. The clean streets. I liked England the most. I don’t even know why. Maybe because our English tour guide was from Liberec. She hugged us all. It was very touching. We prepared in advance what we wanted to see, otherwise it makes no sense.

My husband and I didn’t collect anything. In order for a person to become a collector, he’s got to have money. My hobby was art, mainly painting. My favorite period is the Renaissance. I always wrote down what I’d seen in which museum. I know that in Florence I couldn’t for the life of me find Botticelli, but in the end I found him. The second tour we went on was to northern Germany, from where we took a ship to Denmark, Sweden and to Helsinki. The trip ended in Leningrad, from where we flew home. Another of our trips was to Greece. That we really enjoyed. Our wandering feet also led us to Italy. We of course saw Rome. We were also in St. Petersburg, Riga and Moscow. After my husband’s death I flew to America. Back then my son-in-law came here and told me that I’ve got to take a break. So I flew there.

Interview details

Interviewee: Heda Ambrova
Martin Korcok
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Piestany, Slovakia


Heda Ambrova
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Czechoslovakia 1918-1938
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