My dad said goodbye and went to Germany
The Iron Curtain strongly affected the lives of the exiles and so-called “kopečkáři,” people who were caught and imprisoned while attempting to illegally cross the border. However, the fates of some of the other “victims,” such as the families of emigrants who were left behind in socialist Czechoslovakia, have sometimes fallen into oblivion. Aloisie Pauerová was born in 1946. When she was two, her father Miroslav Suchan fled the country. He had previously worked as a drug store attendant in the Western Bohemian town of Janovice nad Úhlavou. He first escaped to West Germany, then eventually to Brazil, where he tragically died in 1958. In 1950, Aloisie's mother was arrested by the national security for sending her husband a letter in which she wrote that the kids were alright. She received a heavy fine and was sentenced to a year in prison. Aloisie’s father wasn’t the only one from the family who fled. After the communist coup, her uncle resorted to emigration as well, and her aunt subsequently spent 11 years in prison for treason. Aloisie, her two siblings, and two cousins were taken care of by her grandparents, who had to work very hard to feed all of the children despite their old age. The family frequently suffered from poverty and sometimes didn’t even have the money to buy food.