Eva byla úžasný člověk a skvěle reprezentovala evropskou dámu své generace. Byla okouzlující a chytrá, měla svoji hlavu a bystrost, která jí vydržela až do konce života. V tomto ohledu mně připomínala moji maminku, která se stejně jako Eva narodila na začátku optimistických let první republiky a která zemřela před dvěma lety. Eva, moje maminka a další pamětníci tohoto dějinného období Československa vyrůstali ve velké naději a důvěře v novou demokracii, která se úspěšně rozvíjela ve dvacátých a třicátých letech. Po mnichovské dohodě o odstoupení části Československa nacistickému Německu Evina rodina uprchla. Ona i větší část její rodiny se nakonec dostaly do New Yorku. Po válce se provdala za Boba Goldmanna, mladého německého židovského utečence, který stejně jako ona uprchl před Hitlerem, aby spolu strávili sedmdesát let společného života, jak napsal deník New York Times v úmrtním oznámení (text dole).
Rád jsem si s Evou povídal o životě, včetně horších i lepších okamžiků v historii zemí, kde máme své kořeny – nacistická okupace, krátká druhá republika, čtyři desetiletí komunistické tyranie a nakonec sametová revoluce a následné čtvrtstoletí svobody. Jsem moc rád, že Eva s Bobem a dvěma vnoučaty sem mohli přijet, aby si prohlédli dům, kde kdysi žila, aby navštívila svoji rodnou zemi a aby viděla úspěšné období po studené válce. Tato země se navrátila k demokratickým hodnotám a životaschopné ekonomice první republiky, tak jak si je Eva pamatovala ze svého dětství.
Evu přežili její manžel Bob, děti Peter, Andrea a Judith, a šest vnuků a vnuček. Bude velice chybět mně, mojí manželce Lindsay i naší dceři Tamar.
Farewell to Eva Petschek Goldmann
Our Embassy family was saddened to learn of Eva Petschek Goldmann’s passing a few days ago at age 94. Eva was the daughter of Otto Petschek, the great banker and industrialist who built the Petschek Villa, now the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence. Eva was the last surviving original occupant of the great house where I now live. We got to know each other when she and her family visited during my first months on the job, and we became friends. Above is a picture of me with her and her husband Bob Goldman when I visited them at their Manhattan home a few months ago.
Eva was a wonderful person, one of those great European ladies of that generation. She was charming and smart, and had a mind of her own and a wit which remained sharp until the end. In those respects, she reminded me of my own mother, who like Eva was also born during the first optimistic years of the then new state of Czechoslovakia and who passed two years ago. Eva, my mom, and the other survivors of that period of Czech history, the First Republic as we call it here, grew up with tremendous hope for their new democracy, which flourished during the 20’s and 30’s. Then came the abandonment at Munich of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis, who Eva and her family fled. She, like most of the family, eventually made her way to New York. After the war she married a young German Jewish refugee who had also fled Hitler, Bob Goldman. The two of them embarked on a marvelous seven decade adventure, as described in her obituary from the New York Times, which is below.
I enjoyed discussing life with Eva, including the ups and downs of history in these lands where we both had family roots: the Nazi occupation, the four decades of Communist tyranny, and then finally the Velvet Revolution and the quarter century of freedom which has followed. I am so glad that she came here in 2011 with Bob and two of her grandchildren to tour the house where she once lived, to visit the country of her birth, and to see one of the great success stories of the post-Cold War period. The country has come full circle and today, the democratic values and vibrant economy of the First Republic of Eva’s childhood flourish in these lands once again.
Eva is survived by her husband Bob, her children Peter, Andrea and Judith, and six grandchildren. My wife, Lindsay, daughter, Tamar, and I will miss her greatly.
From the New York Times, March 28, 2014
GOLDMANN -- Eva Petschek, was born in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1920 and came to the United States via Canada in 1938. After training as a nursery school teacher, she practiced in Detroit and New York. She was a fine pianist, but too modest to enter the career professionally. Having studied education in England, she became an early education teacher at the Roeper School in Detriot, MI, and taught piano to young students. After moving to New York City, she became associated with the Diller-Quaile School of Music as a volunteer. Eva married the journalist Robert B. Goldmann, immigrant from Germany, in 1948. At that time Robert was an announcer in German for the Voice of America. They shared a multilingual past, and a deep love of classical music, with emphasis on Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven as well as Verdi’s operas and Wagner’s music dramas. Verdi’s Othello, Wagner’s Walküre, and most of all Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg were their common super-favorites. Bob’s journalistic work — chiefly with the International Herald Tribune, while Bob and Eva lived in Paris, representing the Anti-Defamation League in Europe — was a new phase in their joint re-exploration of Europe, where they had spent a terror-filled-or-feared youth. Why couldn’t the Europeans think of living as a community earlier, Eva would ask, in full knowledge that the time just had not been ripe. Eva loved her new country, and often encouraged Bob to do more exploring of the American landscape, which they did, but Bob, still yearning for a trip across the Atlantic, with Eva’s in our time justified distrust of flying, led her to cross on the QE2. Underplaying the distinguished past her family in Prague, it was because she did not have to show off, she never did. Her husband, children Peter, Andrea and Judith, and six grandchildren mourn her and will never forget her.
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