My name is Eva Hnizdo. I was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. My family had lived in Prague for centuries. Many of my family, secular Jewish, perished during the Holocaust.
I escaped communism. I had enough of the lies, propaganda and censorship. So, I emigrated. and I obtained political asylum in the UK.
I was working as a Family doctor- a GP in the British National Health Service for 30 years. I loved my job, I am a curious woman, and people told me things. Every patient is a story. No wonder so many medical doctors became writers.
I always wanted to write, and when I retired, I joined an American writing group Women Reading Aloud https://www.womenreadingaloud.org/index.html and started writing. The encouragement from this wonderful group, headed by Julie Maloney ,helped me to get enough confidence to start writing my novel about the Holocaust, emigration, racism.
I remember all those family and friends’ stories from the war, I also remember all those discussions about emigration. Talking to members of my family who emigrated in 1938, escaping the Nazis, or in 1948, when the communist came to power. In the seventies and eighties, we talked about emigration with my friends a lot. Some of us left, some stayed, either because they changed their mind, or because they never got the permission to travel to the West.
I was lucky, I got the political asylum easily. I emigrated because I didn’t like the lack of freedom, the lies, my life was not in danger. Now I am watching all those people escaping from horrible dangers, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Myanmar and many other places and I can see the similarities to those old stories.
My novel Why didn’t they leave? is going to be published in September 2021. It is mixing family stories and fiction. A novel about Holocaust, communism, racism and emigration. What makes people leave, and what it is like for the ones who do, and for the ones who stay. I believe these old stories are more important now than ever before.
” Not another Holocaust story” you might think.
I wanted my book to be more general, to show how important the words: emigration, refugee, racism, antisemitism still are. And I wish for the other words: tolerance, acceptance, multi-ethnicity, multiculturalism to prevail.