Barbara Pass Away

11-12 2009 Ostatní English
obálka čísla

Barbara Lee Podoski was born in 1914 into a Czech family in Brno, Czech Republic. After completing her studies, she worked for the Baůa company in ZlĚn, where she met her first husband, an American of Belgian origin, with whom she went into exile to France after the occupation of Czechoslovakia. In 1939, she was a Red Cross worker in the Belgian Congo. In 1941, she moved to the United States of America via South Africa, where she worked in the womenís auxiliary corps. The same year, she began working, under the supervision of Jan Masaryk, in the Press Department of the Czechoslovak Embassy in Washington. In 1943, she became a U.S. citizen and voluntarily joined the army. She was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services, an organization that was the predecessor of the CIA. She worked in North Africa and Europe, and was decorated with the bronze star for her courage. She actively collaborated with representatives of Czechoslovak resistance. Barbara Lee Podoski underwent demanding training specializing in diversionist activities in the enemy rear. In 1999, U.S. television devoted a substantial part of a documentary on courageous women to her heroism.

When World War II ended in Europe, she returned to Washington and worked for a brief period in the Czechoslovak section of the Voice of America. In 1947, she returned to Czechoslovakia. Six months later, she went back to the United States. She then worked for twenty years in the Library of Congress. There she met her second husband, the Polish aristocrat Joseph Junosza Podoski. In the autumn of 1968, Barbara Lee Podoski was assigned to Austria, where she worked for nine years at the Vienna-based office of the American Fund for Czechoslovak Refugees based in New York.

Although Barbara Lee Podoski currently holds no office, she continues to be very active in compatriot and exile associations, and tirelessly helps with the presentation of Czech culture.

Barbara Lee Podoski is a member of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) and the Czechoslovak National Council of America.

By essey in publication Gratias Agit

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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