Indra Hildebrandt-Sochor - a tale of Czech-German relations with a romantic ending

Indra Hildebrandt-Sochor

Indra Hildebrandt-Sochor comes from the German city of Bochum. Her husband Vaclav is a Czech journalist and they live with their two-year-old son in Prague. There is nothing unusual in that, but the history of how they came to meet is a very different story. The story has its roots in the tragic events of the Second World War and the mass expulsion of Czechoslovakia's German minority in the years that followed. But this is a tale with a happy ending, as Indra now recalls.

"The story of how I met my husband actually started approximately half a century ago. It started with our grandmothers, because my grandmother is German and his grandmother is Czech and they lived together. They grew up in Czechoslovakia, near Prague. They went together to school, they were best friends. My grandmother had to leave the country directly after the war. She went to Germany. And the two ladies kept in touch I think until the sixties, when they lost contact because each had their family and their problems. My grandmother in the 80's decided that she would like to see the country again where she grew up, and by chance she managed to find her old friend again. They met here in Prague then - in 1983 I think it was - they made friends again, and the next thing was that my grandparents-in-law came to visit my grandparents in Germany, and they told me immediately that they have a very nice grandson, approximately the same age, and it would be so nice if we could become pen friends. This is actually how it started, and we met for the first time, I think it was around 1988, when - me and my parents - we came to Prague to visit his parents and grandparents. And we were friends for another ten years until we then in 1997 met for the first time alone. My husband was working in London and I went there to visit him, to have a look at England, We went to Cornwall to make a two-day trip there, and this very romantic environment had its results and two years later we got married and our son was born."