Invitation to BCSA/LSESU event: Bridging the generations – integrating in 20th century Britain

The aim of this event is to exchange experiences between Czechs and Slovaks who came to Britain in the 20th century and today’s students at London universities. A contribution from those who chose to settle here more recently is also welcome.

Monday 30 October 2017 from18.30 – 20.30

Slovak Embassy, 25 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY
(nearest underground station Notting Hill Gate)
Admission £10.00, free for BCSA members and registered students. Refreshments will be served.

Booking essential via Eventbrite or by email to

 Various generations experienced different challenges, reflecting the time of their arrival and in many cases adapting their skills to suit the prevailing circumstances. Today it is hard to imagine the difficulties of migrating to Britain from a communist regime, they should not be forgotten.

What were the reasons for leaving their country? Was it difficult to find work? How easy was it to integrate into society compared with today?

Don’t miss the chance to listen to some extraordinary stories and compare them with your own experience of moving to and settling in the UK.

Speakers include:

Dr Jana Buresova – aged two years, arrived in Britain in 1952 from a DP camp in Germany, following the 1948 communist coup. Anticipating repatriation, her early childhood was ‘very Czech’. Her research focuses on Czechoslovak exile.

Karel Sling – son of Otto Sling (1912-1952) one of the accused in the show trials that took place in communist Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. Karel signed Charter 77 and emigrated in the 1980s.

Eduard Strouhal – came to London as a student in 1948. The early days were difficult for him until he learned English. After this he studied economics and from 1964 worked for the BBC until his retirement.

Professor Gerta Vrbova – a Slovak survivor of the holocaust and widow of the legendary war hero, Rudolf Vrba, she studied medicine in Prague. In 1958 Gerta escaped with her two children across the Polish Czechoslovak border to Warsaw, eventually settling in England. Today she is Emeritus Professor of Developmental Neuroscience at UCL, London.


Please note that the Embassy doors do not open until 6.15pm.