Alice Glasnerová


Alice Glasnerová: timeline

Erwin Kohn: timeline

Dora Kleinová: timeline

Helena Petranková: timeline

The Komenský Hospital in the Second World War

The Second World War

The Noel Field connections

The Slánský Trials

Prison regimes

Original documents






This website gathers together all the information and research I have about Alice Glasnerová and Erwin Kohn, and those closely connected to them, in the hope that future generations who are interested in this period of history will have access to it. The site is under construction; it may take me several years to finish!

As well as the information directly concerning Alice, Erwin and two of Alice’s closest friends, Helena Petrankova and Dora Kleinova, I have included the story of my research into their lives, as documented in the blog I wrote during the research process:

The photographs fall into two collections: Alice’s own photographs and those I took when visiting the places during my research.

Liz Kohn, 2021

Alice Glasnerova 1905-1986

Alice was a committed communist, who volunteered in the Spanish Civil War, worked to help refugees escape Europe during the Second World War and returned to help build the Communist government in Czechoslovakia after the war. She was an idealist, who believed passionately in equality, freedom, democracy and international cooperation.

The Communist Party betrayed her, imprisoning her for five years and convicting her of espionage, as part of the Czech show trials, also known as the Slansky Trials. Her conviction was overturned and she rebuilt her life, remaining loyal to her ideals and believing there was still hope for Communism, until 1968 and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, when she ended her membership of the party.

Her marriage to Erwin Kohn, my father, ended in 1950, after her first arrest. Although deeply in love, the two were separated by the difference in their political views; a division that represented the dilemma of Czechoslovakia itself - allegiance to the East or the West? Like Erwin and Alice, Czechoslovakia tried to strike a balance between the two, but that balance was impossible to achieve, both for the marriage and for the country.