Immigrates to United States
Korbelova immigrates to the United States on the SS America, after a Soviet-sponsored Communist coup seizes power in Prague. Her father becomes the founding Dean of the School of International Relations at the University of Denver (where he later trains another female secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice).
Having been forced to flee my native Czechoslovakia two times – first from the Nazis and then from the Communists – I learned at a young age that human freedom is both immeasurably precious and inherently fragile.
Flees Nazis to England
Korbelova flees to England with her family after the Nazis occupy Czechoslovakia. Though Albright long believed they had fled for political reasons, she learned as an adult that her family was Jewish and that three of her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps.
And I think as a lot of people now know, and I didn’t know, but I was of Jewish background, so there is a pretty good chance that I might have died in a concentration camp if my parents had not been brave enough to bring us out of that. My parents had in fact made very clear to me that the suffering of other people, under great evil, was something that could not be tolerated.
I have always thought of myself as a Czechoslovak Catholic. My parents were of the generation who thought they were the children of a free Czechoslovakia, the only democracy in central Europe. This was their pride [and] that is what I grew up with.