Paulina Porizkova opens up about her family’s struggle after Soviet invasion
Paulina Porizkova has opened up about being separated from her parents for years after the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, as some 100,000 people flee Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.
The 56-year-old model was born in 1965 near Prostejov, Czechoslovakia, to Anna Porizkova and Jiri Porizka (the male version of Porizkova). Her anti-Soviet dissident parents were forced to flee to Lund, Sweden, three years later to escape the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion.
Porizkova, who was left in the care of her maternal grandmother, explained in her candid Instagram post that they were ‘the lucky ones.’
‘In 1968, the former Soviet Union invaded my home country. My parents fled on a motorcycle, leaving the three year old me behind – knowing they might not make it out alive. They got lucky, ‘she wrote on Friday.
Paulina Porizkova, 56, opened up about her parents fleeing Czechoslovakia when she was three to escape the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion
The model (pictured with her family) was left in the care of her maternal grandmother after her anti-Soviet dissident parents, Anna Porizkova and Jiri Porizka, fled to Sweden without her
Communist Czechoslovak authorities banned her parents from reclaiming her. It took six years – and a failed rescue attempt from her mother – for her to be reunited with her family.
‘I didn’t see my parents again until my mother came back three years later in an attempt to kidnap me – the only way they could get me back,’ she recalled. ‘She got caught and imprisoned. She was also seven months pregnant with my baby brother.
‘She was given amnesty, and was put in house arrest for the next three years, until we were dismissed from our native land and told to never come back,’ she continued.
‘This was in large part thanks to the people of Sweden, who [campaigned] to let us out. I was nine when we left Czechoslovakia for Sweden. I hadn’t seen my dad for six years.
‘We were the lucky ones.’
Porizkiva did not see her mother again until she returned to her home country and attempted to kidnap her. Anna, who was pregnant with Porizkova’s brother, was caught and imprisoned
Anna was put on house arrest for three years before her family reunited in Sweden
Shortly after she moved to Sweden and acquired Swedish citizenship, her father left the family, and they became estranged
Shortly after she moved to Sweden and acquired Swedish citizenship, her father left the family, and they became estranged.
The supermodel, who later rose to fame after gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1984 when she was just 19 years old, has remained close with her mother, Anna, a former midwife.
In the post, Porizkova included an old black and white photo of herself with her parents and her younger brother, Kym, that was taken when she was a child, and an editorial image from a magazine shoot that she appeared in with her mother.
Her story mirrors the stories of thousands of other families who are being torn apart after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, calling it a ‘special military operation.’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree ordering a general mobilization after Russia attacked major cities, including the capital, Kyiv, on Thursday.
The supermodel has remained close with her mother, Anna, a former midwife. The mother and daughter are pictured posing together in an editorial image
Porizkova (pictured in Prague in 2014) said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday ‘feels very personal to me and my family’
Porizkova (pictured with her mother in 2014) has been candid about how she has struggled with feelings of abandonment and rejection after her parents left her as a child
All Ukrainians who can carry arms have been urged to defend their homeland.
The Ukraine State Border Guard Service announced that men ages 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving the country. The agency said the measure is aimed at ‘guaranteeing Ukraine’s defense and the organization of timely mobilization.’
The country’s conscripts and reservists are also being called up, according to the decree, which is to be in effect for 90 days.
The UN Refugee Agency said 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes with thousands leaving the country.
‘How many people, how many families will suffer now because of one man’s lust for power?’ Porizkova asked. ‘This feels very personal to me and my family. We stand with Ukraine. ‘
She ended the post with the hashtags #istandwithukraine, #standwithukraine, and # f ** kputin. ‘
Porizkova attended her godson Sam’s wedding in Israel on Tuesday with her sons Oliver (far left) and Jonathan (far right)
Porizkova said she has ‘a lot of conflicting feelings’ about enjoying time with her family in Israel while Russia is invading Ukraine
Porizkova has been candid about how the trauma of being left behind by her parents has affected her over the years.
In a New York Times profile that was published last year, she shared that she has spent years in therapy working through feelings of abandonment and rejection by her parents.
‘Once I had children, I always thought, “I can’t believe they left me.” But times were different, things were different, ‘said the mom, who has two sons – Jonathan, 28, and Oliver, 23 – with her late husband, Ric Ocasek.
Porizkova’s mother, who also lives in New York, told The Times that she has regrets about leaving her daughter behind when she escaped to Czechoslovakia five decades ago.
‘Sometimes you do certain things for survival and you don’t think, you just do it spontaneously, you do what you have to do,’ she said.
‘If I could do things differently, I would,’ she added. ‘But you can’t take time back.’
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, calling it a ‘special military operation’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree ordering a general mobilization after Russia attacked major cities, including the capital, Kyiv
The UN Refugee Agency said 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes with thousands leaving the country
Porizkova shared her most recent Instagram post from Israel after traveling to the Middle East with her sons to attend her godson Sam’s wedding on Tuesday.
The cover star posted a family photo from the celebration the next day, writing: ’02 .22.2022. I will forever remember – since this was the reason we all came to Israel for my godson Sam’s wedding.
‘What a beautiful, meaningful, and awesome event,’ she added. ‘Here is a part of my family, Oliver, god-daughter Josephine, Erin, and Jonathan all ready to paaarty!’
On Thursday, she shared a snapshot of herself walking on the beach, explaining that she has mixed emotions about enjoying her getaway.
‘A quick stroll on the beach to get a little air and sun,’ she captioned the image. ‘A lot of conflicting feelings today… joy to be here with my friends and family for the loveliest wedding and celebration of love, missing my boys who left last night, and worry about the world situation today.’