Anglicising Czechoslovak forenames #names #austria-czech

Elana Broch

My grandmother, Rosa Broch, was listed on her Czech passport as Ruzena Brochova.  She was not Czech but married someone from Brno and was able to get a passports.  I do sometimes wonder if they were legit passports (my father and his brother were able to get them as well).  Their names were not changed.  All four of them were living in Cologne at the time.  

Elana Broch (thinking of changing it to Brochova)
Lawrenceville, NJ


If the children were born during the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918-38), then English was fashionable. Not very common, but fashionable nonetheless.

I have a friend born into a Jewish family in Moravia in the 1920's named Maud, for example.

Generally, speaking the authorities were very cavalier about first names during the Monarchy, Republic and so-called Protectorate -- translating into the individual German and Czech variants back and forth depending on which office and where, I suppose. That was a very odd habit, we don't usually do today.

Perhaps, using an English name avoided a Francis becoming either a Frantisek or a Franz?

Rick Pinard

Yehuda Berman

It might also have been William. I know someone born and living in France named William rather than the French equivalent Gillaume. In many countries English has the same prestige that French has or had in the U.S. Menachem Begin's wife Aliza was named Alice in Poland where she was born.
Yehuda Berman

Andreas Schwab

Thomas and Robert are common German names. William would be Wilhelm.
Andreas Schwab, Montreal, Canada

Michael Sharp

Has anyone come across forenames being anglicised before departure from Czechoslovakia in 1939?

I am looking at a mother's passport issued by the Nazis and the children's names are listed as Thomas, Robert, William  The German or Czech equivalents are not used by the Nazis. The children were all born in Czechoslovakia before the Nazi occupation 

At some time the children were also given very unusual English middle names.

Any thoughts?
Michael Sharp
Manchester UK