The Straznickys applied for asylum in Canada in 1969 in Paris while on a carefully planned "vacation" from a Czechoslovakian homeland reoccupied by Soviet troops. Ivan Straznicky's father had been imprisoned by the communists, his family blacklisted and barred indefinitely from "privileges," such as a university education. As practising Christians, they would be penalized even more harshly under the new communist crackdown, and the children punished as Ivan had been for the beliefs of his parents. Within a week, Canada accepted the Straznickys' application, and the family was resettled in Otttawa. Within two weeks, Ivan Straznicky had a job, albeit far below his professional training. Eventually Ivan re-established himself in Canada in his former profession as a patent agent.
Leaving church, Gloucester, Ontario, 1993
The desire for religious freedom played a significant role in Ivan's & Marta's decision to leave Czechoslovakia. Today, they are active members of the Roman Catholic Church of the Divine Infant in Gloucester.