Svoboda Family

This section provides brief introductions to key figures in the Svoboda family.

Anton Svoboda and Euphemie Muradjian

Anton Svoboda and Euphemie Muradjian were the parents of Joseph Svoboda. Born in Osijek (in modern day Croatia) in 1796, Anton was a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian empire who immigrated to Baghdad by way of Istanbul and established himself as a glass and crystal merchant. Not much is known about Euphemie’s family background other than the fact that she was a daughter of a prominent Chaldean Catholic Armenian merchant family.1
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Joseph Svoboda

Joseph was born in Baghdad in 1840. In 1862, he began working for the Euphrates and Tigris Steam Navigation Company, an arm of the Lynch Brothers Trading Company. While working for this company, he wrote a collection of diaries detailing his experiences of life on the river.
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Alexander Svoboda

Alexander was born in Baghdad in 1878 to Joseph and Eliza Svoboda. In 1897, he journeyed across the Middle East and Europe, keeping a journal as he went. Alexander traveled in the company of his parents and a departing British diplomat accompanied by his retinue. They followed a circuitous route through the Middle East to Cairo and then to Europe on a three and a half month journey which Alexander described day-by-day in a journal written in the Iraqi Arabic of his time.
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  1. Money, Journal of a Tour in Persia, 234–6.