He had really good ideas, and those ideas which I heard, which he told me, I liked them, because I felt yeah, everybody should… there shouldn’t be hungry people, there shouldn’t be poor people, everybody should have a little piece of something, everybody should have free school, free health program. And that’s what communists promised. So that’s how he believed it.
The Germans started to collect any male they could at the very end – and I’m talking here about the end of March and beginning of April 1945; Bratislava was liberated on April 4 – and when my father heard that, and since my brothers were 17 and 18 at that time, in other words, in a very dangerous age group, he wanted to run with them to our summer house and hide there.
And then finally we got across the border and we heard the car going, and then the car stopped. They went from the main road to a corn field. It was this dusty road in a cornfield. They opened the trunk and we just fell out. We couldn’t stand; we had no blood circulation. I remember, my first sight of the west was lying in dust on this dusty road.
So this was one thing that we had to do and then eventually, towards the end of the War, he would say ‘Take this and drop it off there and there.’ And it was obviously for partisans, guerrillas, so you know, he said ‘It’s extremely dangerous and you can do it, as a little boy.’
It was just a few kilobytes of memory, but I was able to do a little coding in Basic. I even programmed my own little game – this little ghost moving around and collecting some goodies. Similar to one of the games at the time. But computing was certainly in its diapers. It’s come a long ways since then.
By the time of one escape, and then another escape and being jailed in between, and having sort of come from very elevated circumstances and having had to do this really menial work during the war, and trying to run a business and that failing – it was just a tremendous amount of discouragement.
They not only killed the people who assisted directly, but also the family members. Often people ask me how come I survived and my brothers, and the only reason why we survived was because my parents were divorced. So even though it was a painful thing, it really saved our lives.
Every young man and every young woman in the Czech Republic had to join dance lessons. It’s a Czech tradition, and every young man or young lady who’s the age of 15 must join and must visit the lesson of classical dance, which means polka, valčík [waltz] and other dancing in formal wear.