Because Stalin didn’t want heritage to be important. They wanted that indoctrination was more important than genetics. So Mendel, whom we all know about, was forbidden at that time. But you know everybody was paying a little bit lip-service, and nobody really took it seriously.
Healthcare professionals Tag
It was of course a big difference between the Czech Republic and the U.S., but as a kid – I was a junior in high school – I was quite flexible and I think I blended with the American kids very well, and this made my second trip to the U.S. much, much easier. So when I came to Cincinnati, I knew what to expect, I knew about the mentality of the people and it wasn’t such a huge cultural shock, I guess, compared many other people who had to leave and had no chance to prepare and not an exact idea of what to expect.
We were living in our house in the cellar, or basement, which had metal plates on the windows, and because there was a sign of ‘Doctor’ in front of the house, soldiers would be bringing their wounded colleagues to the house, and as a little boy I would be mingling around and I would see the blood dripping from the stretchers and stuff like that.
Childhood in former Czechoslovakia was so pure. I was not touched by anything I learned later or read in newspapers about oppression during communism. I definitely felt very secure and safe and all those clichés about communism, that everybody is equal and there is no crime.
We couldn’t visit parks, we couldn’t go to the movies, we couldn’t travel without a permit, and we had to wear the Star of David. So you had to be marked. And that was not a very pleasant thing, and not necessarily because of the fact that you had to deliver your sporting equipment.
I have a diploma in Marxism-Leninism. I was vice-chairman of the head and neck surgery department so, as one of the top positioned physicians, I had to be well educated in politics. So Marxism – the philosophy and economy and whatever else comes… I had to go and take a state exam at the state board, and I have a diploma in political sciences now.
It was the best year of our lives. It was like a honeymoon, because we didn’t have any responsibility towards the family. We thought we had money. We lived as we lived very modestly, in a very tiny apartment. I mean, very tiny. It was a studio. But we were young, we made friends.
The voting I went through in Czechoslovakia was absolutely ridiculous. With the age of 18 you had the ‘right’ to vote, and it consisted of you being forced to go and vote. You were handed a paper filled out with the Communist candidates, which you folded and threw in some container. That was the extent of the voting. Absolutely absurd stuff.