My cousin was actually telling me about the concentration camp and only much, much later I found out that I was probably the only person she told, and I suppose she told only me because she thought I didn’t understand – I was little. I knew the word ‘camp’ for summer camps, because bigger children spoke about summer camps, so I thought she went to one of these. And when she was telling me about things that happened, I thought they were games.
Prague Spring Tag
They did want to take the whole house, and they would come every so often, I remember, when I was a little kid, people would come to our house and they would measure the whole house, because they had some rule, if your property exceeded some whatever square feet, or meters in our case, they had a right to take it.
When this plane landed, of course the airport in Prague was extremely primitive then, and we landed at what looked like a shack, a wooden building that actually a neon hammer and sickle over the top, and it was really a foggy day in October. It was creepy; I was scared as hell coming in there.
We had some history books in the school always, and on the front of the history books was a tank, a Russian tank, with a flower and it said ‘we liberated you’. And I found out in 1968, which was the Prague Spring, I bought every week a Slovakian magazine called Expres, and they started to put a lot of stuff in, and I found out the southwest of our country was liberated by General Patton!
They would ask me ‘Well what did you learn?’ and I would tell them and they would say ‘Well that sounds really good, but what really happened is this, this, and that.’ So they taught me about the First Republic; they taught me about Masaryk. At age ten, I have to say I was a rather confused person, but no regrets. It was fine. I wasn’t anti-social or anti-communistic, because I didn’t know any better.