That was the great time in my life. I was in Bratislava, I was like 17 or something and the revolution started in… or some kind of signs of the revolution were in 1988 – the year before the real revolution, there was the candle demonstration. I remember I was in school, and they told us ‘don’t go there,’ and that kind of made us wonder, and we went there.
Community life Tag
When you go to the Czech Republic or Slovak Republic, there is more hatred between each other. Prague people will say ‘Oh, we don’t like Slovaks,’ or Slovak people will say ‘I don’t like Czechs.’ But here I never hear anybody say that we don’t like each other. Here we are like one big community, and it’s like a brotherhood over here.
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.
He was just upset with the lack of freedom, but the details he would know more than I. He actually wanted to escape by flying over the Dunaj (the Danube River) into Austria – there’s a peak above the river – with a hang glider at one point. He wanted to actually do that. So those were some pretty extreme measures that he was planning.
I was in class when it happened. Suddenly everybody went out. Everybody spent a couple of days, a couple of nights, on the streets, and we knew it was over. You knew from the beginning it was over. There was a lot of excitement because now we recognize multiple parties, multiple goals and strategies for how to make people happy in politics.
Things I remember are things kids remember when they are two or three years old, you know, looking for toys, when the housekeeper would remove her teeth and make herself look like a witch and try to scare me, and then make me relieved when she put her teeth back into her mouth. But it was those kinds of little childish games, and then, of course, when I was reunited with my parents, I remember being reunited with them, and it was almost like being with strangers.
So we went to a garden restaurant. They’d been celebrating, dancing, and I sat down and I think he ordered some wine or whatever. And then he said ‘Come and dance,’ and I said ‘What are you, crazy?’ He said ‘Come and dance,’ so we’re dancing, then I looked around and the Russians came there. And they come with their machine guns and they looked at the people. He [my guide] said ‘Now be nice, smile at me.’
Actually, I had two aunts, so one was working and the other was supposed to take care of me. But she was partially deaf, so when there was an air raid announced, all children were sent home, and parents came – we were in the first grade, so all the parents came to pick them up – but because my aunt couldn’t hear, nobody picked me up.