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The Czechoslovak Talks is a project that embraces the life stories of Czechoslovaks around the world – the stories of the personal ups and downs, the opportunities and obstacles, and especially the life experiences that we would like to preserve for future generations.

 

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"I was born in the spring of 1936 in Ashiya, Japan as the only son of a Czechoslovak diplomat, Jan Fierlinger. As the war was drawing near, my father was ordered to return to Czechoslovakia."

"My grandfather Jan — or Juan, as he his known locally — Osyčka came from Moravia but life brought him all the way to Argentina. He was there when the Czechoslovak agricultural colony was established."

"The communist regime seemed to be at the height of its power when I graduated from the Charles University’s Faculty of Medicine in 1961. The path to my graduation was by no means a straight line."

"One day I was offered to participate in an audition for a cabaret dancer at Alhambra. It was one of those really strange auditions, but I was chosen. However, I only stayed there for a short time."

"Growing up, it did not even cross my mind that I would witness so much sorrow and live through the Terezin concentration camp. If you wanted to survive in the ghetto, you had to suppress your feelings and work very hard."

“Our most beautiful and earliest memories are of playing games together in the garden with stones and paths of yellow sand. After the war, everything started to change, and as father inferred, not in a positive direction.”

“My name is Peter Messner, and this German name has helped me several times, even though I am Jewish. Before the war, we lived in Czechoslovakia, and when Hitler came to power in Germany, my foresighted father decided to emigrate.”

“The Nazis shot my husband in Terezín right in front of my eyes. Then they transported the rest of the family to Auschwitz. In the end, my sister and I were the only ones to survive the hell of the concentration camp.”