Day 6 of book tour — April 29, 2011
I have Friday morning off. Sue and I walk to Josefov, site of a memorial where the names of 77,000 Czech victims of the Holocaust are printed on walls, in the manner of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington. The martyrs are listed by their home towns. Each time we go, I find another member of my family. This time, listed among the victims from the town of Kralupy, I discover the man who raised my father after my paternal grandfather was killed in World War I. I find Papa’s uncle, Emil Neumann, born October 10, 1891, and murdered on October 26, 1942, along with 11 members of his immediate family. Most people use city and state records to trace their geneologies; I fill in the missing pieces of mine by visiting memorials.
In the afternoon, it’s back to work. First, I meet with Martina Cermakova, editor of the Prague Daily Monitor, an English-language daily newspaper (http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/s?keys=Charles+Ota+Heller). My second session is with Dana Vlckova from the magazine, Nase rodina (Our Family). The third interview of the day, and last of my magical tour, is interesting because it is with two university students who represent the website http://www.topzine.cz/ and who have a totally different view of the world from that of their adult counterparts. A young man whose name I don’t know accompanies a pretty young lady named Katerina Ciborova. After having answered the same questions from various members of the media all week, it is refreshing to hear the young guy say: “Leaving your country must be like breaking up with your girlfriend. Really difficult.” I laugh and agree.
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