Magdalena's Family Blog

21 August 2009

On this day 41 years ago...

...the Russians invaded Czechoslovakia. Three of my 9 students this past week are 46 years old. They all told me memories of this day when they were 5. For one man, this was his first memory. Peter is Slovak and is from the city of Kosice where there is a military airport. His memory is of seeing the sky filled with planes and the Russians landing at the base.

Dana is Czech and is from Prague. She remembers a bomb landing and going off in their building's courtyard. The explosion took out her family's kitchen wall and a bullet went through their ceiling. Her mother drew a circle around the bullet hole and refused to have it repaired for several years because she wanted to keep the memory alive of the Russian destruction. After the bomb went off, Dana and her family went into their cellar for 2 of her neighbors attempted to fight off a tank in the courtyard with his axe. The soldiers shot him down with an automatic gun - his feet remained planted firmly on the ground keeping his upper body limp while his lower body was still standing after death. She remembers that he made really good donuts and he would share them with her.

Vlada is Czech and his family was on the Labe river at their summer cottage when tanks crossed the bridge 500 meters upstream from their home on their way into Prague. He remembers one tank falling off the bridge and into the river and hoping that the soldiers would leave it there so he could play in it. When they removed the tank he was extremely disappointed.

After hearing these memories from people I know, not just from a movie (several Czech movies include scenes of this day) really made me pause and be thankful for the freedom I was raised in and the beautiful first memories I have.


At 22 August, 2009 04:54, Blogger Sunny said...

this is so humbling. i think i felt similar when i stayed in kojetin and heard the stories of my hosts there. thanks for sharing.

At 24 August, 2009 06:45, Blogger Gale said...

I'm so glad they shared with you and then you shared with us. We have no idea what living like that is about. Thank you, Lord, for our freedom.


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