Today I had the privilege of sitting at the same table while listening to a man named Dr. Rick Pinard. He works for RadioFreeEurope RadioLiberty. What this radio station does is send independent information to countries all over the world whose government has taken control of the news and media. Their tagline is “free media in unfree societies.” He talked about what they did in the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) when the Nazis’ had infiltrated all news stations. Dr. Pinard shared with us how slow and calculated their infiltration was in taking over the country.
He is also an expert in the Holocaust in general but specifically in the Czech Republic. He told us that the very building in which he was speaking to us in had housed three Jews who were taken to death camps. None of them survived. It was an odd feeling to know that the place in which I was sitting was home to three human beings who were forced to leave and taken to their deaths. Dr. Pinard also went on to point out all of the different buildings surrounding us in Prague that were filled with history directly linked to terrible and sometimes courageous stories from that time in history. It was then that I truly realized how fortunate I was to be here in Prague. I am learning about the Holocaust while walking the same streets and touching the same buildings that Nazis and Jews walked along and touched. Wow.