Visit to Prague, 2005

Shared by Jonathan Spector on July 2, 2011

 Malka and I took Abie to Prague for a week in April 2005. Having spent lots of time there ourselves, we had seen the sites, so I would fix him up with a tour and meet him when he finished, trying to do my thing in the times he was occupied. He was impressed by the city's beauty and the state of its preservation, but complained about the cobblestone walks and the surly waiters who tried to sell him bottled water. That problem had never arisen for me, because I always ordered beer or wine. Our hotel served breakfast, a treat for an American who is used to paying separately for the meal. After seeing the Jewish quarter, where the story of the Golem originated, he visited the Museum of Communism. While Abie had once been a Trotsky supporter, the museum was essentially anti-Stalin, so I knew he would like it. After that I took him to the Orthodox church where the assassins of Heydrich holed up until their eventual capture. He was very taken by one of the women who worked there, one of the many saboteurs during the Nazi occupation. While the Czechs call their river the Vltava, he knew it was his precious Moldau, and told his story on every occasion. For an 84 year old, he trekked through the city like an athlete on steroids, including the castle which is atop a steep hill, as well as the castle outside the city, where the Bohemian crown jewels are kept (Karlstejn). His guides were always astounded at his vigor and energy. 

The photo shows him in front of the statue of Jan Hus in Old Town Square. In the background is Tyne Church, my favorite church in Prague.

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