In this very last edition of Mailbox on Radio Prague we quote for one last time from your answers to the Mystery Czech quiz which has run for 12 years and featured 150 notable personalities of Czech origin.
With the termination of shortwave broadcasts in 2011, Radio Prague lost many of its regular listeners who tuned in to our programmes on their shortwave receivers in faraway corners of the globe. And even though we kept on issuing QSL cards and sending them in return for your reception reports, it was quite natural that the amount of our regular e-mail correspondence was significantly reduced. Gradually our audience kept moving onto the social media, mainly Facebook, where one can instantly comment on the stories and interact with other listeners and readers. Slowly but surely this type of feedback outnumbered the good old e-mail messages, just like they had pushed out paper letters not so many years ago. It was a hard decision, considering all the faithful listeners who still communicate with us via e-mail and regularly contribute to our mystery Czech quiz, but we agreed it was time to discontinue Mailbox and for me, as its presenter, to say good-bye after 12 years and 150 notable personalities of Czech origin featured in our quiz.
Of course, we will still be reading your e-mails which you can send to email@example.com, only we will not be broadcasting a special programme to air your views and comments. We are grateful for all feedback, regardless of the medium you choose. The Radio Prague monthly quiz will go on, with the questions and winners published at www.radio.cz/en/static/monthly-quiz/
Now, before we get to your answers for one last time, let’s hear what Vladimir Gudzenko from Russia wrote in a recent e-mail, looking back at his personal history with Radio Prague:
“I found in my home archive a copy of your DX Diploma and very many verification cards from different years, beginning with 1972… Besides them, I have many of your program leaflets and schedules, including ones of Radio Prague Interprogram, Radio Czechoslovakia and Radio Czechoslovakia International. Several issues of the richly illustrated magazine Czechoslovak Life (approximately from 1978–1984) carried special pages dedicated to Radio Prague. And they are different in the various language versions of the magazine (English, French, Spanish, German).
“My historical recollections are recollections only. I have absolutely no nostalgia for that period of history. On the contrary, in those years I listened most to Radio Liberty/Radio free Europe and to other sounds of the free world, sometimes through jamming. …Now, your radio is an important window to Czech internet and media, and is trying to bring us up-to-date information from the Czech Republic, in order that we can understand the new Czechia better.”
Now let’s quote from some of your answers to last month’s question. Here is what Radhakrishna Pillai from India wrote:
“He graduated as an MD at Masaryk University in Brno 1937. After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939 he fled to Norway and established himself as a doctor with the assistance of the Norwegian Nansen Council. Here he received a Norwegian physicians license and worked a few months as assistant doctor at Ronovik hospital in Bodo when the Germans invaded Norway in April 1940. As a Jew and refugee Eitinger knew that he risked persecution also in his new homeland, and he therefore decided to go underground. He worked for a time as a sawmill worker and also worked for over a year in secret as a doctor in Veoy in Romsdal before his arrest on 16th March 1942. He got to know several prisons and camps in Norway, before being sent to the Auschwitz extermination camp in February 1943.Towards the end of the war he was transferred to Buchenwald.
“After the war, Eitinger returned to Norway and started specializing in psychiatry, advancing to associate professor in 1956. In 1966 he was appointed professor of psychiatry and director of the Psychiatric Clinic, University of Oslo, a position he held till his retirement in 1983. He is regarded as one of the founders of victimology, the study of the effects of aggression upon the victim. Leo Eitinger’s greatest achievement was in his meticulous studies of ‘Concentration Camp Survivors in Norway and Israel’ and ‘Mortality and Morbidity after Excessive Stress’. Eitinger was an internationally known researcher including through its follow-up studies of former concentration camp prisoners and political refugees. He was a member of the Medical Commission of krigsinvalider from 1957. Eitinger received in 1954 HM King’s Gold Medal for a treatise on military life influence on the psyche. He passed away on October 15, 1996 in Oslo. Leo Eitinger will be remembered as a socially engaged humanist. Through his research, lectures, writings and guidance, Leo Eitinger played a major role in training new generations of psychiatrists.”
“In the beginning of World War II he arranged for Jewish children to escape from Czechoslovakia to settle in the Jewish orphanage in Oslo. But later of the 762 Jews deported from Norway to German concentration camps, only 23 survived - Leo Eitinger was one of them.
“After the war Leo Eitinger allocated all his time and efforts to the study of human suffering with emphasis on clinical psychiatry, in particular victimology and disaster psychiatry.
“Leo and Lisl Eitinger devoted their life to promotion of human rights and the fight against injustice and racism.”
Hans Verner Lollike from Denmark wrote:
“He worked as a psychiatrist in Bodø, when the Nazis occupied Norway – he was for a time in hiding, but he ended up in Auschwitz as prisoner nr.105268. He worked as a ‘doctor’ and observed the cruelty in the death camp. He was a very strong person. While many Holocaust survivors could not live with their memories, Leo Eitinger used them to help other people as he became a professor at the University of Oslo, and leader of the clinic. He also spoke up for people who were oppressed and unjustly treated. He got many honors in both Norway and Czechoslovakia. A foundation bearing his and his wife’s name continues his humanitarian work.”
Jayanta Chakrabarty from India sent us this answer:
“Born in the picturesque Czech town of Lomnice in the Brno-Country District in the then Austro-Hungarian Empire, Leo Eitinger studied philosophy and medicine at Brno's Masaryk University. Due to unfavourable conditions in his homeland he was forced to emigrate to Norway where he worked as a public physician in the Norwegian King's Council. However, he was shortly arrested by the Nazis in March 1942.
“Being a keen observer he carefully studied the conditions of Nazi prisons and torture camps while he was held as a prisoner. In later years this personal experience was to extend and enrich the professional perspective. After his miraculous survival from Auschwitz extermination camp he specialized in psychiatry and served as Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychiatric Clinic, University of Oslo till his retirement in 1983. This Czech-born genius though himself a holocaust victim is remembered for his pioneer research in psycho-traumatology. His dissertation on stress in Military Service and doctoral thesis on psychiatric analysis of refugees in Norway which earned him the King's Gold Medal, were focussed upon the effects of Holocaust victims which made Eitinger one of the founding fathers of the science of victimology.
“A prolific writer, his monumental work on Concentration Camp Survivors was cited by the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies as 20th century's most outstanding research on trauma. As a true and noble scientist, he also left his footprint on studies on racism and conditions of minorities. With grit determination he continued writing unrelentingly till a few weeks before his death but not until he had trained a new generation of psychologists and revolutionizing the European psychiatric research with a personal Czech touch.”
And Dipita Chakrabarty from India adds:
“Leo Eitinger was a first-ranking Czech-born psychiatrist. His outstanding researches, lectures, writings and guidance helped Holocaust victims not only to become socially acceptable but also effectively solve the tedious procedures on their disability pension. His study on ‘Mortality & Morbidity after Excessive Stress’ became a major breakthrough in the understanding of post-disaster syndromes. A grateful world acknowledged his contributions to medical sciences through various awards and honours like the World Veterans Federation Prize and the Royal Norwegian Saint Olav Order.”
Thank you very much for one last time for your answers and this time we decided to symbolically reward three of our listeners who have been the most frequent contributors to our little quiz. They are Hans Verner Lollike, Jayanta Chakrabarty and Mary Lou Krenek. Thank you so much for being with us pretty much every month in the past years and being real co-writers of Mailbox. I can’t even imagine the amount of time and thought you have given to the quiz questions. There have been of course, dozens of others who contributed regularly with their original answers often amounting to essays that were a pleasure to read.
Thank you for listening to and reading Mailbox for all those years and we hope you will remain loyal to Radio Prague for years to come. And for one last time, happy listening and take care!