Dedicated to Mr. Frantishek Ryzner, born in 1892 and who died 1984.
This man was born in Austria - Hungarian Empire, lived WW1 (1914-1918), enjoyed 20 years of Independent Czechoslovakia, passed through WW2 (1938-1945) and lived another decades of nasty communism.
He was my great grandfather, whose recipe for living those 92 year was to take his life really calm and smoke 3 packs of cigarrettes for over half of his life . When he was 90 he was taking us for 5 km walk, pushing the cart with my aunt's baby. I haven't ever seen him angry. One day in 1980's he died, and the clock on the wall market the hour of his dead.
I haven't ever met my great grandmother because she died in 1950's, around 20 years before I was born.
My great grandfather was a mayor of a small town Telnice near Brno. Some people were thinking that my great grandfather and my grandmother were jewish but they weren't. They only looked like, they were catholics.
My great grandmother was always complaining during the war what was happening to the food, that it was going away so fast. Remember that on nazi occupied territories during the war (Czechia and Moravia protectorate - Böhmen und Mähren) there were only available allowed supplied portions of food. I don't remember how it was but it wasn´t much. My grand greatparents had advantage, they had some orchard, and were farming some domestic animals, hens, chicken, turkeys, etc. So it was happening during all the war. When some member of the family wanted to go inside the basement, my great grandfather didn't let them in. He was saying: There is nothing, you don't have absolutely anything to do there.
Then war finished in May, and soviet army released us from german army (but they didn't in fact, they established communist dictature 2.5 years later which lasted 41 years). After the war, suddenly a whole family went out of the basement. Everybody was surprised, like with the face - What? Who are these people, what were they doing in our house?
A mother, a father and 2 kids walked out from the basement. There was one rule, they had to agree with my great grandfather; no talking, no noise. Nobody from the family knew about this. They couldn´t know about it because hiding Jews during war inside your house was considered as a treason to Third Reich, there was punishment for that - go to concentration camp such as Auschwitz, Mathausen, etc - for all the family. The nazi's laws were clear and very strict ones. Very few people survived there. So it was a big risk for the whole family, therefore they opted to remain in silence but my great grandfather was providing them food and basic supplies, he was doing what he could.
Probably some people might have disagreed with this forced silence, but in my country we believed that during the dictatorship you couldn´t discuss anything with the family and the kids. Because kids are innocent and they could have told to someone else.
This family got to Israel in 1947 and they just survived one of the darkest times of our history - World War 2.
By writing this, I publicly acknowledge the heroism of my great grandfather because I think that not many people would be willing to do something similar. The races, the religions - it just didn´t matter for him. You did the thing you deemed as the right one. I strongly believe that this action called dharma earned him a good position in heaven and I am a very proud great grandson and therefore I can tell you this.