April 14, 2022 255 dvomi

I Have a Dream

Facultas nostra 2022, April – Editorial

As a well-bred schoolchild and pioneer, I spent the summer of 1968 on a family vacation in Sochi. An organized tour with my Mom to the coastal sanatorium Zarja, from where the sea was only 300 steps away welcoming us by a mass warm-up exercise from a loudspeaker. After our arrival from the sunny seaside resort at the Black Sea, I stayed with my grandma in Prague where I enjoyed not only the ZOO, but also museums, mainly the Technical Museum. On a cloudy August morning, a strange noise or a rumble woke me up. Planes and helicopters were flying over Vršovice. The phone connection was still working, so my parents called from Pilsen and forbade me to go out. They said they would pick me up with our family Trabant as soon as they could. But you won’t keep an eleven-year-old boy at home by locking him, let alone by phoning him. Under the pretext of going shopping, I left the house. I am not sure I saw military vehicles and soldiers at Moskevská street, but what I remember well is the white signs denouncing the occupation and adult men crying. Totally confused, I went back to my grandma’s place thinking about what my reaction to the loss of our freedom would be. I was only eleven at that time, but still I decided to express my resistance by promising to myself that I would never set foot in the country who had organized this aggression. I have received invitations for lectures and would really like to see Petrograd, nevertheless I have kept my promise from my childhood already for 54 years.

I had a dream that after all the suffering that Europe went through in the 20th century the whole continent would realize that violence can never lead to anything positive and needs to be eliminated right from the beginning and that tolerance and cooperation is what would matter in the future. I had some doubts during the conflicts in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and the Middle East in the 90’s, but I still kept my dream about wise and stable Europe. By a European, I have always understood not merely a habitant of Europe, but all people respecting the basic European values.

For 60 years already, the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been waiting for its realization. And this is the cause of the state it reforms – slavery. We know where the mistake is in today’s situation, but when had it started? In 1917? Earlier? Later? How long will I wait for my Pan-European dream to come true?
The Prague Jewish author Max Brod wrote his autobiography Streitbares Leben – Quarrelsome Life – and he knew what he was writing about. This is our future as well and probably forever. Never mind, our medical students and doctors are used to fight for their patients’ lives every day. That is why my dream about wise Europe will come true, I am sure.

Prof. Jindřích Fínek
Dean of the Faculty