Could Czechs resent contact from foreign relatives?

Discussion in 'Looking for Ancestors' started by Sali, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Sali

    Sali Member

    About a decade ago, the Red Cross helped my mother to trace her cousin in Prague. When she wrote, she received a very ambiguous response and decided not to pursue the matter.
    It was a very difficult thing for her to do as her own mother had made her swear she would never try to go to Prague as it would be too dangerous for her (owing to her political connections).
    I still have the name and address of the cousin who implied that she couldn't be her cousin despite having the right name and father...
    I just don't want to stir up painful memories for anyone...
    Any thoughts on the matter?
  2. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    Personally, I'd be banging down the door. Give me the address, I'll get that commie...:}

    Just kidding, but maybe there is something to hide that you are unaware of?
  3. Sali

    Sali Member

    :D Well I do know that my grandmother couldn't go back to Prague under the communist régime and she made my mother swear to never set foot there. A friend of hers "fell out of a bathroom window"....
    There was also an inheritance my mother believed she was handing over to a Czech relative in the 1960s but maybe she was misled....
  4. Karel Fous

    Karel Fous Well-Known Member

    Do you mean at 1995? :twisted:
    And also I'd like to ask - what age was the cousin at that time?
  5. Sali

    Sali Member

    Do you mean at 1995? :twisted:
    And also I'd like to ask - what age was the cousin at that time?

    The cousin was contacted in 1992 and Mr J Masaryk "fell out of a window" quite a while previously..; The cousin must be around 60 years of age now.
    The other issue dates back to the 1960s
    Why so angry?! :shock:
  6. Karel Fous

    Karel Fous Well-Known Member

    :D Not angry, just mad. I fault with bad smilie.
    1992 was pretty early after overthrow communists. At this year I was thirty and I can say, that situation was absolutely quiet. It is very difficult to say, why your mum's cousin have answered as she answered, but she not described situation correct. Maybe she was under strong stress from period before, but count - Masaryk died (the death is still cover by mystery, however the Institute of Contemporary History says it was a murder, conclusive evidence missing) at 1948. Cousin had only 16 years. However the death shock inhabitens, at that age is perception different from perception people, who went to jail.
    Psychological roots of answer looks more real. Do not search any difficult construction.
    Regards, Karel.
  7. Sali

    Sali Member

    Thanks for your thoughts. I have a feeling that my mother was advised to hand over her inheritance to the State in the end - which may have upset her relatives...
  8. iluvuma1

    iluvuma1 Well-Known Member

    Some people believe "what they don't know won't hurt them".... My Czech grandmother and her 11 brothers and sister were always (particularly the sisters) bickering with the other about something or another. Then time would pass- and they would be just fine and act like nothing happened. They were very strange about money/wills. Always pointing fingers at one another for being greedy- and feeling shortchanged. I guess that could be accounted by the fact they grew up dirt poor immigrants.
  9. Martina

    Martina Active Member

    I would try to contact your cousin again. Maybe when you contacted them it was a bad time. Things should be more settled now. Also the rest of the family might be interested. Explain yourself clearly, that you are just trying to find your roots etc and why you think they are your family. Maybe they are afraid you will ask of them something they won't be wanting to do. It's hard to say. You can just try again.

    Good luck.

  10. zorba0332

    zorba0332 Member

    New here... just a thought to follow up with...

    Family is priceless...

    You don't have to break your promise to reach out and get to at least know someone... you never know what truth you might learn or what unjust have been thought....
  11. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    Many distant family members do not want to be found, mainly if there was any "confiscated" (in 1948/49) propriety or inheritance involved.

    For curiosity's sake, I spent years and a few dollars locating my bio father ( who is now dead, and I never met). But, when I presented the documents -- birth certificates, marriage & divorce and even his parents birth certificates -- to my 3 siblings, I was given the cold treatment. According to them, I was not possible that their dad was previously married and had a progeny from that union.This must be an other person they claim...

    Later, I found out, the 3 siblings are still fighting over an old delapitated apartment in Prague (he died 4 years ago) -- they figure on a 3 way split. they do not need a 4 way -- At first I was happy to find the lost family, but I'm sorry I even bothered. Let old dogs sleep, if you kick them, they might bite you, the saying goes!

  12. kcdec1965

    kcdec1965 New Member

    Small world my relatives use to own the bathroom window that he fell from.
  13. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Personally I would leave it, but I know where I come from and where my ancestors came from and all of our history is pretty clear. so I think there's something in this need to know what your roots are that I'll never understand.

    I guess it could do no harm to write a letter (these days).

    I don't think I'd mind someone knocking on my door at home and telling me they were my long lost cousin, I wouldn't be particularly excited, but it certainly wouldn't bother me.
  14. ctikalsky

    ctikalsky Member

    The first contact attempt with family abroad resulted in a hung up phone, the second call went extremely well. It turned out that he was searching through U.S. directories but was overwelmed with the number of Tikalsky's listed. I am glad I took the chance and made the call.
  15. davehanush

    davehanush New Member

    I know that this thread has gotten "cold" but here are some new thoughts:

    I think that trying to find old connections in Czech is very similar to here in the USA of trying to find your biological mother or father. You never know what lies on the other side of the door. Maybe she never told her family of some prior affair? or There may be some other skeletons in the closet.

    But our adopted son approached this very carefully, and had a TERRIFIC reunion with his birth mother (just a couple years before she died). She had also been looking for him. Then a couple years later he got a phone call from his birth father. Very good experiences either way.

    My experience with finding Czech relatives has also been very positive - - but my family left Bohemia in the mid 1800's, so it would be a totally different situation. We received really great and fun receptions. We've been back three times to visit them, and two groups of "cousin's" (which would actually be like 7th cousins) have come to the USA to visit us. And I don't take those visits lightly. I know that it was very expensive (comparatively) for them to make those trips.

    The only reluctance I received was a question: "Why has it taken 150 years for someone to come back to find the family?" But I even took that to be positive, like "Boy, we're sure glad to see you. What took so long?"

    Why do we want to make these connections?
    I think this often happens as you get older and have more time and less pressure of life.
    Who we are is a combination of where we come from, is a quote I heard years ago.
    For some people it's just a hobby. I don't like sports, etc., so I like to find out more about my ancestors: Where did they come from? Why did they leave? What was life like there when they lived there? HOW did they come (what was the mode of transportation)?

    I've traced three branches of my family to Bohemia, and met cousins from two of those branches. The one we've had the most contact with is from Lisov, near Ceske Budejovice, and the Trebon area. It's a beautiful area.

    I encourage anyone to try to find their ancestors, but it's not for everyone, and that's Okay.

    Enough for now. I hope that this thread isn't too cold by now.
  16. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Although I'd love to find my ancestors, with the madien name of "Smith" and grandparents who seem to know nothing, I figure it’s virtually impossible. I just don't want to open myself to frustration. There are enough frustrations in life without welcoming more voluntarily. :)

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