Rene Goetz

This is a picture of my son Rene. It was taken at the end of the 1950s in Prague. I've always loved children, as a girl I had wanted to become a children's doctor. When I returned from the prison camp, doctors told me that I shouldn't count on being able to get pregnant. I was very disappointed by this and so I was in no hurry to get married. Then I met one divorced man, who was taking care of a six-year-old girl named Miluska. So I said to myself, that if I couldn't have my own child, why couldn't I at least raise someone else's. I got married in 1955, and the following year I got pregnant and had a son, Rene. After high school, Rene wanted to go study classical guitar at the conservatory. But he had a bourgeois origin plus an emigrant sister, which was a big problem in those days, so they didn't accept him at the conservatory. A few months later we were supposed to go to Russia, where my husband was supposed to be working. He arranged studies at a music school for Rene. We were to leave during summer vacation in August, but at the beginning of the month we went to see the director of Laboratory Instruments, who told us that we couldn't all leave. My husband was needed there, and could go home every half year, but they wouldn't let him take his family there due to the daughter in America. I said: 'But Mr. Director, I don't have only a daughter, but a son as well. He's just finished his primary education, vacation is ending, and he's been accepted at the conservatory in Moscow.' And he said: 'Yes, well, Mrs. Goetzova, I've been thinking about it, don't worry about it, we'll take care of him, I promise. He then called me at the end of the month, my husband was already in Russia, and said: 'Well, I haven't been able to arrange anything yet, so for now he'll start as an apprentice electrician. Nothing can be done, he's got to be somewhere, and so far I haven't found anything else.' And so instead of the conservatory Rene started as an apprentice; he had no other choice and he also stayed there and completed his apprenticeship.