Am Yisrael Hai - The people of Israel live
Petr Brod was born on 25 November 1951 in Prague into a Jewish family with complex ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious roots. During World War II his father escaped deportation to a concentration camp by emigrating to England. In the 1950s, as a non-partisan and Jewish intellectual he was degraded from a lawyer to an assistant worker at CKD Dukla. The witness’s mother came from a so-called mixed Jewish family, who avoided a significant degree of persecution during the occupation. Petr grew up in Karlin, was a passionate reader and very soon became interested in politics. During the onset of normalization, when it was clear to the parents, where Czechoslovakia would be heading, in July 1969, as a 17-year-old he legally moved to the Federal Republic of Germany together with his parents. Officially it happened because of the coupage of families and also because of the parents’ affiliation to the German minority. In Munich, he completed grammar school and university studies in political science, eastern European history and journalism, during which he received two year scholarships at the London School of Economics in London and Harvard University in the USA. After coming back in 1980 he began working as an editor at the BBC in London, and after seven years he became an editorial at Radio Free Europe in Munich. Before Christmas 1989 he came as the first permanent correspondent of Free Europe arrived to the post-revolutionary Prague. After two years, he returned to Munich and later began working for the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, first in Munich, then in Prague. Since 2000 until the closure of the BBC’s Prague office in 2006, he was its head. Today he works as a freelance journalist, is a member of the Czech-German Fund of the Future, the Endowment Fund and the Jewish Community Foundation in Prague. He is also involved in moderating political-historical-literary discussions, writing in various periodicals and relations between Czechs, Germans and Jews at schools and for the public at home and abroad.