"This is what we had to live in. People sometimes ask me why we stayed. Those who had money of course went to America. But we didn't want to go to America, we wanted to go to Erec. Erec was our vision, because most of our people left for Palestine and there they started to work as manual workers because that was the ideology."
"Hashomer Hatzair, as it was called, exists until today. I don't know if it exists in the Czech Republic, but it does exist in Poland and Slovakia. What Hitler and others managed to achieve during the war is that they completely devastated whole generations. A part of the people moved somewhere else because the purpose of that organization was to enable the people to emigrate to Israel and start a new life there."
"I was pretty happy here at that time. We were only gradually finding out about the truth. At the time, the Soviet Union was the center of everything for us. We were really under the influence of that ideology. At least for me I can say that I almost completely forgot about Zionism at the time. Hashomer hacair is impossible without Zionism. Especially in the first couple of post-war years – 1945, 1946, 1947 - we were really in anticipation of something great. Even though we hadn't been direct involved, for the first few years after the war, the Soviet Union meant an awful lot to us."
Interviewer: "What was the biggest surprise for you?" "Everything. All of it. Because that year, I had no idea that it was just one year. But they have about ten of years like that, because one volume represents one year. I knew that they were interested in me. It has its reasons. Because I was in Turkey and I have to say that at that time I did cooperate with our state security. When I was working at the embassy. It was in the 1950s, there was no other way."
We didn’t want to go to America like the others. We wanted to go to Erec.
JUDr. Ctibor Rybár was born on May 25, 1920, in Bratislava by the name of Tibor Fischer in a bourgeois Jewish family. Already as a young man, he was acquainted to the Zionist movement Hashomer Hatzair (Young guard). He became an active member and later even the leader of the organization. In 1941, Rybár spent a couple of weeks in eastern Slovakia as a member of the 6th labor battalion of the so-called “kosher company”. Due to health reasons, he was later released from service and with the help of his friends from the Zionist movement, he was able to settle down in Budapest and spend the rest of the war under various false identities. In Budapest, he was imprisoned twice for forging documents. His parents and his younger brother were deported from Slovakia and placed into extermination camps where they were murdered. His older sister managed to emigrate to the USA just in time before the war had started. Rybár spent the end of the war in Budapest. In the summer of 1945, he changed his name from Tibor Fischer to Ctibor Rybár and settled in Prague, where he studied at the law faculty of the Charles University and then went on to work as a diplomat. In the years 1948-1951, he worked as a consul in Turkey. In the autumn of 1952, he was arrested, held in custody for two months and tried in connection with the show trial with Rudolf Slánský. He wasn’t sentenced however. Since the middle of the 1960s, he worked over twenty years as the editor in chief of the publishing house Olympia. He’s the author of a number of books, most importantly of the so-called “pragensie” (literature on Prague – note of the translator). He captured his memories in his autobiography “Plenty of time till midnight” (Do půlnoci času dost, Praha, Academia 2008). Mr. JUDr. Ctibor Rybár died on February 13, 2013.