For many years, even before I was born, my dad was a reclusive member of the anti-Communist opposition group or union. He never joined the Communist Party and often spoke out loudly against the oppressive regime. Dad’s lack of participation in the party and his ill-favored political views earned him a red X mark next his name and gained him unwanted popularity with the Czech secret police.
As time went by, his popularity within the police circles grew to frantic once-a-week unscheduled trips to the main downtown police station for interrogation. Even though it was nothing serious at the time, his political and criminal file grew in strength and thickness with each visit. But it wasn’t until a police officer friend, who had grown up with Mom, forewarned my dad that the secret service collected enough criminal evidence for his so called “treason activities” to put him away for the rest of his life that the seriousness of the situation became apparent.
Rehacek, with encouragement from his family, shares his life experiences and passes along the knowledge of what his family went through to give him the life that he has now. His family’s 18 month journey in leaving the “old country” included attempts to sneak across the border, establishing themselves as political refugees and doing their best to adapt to new cultures and languages as they went.
“The Long Escape” holds appeal for anyone who is interested in true stories of adventure and history told by someone who experienced these situations first-hand.
About the Author:
Rehacek was born in a small town in central Czech Republic (formally known as Czechoslovakia) called Kutna Hora. When he was 10 years old, he and his family immigrated to the United States upon spending more than a year in Germany seeking political asylum. Upon graduating from high school, Rehacek moved to Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California, graduating in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering.
He worked with Rockwell International, which later merged with Boeing, as a dynamics engineer on the Space Shuttle and Russian MIR space station. After six years, he transferred to Edwards Air Force Base as a subsystems engineer where he works to present day.
In 1999 Rehacek married his wife Slavka, who was also born in the Czech Republic. Rehacek and Slavka have two children and now reside in Rosamond, Calif.
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