Saturday presentation: Life behind the Iron Curtain


By Cora Broderson

Special to The SUN

The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after World War II. Beginning in January 1968, when reformist Alexander Dubcek was elected first secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC), and it continued until Aug. 21,1968, when the Soviet Union invaded the country to halt the reforms.

Frank Fristensky was 19 years old that day in August. The isolation, the inability to continue use of electronics and the lack of freedom to practice culture traditions gave the Fristensky family the courage to leave the restricted life under Soviet rule. Two years after the invasion of his homeland, he and his family defected to Switzerland.

This Saturday at 11 a.m., as guest speaker at the Archuleta County Genealogical Society, Fristensky will be sharing his life experiences behind the Iron Curtain and his quest in recent years to reconnect to his heritage. Fristensky has been traveling through Central Europe countries in order to reconnect to his roots, discovering significant new information about his family. His travels have helped him clarify the research he has accumulated and further expand his understanding his unique story and roots.

Exploring family history helps to connect you with your own unique story. Consider joining us to learn about traditional genealogy, building your family tree and new techniques like DNA testing.

The Archuleta County Genealogical Society meetings are held at the Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street every other month. The next meeting is scheduled this Saturday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m. Visitors are always welcomed and encouraged. Come watch the balloons, then come on over and enjoy the presentation.