Maria *, Czech Republic

Anna Vomáčková interviewed her mother who was 23 when the Chernobyl catastrophe happened. Maria worked as a physiotherapist in Bohemia (then a part of Czechoslovakia) and on the day of the catastrophe she organized “a day with sports” on a playground.

I have to admit that I had some idea about my mother’s attitudes towards nuclear energy and Chernobyl catastrophe before our interview.  Her answers, however, surprised me several times in many ways. When we got to the third set of questions, a very nice and open discussion came up which attracted also other family members…

My mother Maria was born in 1963 and during all her of childhood and adolescence she lived with her parents and sisters in a small village in West Bohemia. After having finished grammar school, she went to Pilsen to study physiotherapy. In the year 1986 she married and started to work as a physiotherapist (she has the same profession till now) and she has got 2 children who were born in 1988 and in 1991.

Attitude to nuclear energy before the catastrophe
Before the catastrophe my mother knew about the existence of nuclear power plants, which are able to cheaply produce clear energy which doesn’t harm the environment. The field of nuclear energy seemed to her to be a very good perspective at the time. This opinion was shaped at school during physics lessons and probably also by propaganda. The way she saw it, the public wasn’t very interested in the topic of security of those power plants, though. As she remembers, more than security the issue of the storage site for nuclear waste was discussed at the time.

Read the full interview