By 1989

July 28, 2010

Until the Velvet Revolution it was completely impossible to carry out any official contact between schools in communist Czechoslovakia and West European schools. The only communication, mostly semi legal, existed only among individuals. Very rarely these contacts were followed by a meeting face to face. One of the lucky students was Magda Hrnčířová of GJJ who was in touch with foreign students.

On the contrary the students of TBL were allowed to travel without any restrictions and thus took part in the students´ programmes in Czechoslovakia even before 1989. However, they had to overcome a number of bureaucratic problems such as visa application, humiliating and strict border checks (so called Iron Curtain) etc. Those trips were organised by Roel Bukman, a teacher at TBL. He was a fond of Czechoslovakia and he considered it his second home. He later became a head and unifying element of the exchange programmes for the following twenty years. By chance in one of his groups there was a friend of Magda Hrnčířová.