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My Century And My Many Lives, by Frank Munk
Memoirs, 1993
Postscript, 1994

Frank Munk, my grandfather, wrote this autobiography to record his memories from 1901 onwards. This history and its postscript are available on our family website in his memory as they tell a complete story of the 20th century. These memoirs may be referenced as long as proper attribution is made; our family retains ownership and copyright. We have one request: if you reference this material in any way, please send us email at feedback@theragens.com and a copy of the paper, if possible, as we would like to know when this material is of interest and we are curious as to how it is being used. We'd like to hear from you.
Copyright 1993, 1994, The Munk/Ragen Families

My Century
And My Many Lives

Frank Munk
1993 and 1994

To Nadia and our offspring

 

Chapter

Title

Years

 

Introduction 

 

1

The Silver Bell

1905

2

From Bosnia to Bosnia

1908

3

At the Store

 

4

Present at the Creation

1918

5

Jews and Other Jews

 

6

A Student-Diplomat

1919-1922

7

On the Fringes of Politics

1922-1929

8

More Lives Than Two

1929-1937

9

America 1931-1933

1931-1933

10

The Road to Munich

1933-1938

11

The Escape

1938-1939

12

With President Benes in Chicago

1939

13

Portland I

1939-1941

14

Berkeley, 1941-1944

1941-1944

15

An International Civil Servant

1944

16

Returning to Prague

1946

17

Tale of Two Cities

1946

18

Global Outreach

1946-1957

19

Radio Free Europe

1958-1960

20

Paris

1961-1962

21

The Ragen-Radenovic Saga

 

22

Requiem for Yugoslavia

1965

23

A Federal Appointee

1951-1953

24

From Silver Bell to Silver Screen

1962-1980

25

World Affairs Council of Oregon

1950-1973

26

Farewell to Czechoslovakia

1992

27

A View of Mount Hood

 

28

Towards 2085

 

Postscript

   
P1 The Silver Bell Revisited 1994
P2 Secret Notes Rediscovered  
P3 Central Europe Is Back  
P4 Epilogue  

Note: We have now published this entire autobiography as a single document. This may make it easier to print out and read offline.

 

INTRODUCTION

My father's life so far almost spans the 20th century.  His age is easy to remember.  In this year of 1992, he is 91 years old.  Not only does his life parallel the century, but he has always been a curious and keen observer.  And not satisfied to be an observer, he has often been an active participant in pivotal political and historical events in Europe and the United States.

For some time, I have suggested to my father that he should record his memoirs, not just for our family, but for others who are interested in the history of our times.  He was always too busy with the present to devote so much time to the past.

As often happens, a random event was the catalyst for these memoirs.  In 1990, my parents were visiting Brooks and me in Seattle.  We invited a young couple to have dinner with us who were about to be married and go to Czechoslovakia for their honeymoon.  We had a pleasant evening and they learned a great deal from my parents about their destination.  Two years later the young man sent me a small clipping from his college alumni magazine.  It was a request from a University of Chicago history professor for any information on President Benes' time in the United States in 1939.  I forwarded the clipping to my father and he, in turn, recorded what he personally knew of this period and sent it off to the professor.

The floodgates had opened.  Freed from the pressure of composing memoirs in chronological order, my father sat down at his Macintosh computer (acquired at age 90) and began to write.  Chapters would arrive in my mail in random order. They were always fascinating.  I was given the honor of editing.  We hope what follows will be of interest not just to the Munk grandchildren and their children, but also to students of twentieth century Western history.

 

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