Jan Ludvig

As Interviewed by Max Adrian Schmidhauser, March 23rd, 2015
"People were being shot in the streets. The Russian soldiers made a circle with tanks around the plaza. One of the Russian soldiers took out a machine gun, and there were a whole bunch of Czech people yelling at the tanks telling them to go home and that the Czech people didn't want them here. The young Russian soldier with the machine gun emptied his whole clip into the crowd of people, murdering dozens."
Jan Ludvig

Introductory Profile: About Jan Ludvig

I interviewed Jan Ludvig who was born in Czechoslovakia on September 17, 1961. The way I know his story is because he is my maternal uncle. He currently lives in Canada, but he often visits his (and my) family in the Czech republic. Jan is a very strong man, even though he is only 5’10”. He has a little bit of a beard, closer to more of a 5 o’clock shadow than anything. He has little melanin in his skin and many wrinkles. Even though he is not even in his 60s, his hair is greying. Stress of defecting and being a professional hockey player have definitely taken a toll on him. Still, he is one of the bravest, toughest and most generous people I know.

The topics that were covered were: his life in Czechoslovakia as a child and a teenager; how he defected from Czechoslovakia; his time spent in a refugee camp in Austria; some discussion about his first marriage; his NHL career; and, finally, if he had any regrets about defecting. Personally, I loved the interview. It felt very lighthearted even though the topics that were being discussed were very serious. He definitely felt comfortable talking to me about these subjects and even told me more than I originally intended to learn. My final conclusion is that Jan Ludvig is a great man who faced an extremely difficult dilemma. He made the correct choice even though it was very difficult. I learned so much from interviewing him, and I was left with an overwhelming feeling of how fortunate I am to have Jan Ludvig as my uncle.