Curious crowds stood beside the road but nobody laughed or humiliated us
MUDr. Petr Riesel, CSc., was born in Pilsen in 1933 in an atheist Jewish bourgeois family. He was the first one of two sons. His father owned a store and his mother originated in Broumov. The family used Czech as the language of communication. His father was arrested in 1939 during the ‘Gitter’ crackdown and held as a political hostage. He later died in the Dachau concentration camp. His mother and the two sons were deported to the Theressienstadt ghetto in January 1942. Petr Riesel spent the next three years in Theressienstadt either with his mother or with his brother in the child camp. In the ghetto, Petr Riesel suffered a nervous breakdown and trauma. He suffered from posttraumatic syndromes for several years after the liberation of the camp. After the war, he studied a grammar school in Pilsen and later the medical faculty in Pilsen. He then worked in Chomutov as a doctor and specialized on the treatment of alcoholism. In Chomutov, he joined the “Club of engaged nonpartisans” (Klub angažovaných nestraníků - KAN). In the seventies he faced pressure on behalf of the secret state police. Today, he lives alternately in Vlašim or Prague and has his doctor offices in Kutná Hora and Mělník. He is further in charge of a therapy group in Dolní Beřkovice. He is specializing on the treatment of addictions and psychotherapy. Due to his own traumatic experiences, he specializes on childhood psychic trauma. He is the student of Professor Jaroslav Skála. In 2009, he won the Jaroslav Skála Award for the work in the field of addictology for his study “Thoughts about suicide”. He takes an active stand against Neo-Nazism and is calling attention to the danger of its rise.