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Taken for interrogation by the state police


Deciding not to return to Czechoslovakia
Jan Klein Scientist
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Well I decided not to go back. And the reason as I said it's... the reason was complex. It's not easy to say... to cross the rubicon. So in... with the idea that you know that you cannot return, that was clear to me. That you... that I might never go back to the country. Well, it was not never, but it could have easily been never and that was clear to me. So it... a decision like that is a tough decision and I made it in a few hours. But I think I managed it because of one thing, and now I'm going to tell you something that I didn't tell anywhere... anybody before. But it gives you an insight of the situation for people who live outside, would not otherwise understand.

Born in 1936, Jan Klein is a Czech-American immunologist who co-founded the modern science of immunogenetics – key to understanding illness and disease. He is the author or co-author of over 560 scientific publications and of seven books including 'Where Do We Come From?' which examines the molecular evolution of humans. He graduated from the Charles University at Prague in 1955, and received his MS in Botany from the same school in 1958. From 1977 to his retirement in 2004, he was the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biology at Tübingen, Germany.

Listeners: Colm O'hUigin

Colm O'hUigin is a senior staff scientist at the US National Cancer Institute. He received his BA, MSc and PhD at the Genetics Department of Trinity College, Dublin where he later returned as a lecturer. He has held appointments at the Center for Population and Demographic Genetics, UT Houston, and at the University of Cambridge. As an EMBO fellow, he moved in 1990 to the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen, Germany to work with Jan Klein and lead a research group studying the evolutionary origins of immune molecules, of teeth, trypanosomes and of species.

Duration: 1 minute, 18 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008