[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[BKARTS] [BI] An appeal for help (forwarded without comment)

           -----Original Message-----
From:   Ralph Sims [SMTP:ralph@ralphsimsrarebooks.com]
Sent:   August 22, 2002 1:30 PM
To:     insider@lists.bookfinder.com
Subject:        [BI] An appeal for help (forwarded without comment)

-----Original Message-----
From: J&J Sobota [mailto:j.sobota@iol.cz]
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2002 3:08 AM
To: Ralph Sims

To all bookbinding organizations and everyone in the book community!

This is The Society of Czech Bookbinders pleading for help!

Dear Friends,

As You probably know from the recent news that the Czech Republic has
been affected  by a very bad flood.  There are many cities, towns and
villages with houses ruined, and thousands of people with no place to
go. Even though water is already slowly disappearing, there are enormous
problems.  Many houses have had their foundations so disturbed that they
must be demolished.  Water has ruined transportation - Prague's subway
is mostly damaged and it will take months to be repaired.  Roads  and
railways are damaged as well.  There is no electricity or gas in many

Plumbing at many places is ruined, which means that the water is
dangerous, because of waste and sewage getting in it.  People are
cleaning areas where stuff was piled up by water, they are cleaning deep

Fortunately, many neighboring countries are helping: firefighters from
Germany with heavy machines are helping pumping out water from houses.
Pumps and dehumidifiers were send by Belgium, Sweden etc.  People from
unaffected parts of the Czech Republic as well as people from other
countries are helping with cleaning.  This is dangerous and must be
supervised, because there is risk of illnesses caused by germs in water
and mud.

There are dead animals all over.  It is just awful.  Rescuers have had
little sleep.  Most people are brave and have been trying their best to
keep in a relatively good mood, although some of the affected people are
depressed.  I have seen men crying.  One man had built his house by
himself.  It took him 25 years.  Now, there is nothing.  One young
mother gave birth to her daughter one day and second day flood came and
they lost their house (with loan still on it).  The young mother told
the reporter that this is nothing, she is happy to have her daughter

The Czech National Library was flooded.  Valuable books are damaged.
There are not enough resources to restore them now, neither is there
money for it now.  The library is freezing books for the future, hoping
to restore them sometime.  There are several bookbinders among people
whose houses were ruined by flood.

I will illustrate the situation of one of the best Czech designer
binders, Lada Hodny:

Lada and his family have their house in city of Tyn above river Vltava.
The house is just across the street from the river.

They told us about their horrible experience!  When the first wave of
flood came, water was very wild.  Their house got flooded only about 10
centimeters at the ground floor level.  Their two sons had managed to
carry all of the  important stuff from the bookbinding studio.  They
put it upstairs, in the first floor rooms.

They also said that water was very wild, as I have already mentioned.
It was running fast, taking summer cottages with (it is area with
thousands summer cottages around Vltava, because river at that part is a
very attractive place for vacationing).  There were all kind of big
items floating with running water:  whole cottages, refrigerators, cars,
dead animals, etc.

Lada and his family thought that flood had ended but then the second
wave of the flood came.   This time, the water was not so wild, but it
rose very quickly - so high that it was up to roofs of houses around the
river.  They realized that they had to get into the house. They had to
convince police, who had guarded this evacuated area, to let them swim
under the water to get into the house.  All of their things were ruined
already, but there was a cat and a parrot who had to be saved.  One son
swam under the water and got to a  higher floor, where the animals were.
He got there, took the cat and parrot,  and handed them through window
to his brother, who was waiting in a boat.

They couldn't go there for a week to see all of the damage.  They had to
wait until the water receded.  They could only watch helplessly from a
higher place.  They could see  their courtyard - there was  water up to
the second floor of their house.  There was all of the wood which they
had ready for winter, the refrigerator, microwave and other items
floating on water surface, covering it so it looked like wooden floor.
Water was decreasing, but very slowly.

This was a few days ago.  Today I  talked to Lada again.  He said that
he was just cleaning the house.  Since morning, they filled up ten
containers with ruined stuff.  All his bookbinding material is gone, all
leather, gold, boards, cloth, paper, etc. All his paintings, all
collection of graphic are gone.  All their furniture, TV, refrigerator
etc.  The new wooden floors are ruined.  They are not sure if the
ceilings and floors will fall down.

In most houses in their area, floors/ceilings have already collapsed, so
people will have no place to live.  They must stay in their friends' and
relatives' apartments and houses until their houses or apartments are
repaired, which may take years.   Just now, there are thousands of
people living in school dormitories and similar places.  Schools must
start later.  There are not enough apartments at all for this situation.
There has been shortage of apartments in Czech Republic already, so now,
it is just horrible.

This is a reason why the Society of Czech Bookbinders is organizing
help.  We are pleading with everybody who could help, please, do so.This
help is for both The Czech National Library and Czech bookbinders who
lost their houses in flood.

Even small amounts of money help, if there will be enough sympathetic
people.  Czech currency is low and therefore even $20.- is a big help,
it is 600.- Czech Corona.  You could get a new refrigerator for 10,000.-
Czech Corona, so if 17 people send $20.- each, Lada can buy new
refrigerator.  Or stove. Or two used beds, etc. Please, help if you can.

If you are willing to help, please, send check issued to Spolecenstvo
ceskych kniharu (the Society of Czech Bookbinders in translation).  You
can send the check in any currency, as the society has a foreign
currency account.  Your personal check is welcomed.

Please, mail it to the Society bookkeeper:

Klara Voctarova

Spolecenstvo ceskych kniharu

392 Olbrachtova

25001 Brandys nad Labem


Flood pictures are at www pages:


I have scanned also pictures from newspapers.  One picture looks like
Lada Hodny's house under water of Vltava river. They are at www address:


Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Here are additional contact E-mail addresses:

Bookeeper:  Voctarova, Klara-  <mailto:k.voctarova@seznam.cz>

President of the Society: Brancovsk}, Jindxich-

With best wishes,

For the Society of Czech Bookbinders,  Jarmila Sobotova

J&J Sobota
Radnicni 1
35733 Loket
Czech Republic
 <mailto:j.sobota@iol.cz> j.sobota@iol.cz
 <http://www.jsobota.cz> www.jsobota.cz
  BookFinder Insider -- http://lists.bookfinder.com/mailman/listinfo/insider

            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]