During my lesson with Wendy today, Wendy revealed two things: she found my blog and was reading it, and was concerned I had the wrong impression from her observation of the Nusle Bridge. She prepared a short writing about it. In the interest of being a good historian, teacher and friend, I include her response below in full, with some minor corrections, and her permission.
The Nusle bridge
I don’t know if I understand the things in this article well. I mean about my opinion. I’m afraid of some things are of bad understanding. If I understand, the article is about the Nusle bridge and how people have it connected with communism.
My English is poor, but when we talked about the Nusle bridge during the journey to Vyšehrad, my English was worse. I have a feeling, maybe it was bad understanding or bad communication or my side. And I’m afraid a bad interpretation.
When we went to Vyšehrad I showed you to Nusle Bridge and I told you that from the bridge people jumped during communism. I thought – communism – was the only time (period) when it was happening.
I couldn’t tell you, that there were no barriers on the bridge, because I couldn’t use this word and other words. I used the word “communism” for the period (communism time) , when barriers weren’t on the bridge, because at this time no barriers were here. I didn’t mean that the people jumped from the bridge with communism as their reason, from political reasons. Some maybe yes, but more people surely chose this way from their depression and personal reasons (unhappy love, family problems, …). When a person had a big problem and looked for a way the Nusle bridge was the easy choice. Just in the period of communism this way was very very easy, because the barrier was very very low. It sufficed to only be bent forward. This situation made an easy way for sad people to solve problems. Purely and simply because it was the easiest this way at this time, I used that word. People jumped there – just at this time the most people ended their life.
The rail was so low, that when we were children, my friends and I were afraid of deviant people. It was said that a group of people were going on the bridge and they threw people off.
Later the barriers were built. Some people climbed over them. But there was more time to help them from either a psychologist who talked to them or for firemen to catch them. Some of them sometimes changed their mind about the jump.
During communism the rail was only 1 metre high. From 1990 a net was installed under the rail. It was 1,5 metres wide. In 1996 – 1997 a dense fence 2,70 metres tall was built. In 2007 the dense fence was covered with sheet metal.