(1923 to 2006)
By Stephen McCulley
Uncle Libor could always share a story so I want to share one with you.
Uncle Libor, while living in Colorado, received a letter from his elderly
mother while she lived under the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
She wrote, "We are getting up in years and it has been a difficult winter.
We don't believe we will be able to till the much needed garden this year."
Two months later she wrote, "It was amazing. The communists came and
tilled the entire garden. We will be able to plant this year after all!"
The communists always opened Uncle Libor's letters and would black out or
cut out certain pieces. In an earlier letter to his parents he wrote,
"Dearest Parents, All of the weapons I left behind are buried in the garden."
Needless to say they never knew the real reason why the garden was tilled.
Uncle Libor always said, "open with a funny story" so I hoped that worked.
I was blessed to spend quite a bit of time with Uncle Libor. I would sit and
listen to many of his stories. From those stories I was able to receive his
His first and foremost principle was his faith in God and a belief in eternal life.
This belief would beget the power of prayer. He prayed for almost every
single person in this room daily. His prayers led to miracles in his life and for
those around him. He shared the story while being detained by the Nazis
he was certain he would be executed. He did not understand why they
did not take his life earlier. He was taken from his cell one night and stood to
be executed. Ready, Aim and then another man said, "Halt!" What could have
happened to save him from his demise? It was the power of prayer that saved
him as that exact moment marked the end of World War II.
Yet another principle was that of total devotion to one's partner. He passed one
day before their 45th wedding anniversary. They were wonderful years of love
and dedication between him and Tia. It was something very few on earth have
a chance to be part of.
He suffered under the Nazis, Stalin's rule and Marxist-Leninist's Communism.
But once free, he dedicated his professional life to human and civil rights
for all of the world's citizens.
In addition, he gave of himself to the youth of this country through education.
He made an impact on many people's lives. His teaching style was so unique.
From the moment he entered the classroom on day one he was firing – chair,
table, book in Russian he would yell. There was no review of the syllabus and
then class dismissal like many other professors. Some would drop the class
that day. Others would continue, asking for one more story before class was over.
He did more than teach the subject matter. Through his stories he was teaching
life lessons – those same principles I just discussed – God, family and giving of
yourself to what you believe in.
He would also bark at those students. He would point and say you doctor,
you PhD, you lawyer, and you, GET OUT, GET OUT OF MY CLASSROOM.
I believe the latter may have been directed towards Gary Hart's daughter.
It was not politics. Wealth and power meant nothing in his classroom as
he would strip his students down to nothing and then build them up brick
by brick using bricks made of strong moral and ethical fiber.
As to me, Uncle Libor did not push me or motivate me. He demanded of me
to be my best in all aspects of my personal and professional life.
For that I am eternally grateful.
Prof. Dr. Ing. Libor Brom
(1923 - 2006)
Libor Brom was professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures and director of Russian Area Studies at the University of Denver.
He is the author of nine books and a great deal of studies in the field of Slavic culture and civilization.
In addition, he has lectured at numerous institutions of learning and before many civic and religious groups on education, literature, and international relations. He has appeared on three continents and often on radio and television.
A native Czechoslovakian, Dr. Brom was an American citizen. He received his education at the Czechoslovak Institute of Technology, School of Economics, the Charles University of Prague, School of law, the San Francisco State University, and the University of Colorado.
In Europe, Dr. Brom served as an economist and lawyer in International Business and as the chief planner in the research. development, and normalization of Czechoslovak river shipbuilding.
As a professor in the United States, he was selected by the Modern Language Association of America as the Teacher with Superlative Performance, named The American by Choice in Colorado, and received a National Americanism Medal.
In the College Book by the Ballantine Books of New York, 1984 he is named Denver University's best professor.
Dr. Brom served in the leadership of many national and international organizations and was imprisoned by both the Nazis and the Communists. He is listed in Who'S Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
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