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I was born on April 27, 1925 in Pilsen (Plzen in Czech), Czechoslovakia. I was the second of three children (Fig. 2.1). The first 26 years of my life was spent in Pilsen where my entire education including medical school and my first medical job in the University Hospital occurred. I married Bohunka Pavlickova in Pilsen and our two children, Eva and Jon were both born there. My parents operated the family business, a garden-husbandry nursery that had been in the Rösch family for four generations. Beginning early in my youth, I helped in the nursery and gained a healthy respect for manual labor. Both my parents had strong influences on my personality and were instrumental in providing me with common sense and a practical approach to work and life. My mother, who had unfulfilled dreams of being a teacher, took a strong interest in my education and became my greatest morale builder. All that is good in me, I owe to her. She told me that she did not bring me into this world for my own enjoyment, but to work for others; for the greater society. She taught me that hard work will bring results and lead to my personal satisfaction. No matter how difficult a task may seem, I should try it and if I really put my mind to it, I will succeed. She also emphasized that I should treat others the way I wanted to be treated. She taught me to be quiet, keep my mind on my work, conform and adapt. These principles helped me through several rapidly occurring major political upheavals – a short democracy; the German occupation and Communist suppression.