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A giant mansion in Prague — and the Obama connection

Chicago attorney Andrew Schapiro, who helped raise more than $500,000 for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and was then tapped to be the next ambassasdor to the Czech Republic, went before the Senate Foreign Relations committee for a confirmation hearing Thursday and told how his family’s experience in Prague 75 years ago helped shape their views of the United States.

The New York Daily News had an interesting piece on the hearing.

It was 75 years ago that his late mom was a young girl who “watched from the window of her family’s apartment in Prague as German soldiers marched in to occupy her city.”

“Our family — like all the Czech people — learned the hard way that you cannot take liberty and security for granted,” he said. “And we ultimately learned something else: that the United States of America — the nation that gave my mother and her parents refuge when they fled the Nazis, literally saving their lives — is a force for good in the world like no other.”

As far as the situation with Russia, Shapiro said his job as ambassador would be to do what he can via “public engagement and private meetings” to “support those who will stand with us.”

“The Czechs realize,” he said, “you can’t be asleep at the wheel” when dangers lurks nearby.

If Shaprio gets the support of the full Senate, he’ll be off to Prague with his wife and two children.

“I noted at the outset that in 1939 my mother and grandparents watched Nazi troops enter their city from their apartment window in Prague,” he said. “That building still stands, and it is within walking distance of the U.S. Ambassador’s residence there where — if confirmed — I will soon be living with my own family. It is not a long walk, but it is quite a journey that has taken us from the apartment to the Residence.”Via New York Daily News