“I don't know if I can.” Students came to see the faculty building

Four candles are burning on the stairs. Next to it is a small wreath with the inscription we remember. A notice hangs on the door of the Faculty of Arts building in John Ballach Square: No audiovisual recordings. Two security guards stand behind the door and ask those who come in who they are and why they are coming. Journalists are not allowed inside. Today is for the staff and students of the school where the killer killed 14 people and then himself in December.

Two young men stand on the ramp. They talk and smoke. After a few minutes, he gathers up his courage and heads for the door. “I was already here for the first opening at the end of January and it was very powerful. Even now, when I look at the door, I'm a little afraid of it, I have a strange feeling,” said Shimon Baltic, 20, a first-year student in the history of European studies. describes.

Photo: John Novak, Cesnum Spravy

“We have classmates who didn't leave the house for two weeks after the incident,” say history students Kristoff and Simone.

“Somehow I will manage and go to the building calmly. But I'm very cautious,” says his classmate Christophe Krezzi. Both study history, the same field as the shooter. They don't know him personally.

“We have classmates who have not been out of the house for two weeks since the incident. “Many of them are from abroad and may not return to Prague,” explains Šieman.

“My heart is pounding”

Soon, two third-year English and American studies students arrive at the door. They have not been in the building since the tragic incident. Now going in for the first time.

“My heart is pounding and I'm a little nervous,” says one of them. “I try not to think too much about it. I'm already done with it,” the other shrugged. They don't want to worry anymore. They are in a hurry.

Another rush is Jakub Jirsa, director of the Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies. “I've been in the building many times and now I go in there more or less with a sense of work. I have a meeting in a minute, then another, so I'm in a bit of a rush,” he explains.

“I take it that the workplace is finally coming and it's important to prepare well for the start of the semester,” he excused himself and disappeared into the building.

“That house is not a crime”

He is followed by Veronika Rausova, Assistant Professor of English Language and Didactics. “Looking forward to going in. The first time I went there it was sad, now it's cool. No crime in the house. I'm glad I have somewhere to work again,” he says with a smile. He holds a paper box in his hand. “These are cakes for my colleagues. It's nice to be a colleague, isn't it?” She jokes.

And another person looking forward to the building is student Lenka Jarolimova. At the age of fifty, the trained lawyer decided to become a teacher, and studied French linguistics in his third year at the Faculty of Philosophy and Czech in his first year.

Photo: John Novak, Cesnum Spravy

Lenka Jarolimova looks up to her classmates and professors.

“I'm really looking forward to it. To classmates and teachers. After that event, we saw each other three times, we had a pleasant and encouraging conversation, we talked about our feelings, a meeting where a psychologist was also invited, we held a vigil by the fire together, so we We think he handled that period well.” Lenka Jarolimova was in the building during the shooting in December, and police were able to evict her.

“I am absolutely fine and ready to go back. Of course, not everyone is in the same condition. I will see that when I meet my classmates in a while,” he adds.

Matěj Flak, manager of Bistro Mezi razdky, located in the Faculty of Philosophy building, is really happy. “We are now open to teachers and students and should be open as usual from the fourth of March. I'm really looking forward to it,” she says.

Photo: John Novak, Cesnum Spravy

Matěj Flak, manager of Bistro Mezi rávyk.

More people enter the building in the morning and evening hours. There are dozens of them. Some are willing to share their feelings, others gratefully refuse. “I'll keep my feelings to myself,” replied the elder, evidently a teacher, politely. “I'm sorry, but I can't talk about it yet,” the clearly upset student shakes her head.

Ten minutes later, history student Shimon Baltic comes out of the building.

“First we sat in the bistro, then we went to see the third floor where we were that day. My memories flooded back,” he says, adding that during the attack, rumors spread among students that shots were fired in student dormitories and elsewhere. “It was so intense, none of us knew if we should go home or not. I walked half the city of Prague because I was afraid to take public transport,” he recalled.

Is he at peace after today? “No. When I was on the third floor, it hit me again. I didn't know how I was going to pass the semester,” he shook his head.

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