Communists or not, we all lived here
Josef Bábek was born on 3 May 1941 in Nový Dvůr near Kvasice. His father Rostislav Bábek fought on the Eastern Front as a Czechoslovak legionary during World War I. After the war his father bought a farm in Nový Dvůr. In the final weeks of World War II, they were forced to briefly accommodate German soldiers at the farm - the Germans then shot at their house when retreating. After the war the family lost most of its savings in fixed-term deposits. The witness’s father was imprisoned several times for his resistance to the on-going collectivisation. In 1953, while he was serving his sentence, Josef and his mother were evicted from their home and deported to Topolany near Olomouc, where they lived in very poor conditions. Because his parents were then employed at the agricultural cooperative in Topolany, the witness received a good cadre report and was allowed to study at the Railway School of the State Labour Reserves in Olomouc. In 1960 he was drafted to compulsory military service and assigned to a heavy artillery brigade in Hranice, which was equipped with Scud rockets. After returning from the army he attended a secondary technical school in Zlín and worked at ČSAD. He switch to a position at ČSAO but was fired by his manager for distributing a petition during Prague Spring. He found employment at the Uničov Machine Works as an bulldozer assembler and serviceman for foreign customers. Before one work trip to Romania he was given a bad assessment from his previous job by the manager at ČSAO and was transferred to North Bohemia, where he worked as an assistant riveter. He was tasked with building a mine excavator in West Bohemia, after which he was allowed to return to the service department. He continued to travel abroad to build and service bulldozers in Spain, Argentina, Sudan, and Venezuela. After the revolution he bought the ČSAO premises in Litovel and started a company trading with work machinery, which he manages to this day.