Into emigration and back again
Pavel Bartovský was born on 27 November 1936 in Pilsen. He comes from a well-to-do family, his father Ing. Karel Bartovský managed a cloth and rope shop in the centre of the city. However, the shop was nationalised by the Communists in 1948, together with the Bartovskýs’ house and car. In 1950 the Czechoslovak Youth Union also confiscated the family’s cottage in Nová Huť. In June 1953 the witness took part in the so-called Pilsen Revolt. A few weeks later his family, deemed “unreliable” by the state, was evicted from their home in Pilsen under Operation B (Bourgeoisie) and forced to live in the loft of their cottage in Nová Huť, where they suffered under tough conditions. They were not allowed to return to the city until 1955. Pavel Bartovský completed a secondary technical school of mechanical engineering and then graduated from the University of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Pilsen. He then started work as a construction designer and calculation engineer at the Škoda Works. In 1968 he took an active part in the liberalisation of Prague Spring. He also confronted the factory’s profiling department regarding the possibility of viewing the background profile kept on his own person. He achieved success, but this success backfired after the Warsaw Pact occupation of Czechoslovakia, as he bore the brunt of anonymous threats sent by post. Fearing for his safety, he emigrated to West Germany in September 1968. He settled down in the town of Zwiesel in Bavaria, where he worked at a factory that made furnishings for school lecture rooms. He later moved to Munich, where he obtained the post of programmer at Siemens. In 1972 he returned to Czechoslovakia for family reasons. This brought him to the attention of State Security, which investigated him, repeatedly interrogated him, and continued to monitor him in the years to come. After a long search he got a job as a programmer at Office Machinery. After the Velvet Revolution he worked at the Pilsen city hall. He retired in 1999 and now lives with his wife in Nová Huť (Dýšina) near Pilsen.