“Nobody blamed me for having left the country.”
Vladimír Beneš was born April 1, 1928, in Zdíkovec in Šumava. He had an elder brother. When he was a child, the family often moved because of his father’s profession (he worked for a customs patrol). At first he attended a Czech school, then a Slovak one, in 1939 he was admitted to the grammar school in Čkyně, and he completed his secondary studies in 1947 in Písek. After that he began studying at the Faculty of Chemical Technology in Prague. From 1946 he was also actively involved in the scouting movement, thanks to which he emigrated to Regensburg, Germany in 1948. In 1949 he attempted to move further to Australia, but he was stopped in Italy. He returned to the assembly camp in Ludwigsburg and from there he was sent to the Language Institute in Ulm, where he learnt English. He got his first employment in Ludwigsburg in the Tracing Service in a doctor’s consulting room, but only for a few months. Then he found another employment in Resettlement Center in Munich, where he worked just for half a year before starting as a producer at Radio Free Europe in May 1951. He held this position until 1989, after that he worked as a program director until 1993. Since that time he has been working on organizing the collected documentary material.