Jiří Bláha

* 1950

  • "The differences were big. If you looked at the fact that in our country it was only cows grazing, next to us the Germans had beautiful houses, gardens, asphalt roads all the way to the state border. We were there running in the swamps, in the meadows, in the woods. The only maintained roads were the ones where you drove a car. The difference was marked, especially if you could fly in a helicopter or some kind of plane."

  • "One of the German displaced people who was born here before the war, he let them take him as a prisoner. He basically said that he was going to die, that he was going back to Bohemia, that he was born here and wanted to die here. He was really a very old man who came to the station where the patrol was. He got himself captured there and then he was taken to Rozvadov, where the counterintelligence actually got him. I don't even know how it turned out, whether they returned him or left him with someone to spent the rest of his life."

  • "I arrived in Louny, and there, on the state road from Chomutov to Prague, I would wait there for at least half an hour before there was a gap in the column of Warsaw Pact troops going to Prague where I could squeeze through. Of course, I was late for work, I arrived at about six-thirty. There it was already upside down. People were animatedly debating and discussing in groups at their workstations. At first, I thought it was a military exercise, which was not unusual at the time. But there I actually learned that they had come to liberate us. In quotation marks."

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    Plzeň, 28.01.2022

    duration: 01:47:36
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - PLZ REG ED
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The Germans on the other side had beautiful houses. We used to run around in the swamps

Jiří Bláha in September 1970
Jiří Bláha in September 1970
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Jiří Bláha was born on 19 April 1950 in Louny. He came from a family of businessman, but the family had to give up the business shortly after his birth. Nevertheless, he had a carefree childhood, especially with his classmates and friends, among whom were also German ones whose parents did not have to go to the expulsion. Eventually he trained as a mechanic of motor cars and locomotives. He started work at the time of the first sign of the easing of conditions in Czechoslovakia. On 21 August 1968, however, he saw the Soviet Union put a decisive end to further easing. He then witnessed how his co-workers in working-class positions lost the illusion of communist ideology. Despite his class background, he was at a compulsory military service in the border guards in the early years of normalisation. Between 1969 and 1971 he served in the 12th Brigade of the Border Guard in the Starý Pochr area of the Tachov region. However, this was a peaceful area and he encountered only minimal border violations during his service. In none of the cases did anyone die. After completing his compulsory military service, he moved to Pilsen, where he started a family and still lived in 2022.