I’ve been an enemy of the state since first grade
Otakar Braun was born on 20 February 1950 in Prauge. His father Jindřich Braun came from a Jewish family from Carpathian Ruthenia. During the Second World War, he endured forced labor, deportation to a concentration camp, and the Death March, but was wary of discussing these war time travails. In May 1954, he ended his time in Prague and moved for work to the town of Žebrák, where he was employed as a driver for the František Volman company, a producer of agricultural equipment. Here he would also meet his future spouse Helena Volmanová, the granddaughter of the factory owner František Volman, who began his business in Žebrák in 1872. Following the February coup of 1948, communists nationalized the company, confiscated the family villa, and sent the witness’s father to work in the Hrouda iron-ore mine in Zdice. The factory went on to function under the name TOS (Továrny obráběcích strojů) (Machine Tools Factories). In the 1960s, Otakar Braun trained as an auto mechanic in Čáslav. He worked till 1989 for the ČSAD (Czechoslovak State Transport) and ČSAO (Czechoslovak Automobile Garage) companies. From the time following the Velvet Revolution until his retirement he served in the police force. Today (2020) he resides in Záluží, not far from Žebrák.