By joining the Czechoslovak Army, Volhynian Czechs wanted to break away from Russia
He comes from a family of Volhynian Czechs. His grandfather, a Czech from Chrudim, came to Volhynia (today Western Ukraine) around 1869. Zdeněk Doležal was born on 27 May 1934 in Zdolbuniv in Volhynia. He was just 5 years old when the region was annexed by the Soviets who seized their house as well as their prosperous family cement works. Hence, later on, the Doležal family welcomed the arrival of the Wehrmacht: they saw the Nazis as their liberators from the Soviets. In July 1943, Nazis burnt down the Volhynian village Český Malín and Zdeněk Doležal was made aware of the cruel hunting down of Jews, in which many Ukrainians also took part. In February 1944, the front again stormed through and Volhynia fell yet again into Soviet hands. In March, Zděnek’s father, Jiří, like 12 thousand fellow Volhynian Czechs, enlisted into the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps. They fought with the Red Army at Dukla and even made their way all to Prague. He was dispatched to Žatec, where in May 1946, still before the official repatriation transports, the rest of his family traveled “in the wild” to join up with him. Zdeněk studied at a technical college and settled into a post at the Agrostav company. He got married in Czechoslovakia and raised two sons.