Josef Dušek

* 1941  

  • Immigration with five pounds in my pocket “After serving basic military service I got more or less as a fiddle a voucher to England trip; through my acquaintance silly enough to believe I was a perspective young communist. We were camping in Wales for two weeks, where during the war children were hiding, and then they took us to see London in three days. I did a few errands as I had several contacts to the Czech immigrants. For example to a certain former government member, but I did not like that one much. It all ended the way I decided to stay there. I had about five pounds in my pocket. The way I did it was that during the last breakfast, when we knew the bus was leaving, I just wrote a letter ‚I remain in Albion‘, put it in the tour guide´s hand and left. All I was carrying was a small suitcase with my clothes. I went to report myself to the police station, which was luckily closed. There was nobody in there. What to do now? I had no contact, nothing at all. I knew just a few words in English. In our little hotel there was a Polish girl at the reception, who I could communicate with. She picked up the phone, called the Polish immigrants, who had a semi-war organisation in England for war pilots. They had quite a good base there. They took me to the headquarters, gave me a goulash to eat and called someone else. A certain Czech came to pick me up and hid me for two weeks in his flat, as he has a monthly visa. He was the lieutenant Kokrda, who was a legionary during WW1. Then I did an English course. I stayed in England in August 1964 and at Christmas I already had my papers for immigration to Australia ready, as I knew the craft and was a refugee.”

  • “People used to come here in buses, as my uncles had a bus company, ale how many and other information maybe even my dad did not know, who was just a cover. He only knew those people stayed in all those houses. It was the line for the skiers and tourists up to Churáňov. They pretended to go up to the cottages, if anyone caught them. It was all organised so that my dad served as a cover. If anything went wrong, he was given a heads up from Klatovy, took a motorbike, if it worked through the phones back then I do not know, he just jumped on a bike, went up and scattered all those people in the woods. When the state police arrived, my dad brought them, the houses were empty, there was no one there at all. There was a special system of the bus rides. Under Čábuzí there was a mill in a curve, whose owner was engaged in the system too. The system worked so that in the turn, where the stream flew to the mill was a large cross with various lights mounted on it. The cross was supplemented by electricity from the mill; it was a generator. When everything was clear a certain system of light was on. When the bus came and the driver saw the correct code, he understood everything was clear and went on. And if the lights were no on, he turned around or to drove the people elsewhere. A cherry on the top of the cake: once a new batch was driven, the miller had an alternator broken and had a lot of work to connect the new one, but apparently managed all right in the end.“

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    Sušice - domácnost pamětníka, 13.02.2017

    (audio)
    duration: 02:32:01
    media recorded in project Soutěž Příběhy 20. století
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A man can do everything he really wants to do

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photo: archiv pamětníka

Josef Dušek was born on 17th January, 1941 in Starý Klíč no. 96 (region Domažlice) to the husbands Josef and Jarmila Dušek. His father was a member of the state police and in 1951 was arrested as a guide. The witness and his mother, who got divorced, and his sister moved to Pilsen, where he apprenticed a brick-layer. He worked in a construction company and became a member of the Aeroklub in Pilsen, from which he got also expelled due to family relations. And so he switched to boats. In August 1964 he left as a perspective communist to England with a trip, from which he never came back and with the help of immigrant unions he resettled a year later to Australia. He settled down in Sydney, where he worked as a roofer; he build a trimaran Dalibor and got a intimate relationship with Jane Gloore. In 1972 he won an Australian citizenship and then he managed to cancel his Czechoslovak citizenship to cancel the immigration punishment at the same time. So in 1977 he could go back to his country again. In the next decades he led a double life; during Australian summer he worked in Sydney and in winter, during the European summer, he was traveling with many companies and did exhibition cruises. He was coming closer and closer to Europe. For ten years he was driving tourists for a certain hotel in a lagoon La Manga del Mar Menor near Cartagena. Following the velvet revolution he automatically got back his native citizenship. In the last years he began building his home back in his country. For four years Josef Dušek has been living pernamently in Sušice and Dalibor is waiting for a buying in the Orlík dam.