Miroslav Froyda

* 1933  

  • „Metody jsou různý, že jo. Oni se snažili působit dojmem, že by mohlo dojít k popravě. To oni říkali jako, že můžete dostat i nejvyšší trest. Takže fakt je, že v jednu chvíli jsem věřil, že budu popravenej. A to je psychicky velmi zajímavý, protože si začínáte všímat úplně nesmyslných detailů. Od pavoučka, mušky…jakýkoli pohyb živoucí bytosti. Ale pak začne působit logika, pak jsem si říkal, že nenastalo nic co by tu republiku nějak ohrozilo. Prostě byl to pokus o přechod a ten těžko může končit smrtí. To jen že zapracovala logika, ale psychicky…psychicky to znám, ten pocit…“

  • „My jsme ozbrojení byli…já tedy ne. Oni mi nabídli docela těžkou pistoli a já jsem si byl vědom, že pokud by člověk střílel…proti samopalníkům to nemá vůbec žádnej smysl. Protože ty hlídky jsou mnohočetný, mají samopaly, mají psa na dlouhém vodítku, který samozřejmě může být kdykoliv vypuštěn a ten vás zlikviduje během několika vteřin…ten můj kolega si pistoli vzal, ale nějaký výcvik nebo důraz na střelbu vůbec nebyl. To by bylo pro osobní ochranu a já jsem si jí nebral, protože to znamenalo popravu. To oni velmi rádi, když jste si vystřelil, tak obvykle dávali trest smrti.“

  • „Takže jsme byli svědky, že asi za hodinu tam přijel…v místě, kde jsme tu hranici překonali, nějaké vojenské vozidlo, byla vystřelena raketa. No a jinak jsme samozřejmě věděli, že jsme v ruské zóně, ale Rusové tu hranici nestřežili. Ona byla dokonale střežená našimi jednotkami, celá republika byla jeden koncentrační tábor obklopený plotem, drátěným. Ty rolníci potom nás dali do vozu, zaházeli nás senem a odvezli nás do stodoly, kde nás královsky vybavili jídlem, míchaný vajíčka, byli jsme v teple, v seně, ale za několik dní jsme vytušili, že pojali podezření, že Rusové by mohli prohledávat jednotlivá stavení. To je vesnice, až nedávno jsem zjistil, že ten zámek v Riegersburgu, tam bylo sovětské velitelství. Takže oni hranice nestřežili, ale měli tam posádku, kde bylo vrchní velení nějaké oblasti. Což samozřejmě my jsme nevěděli…“

  • "While Gagarin was flying, an officer boasted about him there, and I told him I didn't care. That Gagarin flies kilometers above the ground and that I travel home by tram for ten minutes, in Pilsen, from Bory. And unfortunately, I won't get there until fifteen years later. So, they put me in correction right away. The correction meant being almost without food, only bread and water, for ten days, for example. Sleeping on a ground on the concrete. I had about thirteen such disciplinary punishments. But I've always did something, a bit of a rebellious nature. Or I didn't shave, and when I was criticized, I said, 'Unfortunately, you're giving me such a small pocket money that it's not even for razors.' And so, I ended up in a correction again. These were more interesting ... Or in Bory, when I got into correction, they told us to go around on a walk. Well, because one lacked the sun, I stood where the sun was shining and I refused to go. And that again ended in a correction. I told them I wouldn't move, that I was locked up for fifteen years and that I was entitled to some sunlight."

  • "Another beautiful prison experience. Well, beautiful ... it was a transport from Bory, when we were practically handcuffed, we had steel handcuffs, but we were travelling by a bus. And that was from Bory to Pankrác and then again from Pankrác to Leopoldov. So, being able to sit on the bus and see the civilian life was a pretty powerful experience. Of course, we were interested in women and girls at that age. But it was an interesting experience when the bus from Pilsen to Prague ascended to the central cemetery and my father is buried there. Interestingly, we drove slowly and I prayed. For Dad. It was quite a powerful experience, because of course I went through such a phase of infidelity. But it is interesting that in difficult moments, that faith and that prayer somehow return. I went through a period of judging the crimes of Nazism and the crimes of Communism, so at one point I thought that God could not exist."

  • “And around there we found a hunting lodge with a ladder. I kicked it with my legs, put the ladder on the pole to avoid electricity, the other colleague was an electrician. We jumped. We practically had to cross the plowed strip and thus we left traces. But we took advantage of a time when no one was on the nearest guard tower, so we crawled over some cereal after crossing the plowed strip, don't ask me what it was - whether oats or rye. To the Austrian side and there we were taken over by Austrian farmers. It is the village of Riegersburg, where I later found out and visited it, was the Soviet garrison, which they accommodated in the castle. And they said, “Pretend that you help us in the field. So, we found out after about two hours that our crossing was detected, that is, they found traces in the plowed strip, fired a rocket, and we watched it from a distance of about half a kilometer. Well, we pretended to be Austrians and we worked in the fields."

  • „The first time we went close to Vranov nad Dyjí, but we figured that the border had been pretty well guarded there, so we returned back and went again towards Summerau after a month or so, with an Austrian guide – that means a person who knew perfect German, who sat with us in the train compartment and who accompanied us all to the immediate proximity of the border. After about three hours of walking in late nigh hours, we were spotted there, a flare gun was shot and a dog on a long leash was used, so we lay down in this swamp. I wasn’t armed, but my colleague discarded his gun there, because we had all been aware that the use of a gun or just the discovery of it could lead to a death sentence. Then, naturally, we were arrested, taken to the border guards’ unit and were interrogated there. We were then taken to the Ministry of Interior in Prague, where the interrogations continued, and then to Pilsen. Originally we were in a prison of the State Security close to hotel Continental and then also in a building of the Regional Court.“

  • „The U.S. army already had its representation directly in Vienna, there was also an intelligence unit; we were accommodated in the 17th district, the specific address was Gregor-Mendel-Strasse 56, and from there they drove us daily (except for Saturdays and Sundays) to information extraction. After about two to three weeks they flew us over the Russian zone to the American zone in Linz, where they accommodated us. They had been recruiting to the U.S. army only in West Germany, but we were promised that if we organized an intelligence unit on the Czechoslovak territory, we would be allowed to get in, namely into the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.“

  • „We were influenced by the U.S. liberation of Pilsen and our group, or at least I wanted to join the air force and fly over to the Americans after obtaining a pilot license and becoming a lieutenant. That was my plan, which I had been following pretty much since childhood, so I completed a gliding course, which had been paid for by the Ministry of Defence. I had to pass some tests, so it was clear that I was mentally and physically capable of being a fighter pilot. Then I completed courses A, B and C. A and B in Vrchlabí and course C in Raná near Louny. I applied for Airborne Academy in 1953 but based on some anti-state statements of mine I probably aroused some suspicion. So despite being fit, as confirmed by General Vosáhlo, I wasn’t accepted neither as a pilot, nor as a navigator.“

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Constantly planning an escape is what kept me alive

Miroslav Froyda, 1954
Miroslav Froyda, 1954
photo: Memory of Nations - Archive

Miroslav Froyda was born March 7, 1933 in Pilsen, he attended primary school and after one year of training at the Škoda factory he commenced studies at an engineering technical institute, graduating in 1953. His dream was to leave socialist Czechoslovakia and join the U.S. army. He completed a gliding course, but was wasn’t accepted to Airborne Academy, probably because of his anti-state opinions. Miroslav and his friend jumped over the wired border barrier near Vranov nad Dyjí and fled to Vienna, where they looked for a U.S. intelligence agency. They were promised they would get into U.S. army if they managed to organize an intelligence unit in Czechoslovakia. In August 1954 they were sent from Austria to Czechoslovakia by the American MIS, equipped with fake IDs and money. They were however detained by the border guards and were sentenced to 15 years of prison the same year. Miroslav Froyda was imprisoned for 11 years in prisons in Mírov, Leopoldov, Pilsen, Příbram and Valdice. In 2013 he was recognized as a war veteran and a Member of the anti-communist resistance and opposition by the Ministry of Defence.