Pavel Höchsmann

* 1927  

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He waved his wings and landed on an airport in England with a German airplane

Pavel Höchsmann wearing the uniform of the Auxiliary Technical Batallions.
Pavel Höchsmann wearing the uniform of the Auxiliary Technical Batallions.
photo: archiv pamětníka

Pavel Höchsmann was born on the 30th of September of 1927 to a Czech-speaking family in Duchcov (German: Dux). In 1937, the family moved to Mohelnice. After the Munich Agreement, they were only one of the few families who stayed in the town now occupied by the Germans. When researching for the so-called Ahnenpass that should confirm his “Aryan parentage”, the German registrar office found out that he was of partial German origin. He thus had to join Hitlerjugend (Hitler‘s Youth). In one of the Hitlerjugend’s clubs, he acquired a pilot license for a glider. After finishing his apprenticeship, the Reich Labour Service (Reichsarbeitdienst, RAD) sent him to Hirschberg (today’s Jelenia Góra in Southwestern Poland). This served as a preparation for young men before entering the Wehrmacht. Based on his pilot license, Pavel Hochsmann was allegedly conscripted to the Luftwaffe shortly after his 17th birthday and after an expedited training someplace near Dresden at the end of 1944, he was assigned to the fighter squadron. He flew a Messerschmit and allegedly participated in the bombing of England. He however did not want to fight for the Nazis and he claims that during his third air raid, he landed at an airstrip near the town of Coltishall where the Czech airmen of the No. 68 Squadron RAF were based. He claims to have served there as land personnel, which is barely probable, according to the historians of the RAF. After WWII, he was conscripted in Czechoslovakia. At that time, the Communists had already seized the power so as a politically unreliable person, he was assigned to the Auxiliary Technical Batallions to the President Gottwald coal mine in Horní Suchá. After returning from the army, he worked in the MEZ company in Mohelnice. In 1953, he started a parachuting club in Mohelnice and organised an air parade. The State Security prohibited him from further activity in the club. He got back to parachute jumping only after fifty six years, two years after his eightieth birthay. He jumped four more times, for the last time on the 5th of October in 2013, he created the Czech record as the oldest parachute jumper. In 2018, he still lived in Mohelnice.