It was like the Wild West here then and I had a grey ID, which meant: Homeless.
Walter Kuřátko was born in Bad Kudowa (in Czech: Chudoba), in German Glatz (today Klodzko, in Czech: Kladsko) in 1931. However, after the war the area became a part of Poland. In January 1946, he left for Náchod in Czechoslovakia because there was a danger of expulsion in Poland. There were also better conditions for him in Czechoslovakia. He was entitled to start a vocational training; he was also given accommodation and food as there was a special programme for Czech people from Klodzko. He assumed, together with many other expatriates, that Klodzko would soon become a part of Czechoslovakia. However, it never happened and 15-year-old Walter had to stay in Czechoslovakia. At first, he did not speak Czech. It was risky to visit his family in Poland because it was difficult to cross the border legally. Even though the situation improved, the family remained separated.