Josef Kutěj

* 1945

  • "As for such a political career, so was my somersault in 1968. At a time, when there was a political struggle in the spring, at least then it seemed favourable to me under Mr. Dubcek, so I was persuaded and joined the Communist Party, where I was for about three weeks, because when I came to work in the boiler room, it is simply the operation in which I worked, were run Russian tanks. When I saw it, I just shuddered and handed back my ID. And so I got expelled from the party and then had problems for over twenty years."

  • "The Chernobyl explosion was the sloppy of the power plant crew, where, of course, since I worked in the same field, my colleagues and I often thought about it. Measurements were recorded in Ostrava as such and here in Europe, which certainly affected the environment, but not as healthily as in the immediate vicinity. At the time, I did not base it on my own experience, but it was generally recommended not to collect mushrooms. This means that the mushrooms as such absorbed radiation at the time of the fresh season after the explosion, so it was not recommended to collect, walk in the forest and pick mushroom for a certain time. But I couldn't say that it would affect the environment right here in Ostrava. But in any case, the measurements, which were published later, show that the radiation levels were higher here in this area as well."

  • "In 1968, I was chosen and sent to study in Bratislava, where I studied welding, where I then obtained a license as a welding engineer. It was interesting that when I went to Bratislava, it was a foreign city for me and I went there on August 22nd. That is, the train was twelve hours late, Bratislava was besieged by the Russian army at the time. And I walked in a foreign city along the tracks to the place where I had to the Research Institute in Bratislava. At that time, it was the center or the highest body in Czechoslovakia in the field of welding."

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    duration: 01:02:18
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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A war child born in shelter

Josef Kutěj (en)
Josef Kutěj (en)
photo: Paměť národa

Josef Kutěj was born at the end of the Second World War, on March 6, 1945 in Kroměříž. He was born in a shelter where he was with his mother when his father was digging defensive channels. He graduated from the Secondary Industrial School of Mechanical Engineering in Vsetín and spent four years in a boarding school. Then he got a job at the Ostrava ironworks in Vítkovice. He joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) in 1968, but left it after the Warsaw Pact invasion in August. He got married in 1972 and with his wife raised two children. He worked in Vítkovice for 52 years. In 2021 he lived in Ostrava.