We did not leave the country in order to make our lives better, but in order to join the struggle against communism.
Josef Mašín was born March 8, 1932 in Prague as the second son of Josef Mašín, a legionnaire and hero of the resistance movement during WWII. He was brought up in the spirit of patriotism and traditions. After the communist coup d’état in 1948 the Mašín brothers decided to declare war on the new totalitarian regime: they formed a small resistance group which was supposed to take part in the anticipated anti-communist uprising. The group soon began with sabotage activities, with the aim to harm the socialist state economy and the morale of the members of the Communist Party and the public. The group’s members were obtaining weapons and explosives from various sources, producing also some on their own. Several people, however, became victims to their assault actions, by which the group planned to obtain weapons or money. Josef, himself, shot two people to death. In October, 1951 both brothers were arrested together with their uncle Ctibor Novák in the evening before their first planned escape. Josef spent several weeks in custody. In 1953 the group’s members made the final decision to leave the country. They wanted to join the American army in the West and fight an armed fight against communism. In October they crossed the border to East Germany and after 29 days of being chased by the East German army and police, three of the five refugees arrived in the American sector of Berlin. Josef Mašín then served in the U. S. Army for five years. He also lived in Köln, Germany for some time, married, and with his wife Eva, he had two daughters. In 1980 the family moved to Santa Barbara, California.