Ing. Pavel Štrobl

* 1963

  • “We finally came to an English woman, she rented us a room for 28 or 30 pounds, so we could afford just two nights and we were broke. Then we called David Rejl in the morning and he referred us to a Catholic Church in London where we went to see the priest Lang. But we felt anxious at the beginning. One would have never run away if he could have returned to normal environment. Or when you arrived at the camp and only Afro-Americans were there, the only thing that kept you there was the fact that you have been having problems your whole life and you were fed up with it. But there were really difficult moments in life where one would really love to go back home.”

  • “Actually, the things came step by step in my life. I could see it in Lubnice that those who had good reference and followed the regime prospered. And those who did not follow it did not prosper that much. Although I can´t complain that I lived a bad life. Then I attended secondary school and college. But I knew or had a feeling already at secondary school that it was not that promising for me here. And I think that sometime around the Secondary school leaving exam... Because my uncle talked about the fact that he could have stayed there and many times when the family met and drank and talked and somehow relaxed... you could suddenly see that many other people that I met started to say that the West was better that socialism, that we were now free here, that we were behind the Iron Curtain and many jokes were told. And suddenly, the thought of simply running away began to creep into my mind.”

  • “Were you in Pioneer?” “I was not at the beginning, then I joined Pioneer - I think for a year or two. Than a funny story happened. I caught a cold or had a runny nose and we had to perform somewhere in a cultural house where the pioneers would always have to sing songs celebrating socialism. And I forgot a handkerchief at home and when it ended, I took of my Pioneer scarf and used it to blow my nose. A schoolmate reported me. I think that I even got a reprimand for it at school. And it was a big issue. I think that I stopped attending it then, I do not remember at all how it turned out with Pioneer.”

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    Slavonice, 04.08.2020

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To continue with hope, love, and faith

Pavel Štrobl about 1988
Pavel Štrobl about 1988
photo: witness´s archive

Pavel Štrobl was born on 15 July 1963 in Dačice. He grew up without father, his mother came from a Czech-German family. His grandpa died during the World War II fighting for the Wehrmacht. His great-grandfather was forced to leave for Germany after the war. The witness spent his childhood in the village of Lubnice, not far away from closely guarded Austrian boarders. Having passed his Secondary-school leaving exam at Secondary school of woodworking in Bystřice pod Hostýnem, he graduated from the Woodworking College in Zvolen in Slovakia. At first, he worked in a foreign trade enterprise Ligna in Prague and then in Dřevotvar company in Hradec Králové. He got married to Lada Hrubcová in 1988. The following year, they emigrated across the Great Britain to Germany where they obtained citizenship thanks to Pavel´s German ancestors. In Czechoslovakia, the witness was sentenced in absentia without probation to serve eighteen months for the crime of leaving the country. He worked in an engineering plant in Germany. About two years after the fall of the communist regime, he returned to Czechoslovakia and started his own business. He was living with his family in Jemnice in 2020.