Josef Švajcr

* 1944

  • "The biggest surprise came about two or three months later when investigators arrived. They called the director in, told him what they had investigated and told him to inform the staff. So he called us in and told us that the investigation was over - it was done by forest workers from Tachov, they were led by a lieutenant who later emigrated abroad, they had explosives which they used for stumps. That was the end of it. I said to him: 'Mr Kolář, and you didn't tell them anything?' He said: 'Pepík, they didn't ask me anything, they announced that the investigation was over and left.' So no Russian commandos - forest workers from Tachov, but they all spoke good Russian, not a word of Czech."

  • "Upstairs, the rest of unit members who had arrived were already rampaging at the transmitter, shooting to pieces what they could. Whatever was lit or had moving pointers, they shot at it. They shot to bits the power extension, which they blew up. The power extension contained two diesel generators and a wheel for continuous operation, they just wrecked it. They were going to knock down the mast, but they put there a safety fuse and 'tritolnye shashki' around it. The fuse, as it started to burn, it blew away tritol and damaged only the supporting leg of the mast. This was later cut out by Škoda workers and replaced with another part so that the mast wouldn´t collapse. And they gave us five minutes to go home or they'd shoot our heads off. Who wasn´t going to leave in five minutes, they'd shoot them."

  • "Not only was Czech Radio Pilsen broadcast from there, but the second transmitter was used at night to jam foreign broadcasting. Because I was acquainted with it, the shift manager said to me: 'Look, you'll be here tonight, you'll broadcast it and tell me how it turned out.' There was a checkpoint here in the radio station where some State Security officers or expert Communist Party members were sitting and checking the jammers in our territory, one of them was in Přeštice to be directed at the broadcasting. I was on night duty, I had to switch on the transmitter at half past midnight and start jamming. I heard from the receiver: 'This is the Voice of America, welcome listeners in Czechoslovakia to the Voice of America broadcast.' The man from the checkpoint was shouting at me, 'Let's go, comrade, let's go!' and I wasn´t able to turn the transmitter on. I tried to turn it on ten times and I wasn´t able to. I looked out and they [my colleagues], before going to bed, they earthed the mast in case there was a storm or something, so that it would go into the ground, so that it wouldn't go into power lines. And I wasn´t able to turn the transmitter on to make it work. When I found out, I disconnected the earthing of the mast, I turned it on, saying: 'Here we go, here we go.' And, simply, there was the tuning so that people couldn't listen to it, so the jammer [produced] the gurgling, and the Morse code that determined which transmitter it was coming from. And he was shouting: 'So what? What was wrong with it?' Well, in the morning the shift manager asked me: 'Well, how was it?' And I said: 'Jesus, I can tell you, he shouted at me.' - 'Did he shout a lot?' I said: 'A lot.' - 'That's okay, if he had shouted just a little, he would have been the bastard, but the one who shouts a lot, he's not going to report anything.'"

  • Full recordings
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    Plzeň , 01.08.2018

    duration: 01:23:04
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - PLZ REG ED
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I´ll be here until the day I die

Josef Švajcr in 2018
Josef Švajcr in 2018
photo: ED Plzeň

Josef Švajcr was born on 17 November, 1944 in Vodokrty. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Jesenice. His father was a carpenter, his mother a housewife. After finishing primary school he entered a technical secondary school in Prague, and he gained his obligatory professional experience in Přeštice, where a transmitter and also a jammer were. He completed his military service in Klatovy. In 1964, after the military service, he started to work at the Krašov transmitter. On 25 August 1968, a Russian army commando attacked the transmitter and destroyed it. In August 1969 he got in trouble because of the flag, which he had flown at half-staff. In 1972 (according to other sources it was later, in 1979) one of the anchor ropes broke and part of the transmitter mast collapsed. Josef Švajcr is now retired.