WWII war hero, RAF pilot Antonin Spacek dies at 89

Discussion in 'News' started by evangilder, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    WWII war hero, RAF pilot Antonin Spacek dies at 89
    [04-04-2007] By Daniela Lazarova

    Born in 1917 in the town of Hradcany Antonin Spacek grew up dreaming of
    becoming a professional soldier. He was a lieutenant in the
    Czechoslovak army when the war broke out and he left his homeland via the so
    called Balkan route going through Hungary, Yugoslavia and the Middle East
    to join the free Czechoslovak units in France. He fought in France and
    later served in Britain's RAF, returning to Normandy on D-Day with an
    armored Czechoslovak brigade. Military historian Eduard Stehlik says that
    Spacek was a soldier his country should have been proud of:
    "Antonin Spacek was a man who always thought of others first. Before he
    left the country he was active in the Resistance and undertook several
    very dangerous missions in Slovakia. And when he fought abroad he
    created a home base for other Czechs and Slovaks who served with the
    allies. He was a truly courageous person."
    While in Britain and France Antonin Spacek was a respected war hero he
    received no recognition at home. In 1948 the communists took power in
    his homeland and the role of Czech pilots who served in the RAF was
    played down - because they had fought in the West. Spacek attempted to flee
    the country with his family in order to avoid communist persecution
    but only his British-born wife and child managed to get out. Antonin
    Spacek was sentenced to ten years in a show trial and was sent to work in
    the country's uranium mines. More than half a century was to pass before
    he gained recognition. On the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings
    he was awarded the Legion of Honour by President Jacques Chirac and last
    year he received the highest Czech state distinction from President
    Klaus - the Order of the White Lion. However beside the medals there was
    little else. In an interview for Radio Prague in 2001 he complained
    bitterly that 56 years after the war society had little interest in giving
    its heroes a dignified old age.
    "Most of us are around 80 years of age - I am 86 - and many of us are
    alone. We need some help in our old age and nobody cares about it, you
    see? "

    Although he had reason to complain about the years of persecution and
    neglect the thought uppermost in Antonin Spacek's mind was to leave a
    legacy for the young generation.
    "The thing is how to carry these ideas over to the young generation.
    The problem is that the teachers don't know about it / our freedom fight/
    they were educated during the communist regime. They never heard about
    what happened. There are many people now who say the last time a Czech
    soldier fought was at the Battle of the White Mountain, they never
    fought, they are cowards and so on. And they don't acknowledge us. We were
    the only army- among the allied group of armies- which was composed of
    volunteers. The fight against the Nazis was fought here in the Czech
    lands. We must persuade the young generation to keep in mind that the
    Czechs are not cowards, that they know how to fight and when to fight for
    independence and democracy. That is the message we would like to leave
    after our deaths for the young generation."

    http://img.radio.cz/pictures/ctk0704/spacek_antonin.jpg
    http://img.radio.cz/pictures/valka2/spitfires.jpg
    ***************
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

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  7. Soundbreaker Welch?

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  8. seesul

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    ..."Most of us are around 80 years of age - I am 86 - and many of us are
    alone. We need some help in our old age and nobody cares about it, you
    see? " ...

    Unfortunately he´s absolutely right. Our goverment is not able to value our vets. This is what gets me mad:evil:
     
  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Thanks, Antonin. :salute:
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Thanks, Eric.

    Yes, they rather throw out billions for Gripens than giving 1/1000th of it to make these people enjoying their last moments. I feel really ashamed for this.

    As one person I know says: "Country that doesn't value its heros is endagered by not having any when there is a desperate need..."
     
  16. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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  17. seesul

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    ... a sentence from my heart... we still don´t know anything about our history...
     
  18. mkloby

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  19. Flying Penquin

    Flying Penquin New Member

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    How can one trace a former member of the czechoslovak press army officer that served in WW2 PLEASE
     
  20. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Communists... for them only the soldiers from Eastern front were the liberators...
     
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