Wednesday, 14 October 2015
The Czech Few
This week a number of ceremonies are taking place to celebrate the contribution of the 2500 Czechs who flew with the RAF against the Nazis. A fifth of these men made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of Europe and their homeland. Those who came back were first greeted as heroes, but then as enemies when the Communists took control. Independently-minded defenders of freedom had no place in the Communist future. Some fled the country once more. The former pilots that remained were imprisoned. After prison their lives continued to be ruined by their spell in the RAF - they remained under suspicion and supervision and they and their families were persecuted, denied access to good jobs and education.
Last year this memorial to their bravery and sacrifice was erected on a small park opposite the Malostranska Metro Station. The statue was funded by contributions from the British community in the Czech and Slovak Republics. A formal memorial was unveiled this week at Prague's castle. Sadly only one former Czech RAF pilot survived long enough to attend the event.