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Karel Brhel (1922 - 2006) - Biografía

Proyecto: Stories of 20th Century
Institución: Post Bellum

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I would like it if people came to their senses and realised they are part of a larger group, called the nation

Karel Brhel was born on 6 August 1922 in Krnov. His father was an officer of the Czechoslovak Army stationed in Bruntál. Until 1938 Karel Brhel grew up in the Germanic culture of the Sudetes. Following the Munich Agreement, the family was forced to leave Bruntál. His father was assigned to Hranice, where the witness graduated from secondary school in 1942. Soon after, he was sent to forced labour in Austria. In 1943 he was drafted into the Protectorate government army. A year later his unit was transferred to Italy, where it defected en masse to the Italian partisans. A few weeks later Karel Brhel and other soldiers crossed the mountains into France, where they fought on the Western front and then from October 1944 around besieged Dunkirk. In 1945-1947 he underwent training at the Military Academy in Hranice. He received several military honours for his involvement with the partisans and his combat service. In April 1950 he was arrested, sentenced to eight years of prison, discharged from the army, and stripped of his military rank. After suffering through four and a half years in Communist prisons and labour camps, he was released due to his deteriorating health condition. He worked at power plants and the ironworks in Ostrava until his retirement in 1981. In 1990 he was fully rehabilitated and promoted to the rank of colonel (ret.). Karel Brhel died of leukaemia on 20 November 2006.

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