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Private First Class (ret.) Viktor Wellemín (1923) - Biography

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In Tobruk and Dunkirk with the lion round my neck.

Private (ret.) Viktor Wellemín was born on the 24th of March 1923 into a Jewish family in Prague. On the 16th of October 1939 he left with his brother Adolf across the River Danube, through port Sulina and Turkey to Haifa, Palestine, where he was imprisoned in Camp Sarafand half a year after his arrival. After his release he worked in a kibbutz, but on the 14th of May 1942 he joined the army. He underwent infantry and anti-aircraft training, he took part in the defence of Haifa with the 200th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, but he subsequently fell ill with boils and did not join the fighting at Tobruk until after convalescing in a Jerusalem hospital. After the fighting in the Middle East was finished, he left for England on HMS Queen Mary, where he was joined to a motorised unit. Together with the Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade he landed in the second wave of the invasion and took part in the siege of Dunkirk. Viktor Wellemín volunteered for the attack of the 28th of October, during which he was injured. He was treated in the hospital in St. Omer, and after being transferred to England, in Hammersmith and Swansea. While in England he joined the Reserve Entity, and the end of the war found him in London. He then returned to Czechoslovakia, worked at a paints and varnishes company and at the Gramophone Company. Apart from his brother Adolf who served on the Western Front, none of his close relatives survived the Holocaust. He currently lives in Prague.

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