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Josef Wolf (1939) - Biography

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I didn’t want my son to have to serve in the army of a Socialist country

Josef Wolf was born on 11 January 1939 in Brno. He grew up with his parents in Dobruška, where he witnessed the deportation of Germans at the end of the war. Then he and his family moved back to Brno. His father was a successful tailor, but when the Communists came to power in 1948, he lost his business and was sent to work in the uranium mines. Josef trained as a machinist. In 1953 he took an interest in cycling. He was successful; in 1960 he represented Czechoslovakia at the Olympic Games in Rome. To devote himself to cycling at the highest level, he became a member of the Dukla Army Club and then a professional soldier. However, his service in the army of a Socialist country was in conflict with his resistance to Communist ideology. He repeatedly refused to join the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and got into arguments with his commander. In 1966 he decided to emigrate. His wife and son went to visit their aunt in West Berlin at the same time as he participated in a race in Sweden. They met up in a refugee camp in Germany. They were acknowledged as refugees and settled down in Sweden. He represented Sweden in cycling. He improved his qualifications and taught technical subjects. Later he worked at an organisation that helps refugees.

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