Petr Gibian

* 1922  †︎ 2008

  • "Jan Masaryk was being very jovial and said, 'So boys, what do we drink?' And we replied, 'Something better to celebrate, Ok? Wine or maybe cognac would do.' And he said, 'You know, guys, I’m not exactly rich these days. Can we have a beer?' Then I said, 'Alright, Pilsner.' So he ordered some beer for us. He didn’t want to pay for that. Or perhaps he didn’t have the money. Or maybe he didn’t want us to get drunk there. He knew the pilots drink a lot. They were really drinking and thinking, 'We may not come back tomorrow, so what.' But I told myself, 'Someone has to survive this..'"

  • "We were already in Scotland, most of the time by the sea. And when we were going back, there were these pristine beaches between the mountains. Cornwall itself is very much the rocky part of the canal. And Captain Sedivy said on the microphone, 'Hey lets give the Englishmen a fright.' We were flying back from the operation and the mountains were in front of us all of a sudden. Some people were laying down on their stomachs and all of them were scared to death..."

  • "They wouldn’t let them (the Jews) fly, they would only use them as navigators. There was anti-Semitism there. (You mean among the Czechs, right?) Right. The Englishmen were really nice all of them. But you could find this behavior here even before the war. But it turned out that the Jews had achieved great successes as soldiers."

  • *translation - action 77: In 1951 the communist regime decided that 77 thousand officials has to be displaced from their offices to the production procedure within the year. Within the "77 action" in 1951 Mr. Ginbian has been told the following: "You can find yourself a job, but you are not to work in export department." I wasn’t responsible. So with the help of Mr. Prosvice, who worked in Hlinsko town I got the job as an electrician. But I have never done such work in my life. So I have applied for a mechanic course. I met doctors or engineers who had to switch their jobs too. I spent five years as a mechanic. This way I have completely integrated into the working class, I was one of them. That caused the end of my persecution. They only came to check our apartments from time to time. They used to ask the land lord about our behavior etc. But we had her corrupted so she said always the best things about us."

  • "Because we knew the back directions at least a bit we flew. We made it over the canal and landed on the first airport available. But we had a problem with the landing gear, it was stuck. And when you land on the ground, it may start to burn from the sparkles as they reach the fuel. And that can be very bad. Luckily for us we didn´t have almost any fuel left and landed safely in the last second on the plane bottom."

  • "I brought my lawyer with me intoour factory and told them that I came back from the war and that I would like to cooperate with them and simply make myself useful. They told me, 'Look, comrade, we managed everything without you, so we don´t need you here, you know? Sorry.' And they kicked me out of the factory."

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    Praha, 26.12.2007

    délka: 01:07:51
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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I wasn’t too scared.. When you’re flying you have to know what you’re doing and you have to be lucky

gibian.jpg (historic)
Petr Gibian
zdroj: service and pay book

Mr. Peter Gibian was born on May 1st 1922 in Ceske Budejovice town (south Bohemia) in a Jewish family. They all spoke Czech at home, but he had a German nanny. This was his take-off platform for his future foreign languages knowledge. He wanted to become a doctor, but due to beginning of the war he couldn’t even finish the high school. So he finished the graduation after war. His father has been arrested shortly after the occupation and the rest of his family disappeared in some of the concentration camps. Shortly after the establishment of the protectorate Mr. Gibian left to Great Britain via Poland. He has had couple of jobs there before he entered the forming Czechoslovak army and after six months of training he headed for RAF. He used to fly as an operator and fire fighter with the 311th air wings. After his return to Czechoslovakia he wasn’t given back anything out of his family property. The new owners of his dad’s business didn’t even respond to his willingness to cooperation. He left the army shortly after the war. First he was working as a chief of exports shortly, but then he had to leave to production. On the June 1st 1947 he got married. He underwent a electrical training and worked as an electrician in Technical Information Institute. After that he was employed also in Mercuria (external concern). He retired in 1987. He died on September 16th 2008.