A young man who hasn’t been in war may think that war is an adventure. You have no idea what kind of a horror war is.
Vladimír Hrozný was born on May 5, 1923, in the Taiga of the Russian Far East. He went to school in the city of Ussuriysk and later moved to Gorno-Altajsk in Siberia. As a young boy he was a member of a flying club and was taught to fly a Polikarpov Po-2 airplane. After Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union, he voluntarily joined the Red Army. He wanted to serve with the air force but instead he was assigned to the infantry. After six months of training in Barnaul, he was taken to the battle line near Leningrad where he operated a Maxim machine gun and was wounded. Subsequently, he was transfered to the air force and became the pilot of an Ilyushin Il-2 bomber plane. He was wounded again during the bombardment of an airport. He was unconscious for a month and for health reasons couldn‘t fly again. After he recovered he was assigned to the 2nd mechanized division and drove an armored scouting vehicle. He came to Czechoslovakia via Moldova, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Austria. He fought in south Moravia. In the time of the Prague uprising, he was sent to Prague as a scout. In Prague, he witnessed the end of the war. Then he was sent to Milín in Příbramsko, where fighting was still taking place. He was wounded again in the fights. Finally he was demobilized, married and was granted Czechoslovak citizenship. In 1946, he and his wife moved to the Soviet Union. His wife didn‘t like life in the USSR and wanted to move back to Czechoslovakia. However, the Soviet authorities didn‘t grant Mr. Hrozný the right to return and only his wife was allowed to move back to Czechoslovakia. He wanted to cross the border illegally in Transcarpathia but was arrested in the attempt. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison but managed to escape during a prison transportion to Lviv and fled to Czechoslovakia. He lived in Bratislava and made a living as a car mechanic. However, he was arrested by the NKVD and sentenced to 10 + 3 years in a Gulag labor camp in the north of the Komi Republic. During his term in the Gulag, he was accused of helping his friends escape from the camp and his term was extended by 5 years. After the death of Stalin in 1953, he was released and repatriated to Czechoslovakia. However, his wife didn‘t wait for him and married again. After his return to Czechoslovakia, Mr. Hrozný worked in mines in Ostrava and at a tractor station in northern Moravia. He met his present wife, Marie, while he was working in the construction of the D1 highway. Today, he lives in Brno. He was pardoned by the Russian government in 2004.