I was a Czech and then suddenly a German
František Josefus was born on 3 October 1925, and he grew up in Strahovice near Hlučín, where he lives even today. When Hlučín became part of the Third Reich on 8 October 1938, František Josefus was made a German citizen, and in February 1943 he was conscripted into the Wehrmacht. He served as a telephone operator and saw combat in southern France; he was wounded and was treated in an infirmary in Paris. In February 1945 he was captured by American soldiers and deported via England to the USA, where he worked in POW camps for a year. In summer 1946 he returned home to Strahovice, and in October 1947 he was drafted into compulsory military service in the Czechoslovak army. In February 1948 he was relegated to the Auxiliary Engineering Corps (AEC) and toiled away in the mines of Ostrava for 18 months.