Radek Novotný

* 1969  

  • "What they had been doing back then is throw around the so-called pucks. They looked like puck-shaped tins but were a bit thicker. It was an antipersonnel mine. It wouldn't kill you, just tear apart a part of your foot, thus removing you from combat. They scattered those around and nobody knows where exactly. That was a problem. Now because I like the country and go to the seaside there, I still know of places where I wouldn't set foot. Where if I had to stop my car and go pee, I would never leave the road."

  • "We had lived through November 1989 watching the forbidden West German TV, which was sealed. Of course, soldiers were able to unseal it. We followed foreign emissions. We were close to Germany and could catch their broadcast there. They prohibited us watching it so that we wouldn't know what was going on. The worrying thing was that the commanders planned to have border guards and other reinforcements sent to Prague. Our only luck was that the machinery didn't really work because it hadn't been used. And so, it was not really functional. But I know they planned to have us suppress the protests. Once you realize that, it really is a scare."

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    Praha, 02.05.2018

    (audio)
    délka: 01:39:03
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of the 20th Century TV
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In war I realized one can survive under any conditions

Pamětník patnáctiletý, foto z občanského průkazu
Pamětník patnáctiletý, foto z občanského průkazu
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Radek Novotný was born on 16 January 1969 in Havlíčkův Brod. He graduated from a medical school and then did his military service, finishing in 1990, just after the Velvet Revolution. He learned that he and his colleagues were at risk of being sent against the protesters in Prague. The order never came but he stays convinced that he would have not obeyed it. In 1993, he joined the UNPROFOR mission in former Yugoslavia as a medic. There, he helped both the soldiers and the civilians. Initially, he saw the mission as an opportunity for adventure and to earn money but the armed conflict changed his opinions and value set. He had spent over two years in the Balkans. He then returned to Czechia where he has worked in healthcare ever since.