We ran away from the Germans in the Sudeten and soon after, they were at our heels again
Emil Pražan was born on the 15th of December in 1928 in the village of Žalhostice in the vicinity of Litoměřice. His mother was German, his father was Czech. They had three more children besides Emil, one son and two daughters. After the Munich Agreement the Sudeten were ceded to Germany and the Pražan family left their flat in Litoměřice and ran away from the Nazis to what was left of Czechoslovakia. After two months of staying in provisional conditions and living in the Sokol gym in Golčův Jeníkov, they settled in Hradec Králové. Emil’s older brother Erich was conscripted for forced labour in Berlin where he worked a s a signalman at a railway station. He witnessed frequent air raids but he survived until the end of war. After the liberation in 1945, he graduated from the business academy and enrolled to the University of Economics in Prague. After the Communist coup d‘état, he emigrated to the USA where he became pilot of a fighter helicopter. He participated in the Korean war at the U. S. side which led to Emil’s expulsion from the university. He was drafted to the army and served 26 months with the Auxiliary Technical Batallions. He then worked in the coal mines in Kladno for three years. Later, he started to work in the cultural centre in Hradec Králové where he focused on amateur photography and amateur film. He did the same in Prague later on. After the 1989 revolution, he became one of the founders of the PTP Union [PTP – Pomocné technické prapory = Auxiliary Technical Batallions] and at the general meeting in 1990, he was elected the general secretary of the Union.