At first in the Wehrmacht, then in the Czechoslovak army
Josef Tomica was born December 2, 1925 in Karviná in the Těšín region. The area became directly incorporated into the Nazi Germany during WWII. His parents signed the Volksliste, and just like many other young men from the region Josef therefore had to join the wehrmacht. He went through fighting in France before being captured by the British. As a prisoner of war he enlisted in the Czechoslovak independent armoured brigade. During the training he lost part of his finger while loading an anti-tank cannon and he spent some time in hospital. Josef Tomica continued to serve in the army for one more year after his return to Czechoslovakia. In 1946 he began working in the ironworks in Karviná, where he subsequently did several jobs. At the same time, he did distance study at the secondary technical school in Karviná, and he thus completed his secondary school education. In the 1960s he even successfully graduated from distance study at the College of Mining. He became a deputy to the production manager in the steel drawing mill and he was introducing new technologies and machinery into the production. He received several awards for his work. Josef retired in 1987 after forty-one years of working in the ironworks in Karviná. Josef Tomica passed away on July, the 9th, 2017.