Letter: Zdena Tomin obituary

Paul Oestreicher writes: For this crime I was arrested, fined and expelled from the country

Soon after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 I managed to visit two dissidents, the politician Jiří Hájek, under house arrest, and Zdena Tomin, with whom I stayed – without getting permission. For this crime I was arrested, fined and expelled from the country.

On the day the Red Army had arrived, the mayor of Prague invited Zdena to interpret for him as he awaited the Soviet commandant. When he made his entrance, the general produced a Russian document, demanding the mayor’s signature. It was a request for military assistance.

Zdena translated it into Czech. The mayor, standing, took it – and tore it up. He was arrested and taken away. Twenty-one years of uninvited “assistance” followed.


Paul Oestreicher

The GuardianTramp

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