Ing. Vladimír Schulz

* 1953

  • "At that moment the idea that we were a free country collapsed completely. So I realized that we were occupied. That was the occupation. I was terribly offended that they came back from Moscow, that Dubček, that they signed it there. Maybe there was one that didn't sign. At the time I thought, 'That's impossible, how come the dead don't come back? That would be right, they are our representatives. They can't give up like this. And from then on, I began to despise the Czech Republic, or Czechoslovakia. I never got over it. That's why I emigrated later. There was no great violence. Occasionally someone tried to burn a flag. I didn't see anyone fighting against the invasion. You couldn't fight the invasion, the tanks were big, you couldn't beat it. That was the kind of occupation that basically told me that my representatives were no longer my representatives, they were collaborators with the occupiers."

  • "When we were about to start training, some Slovak sergeant major told us again, in Piestany, how we had to be prepared for the invasion of the Western countries. And I said, 'I don't believe they're going to invade us,' and he said, 'How come you don't believe that?' We don't have anything here. We had uranium - we don't have uranium. We're as poor as church mice, we don't have any raw materials, so what would they take from us?' And he says, 'Well, they'd take the markets.' I say, 'Markets? What markets, we'd have to have money to buy something. And he said, 'Well, they'd build factories here and they'd have the markets. And I said, 'So you think I'd get a good job and I could buy a Volkswagen Golf?' I had to recant everything in front of the commission in Přerov, there were about two hundred people there, and I had to stand there and recant in front of them. I revoked everything, of course, because I was facing nine years in prison. Because I basically doubted that the West wanted to invade us."

  • "It was no problem going to the socialist countries, we could go anywhere. But as soon as we wanted to go to West Germany, for example, we needed what was called a foreign exchange pledge. Well, the foreign exchange pledge, you had to apply for that at the bank to get some German marks. And we had to have a questionnaire filled out for that, at that time there was a certificate from the employer, a certificate from the army that I had passed the basic military service and everything and so on. There was like even from the home administration, we had a home trustee there who gave us these important signatures. But so fortunately we already had contact with one guy and people are venal, they were venal even then too and I got a foreign exchange promise for a bottle of whiskey afterwards. So that's when I emigrated, but I was 33 years old by then, maybe something like that."

  • "That family of mine was interesting in general. On my father's side they were communists, my uncle was probably the one that interested me the most. All those uncles. One was a Western District commander, one was a politruk in Slovakia and the third was actually KGB trained and worked for the Czech State Security. When I got out of college, he offered me a job. I didn't take it, I emigrated. I was the black sheep of the family like that, but at the same time I liked him very much. I don't know how far he participated in the organisation of 1968, as I read later in books like “Frost Comes from the Kremlin” and so on. So I even remember him coming back one night from somewhere in France where he was a spy, so they were talking. My father was also both a executive for workers, so he ... I lived in Switzerland from the age of two to six, so I remember very little of him."

  • "That's how I experienced that 1968 year and I was already in Scouting, that was a big change because before that there were only pioneers. Well, I was with my friends in Korunovační at Letná, I went to primary school there, so a boy came and we started a scout troop. So there were then, the scout movement was quite big and like it was very, very, the scouting came from England, so it was very much looking for a little bit different than the communist regime was. It was sort of, ... half, ... we were called the “Psohlavci” then, because to say Scouts, you couldn't. So we were called the Dogheads."

  • Celé nahrávky
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Price to be paid for the change in thinking

Vladimír Schulz shortly after his emigration in 1983
Vladimír Schulz shortly after his emigration in 1983
zdroj: Archiv Vladimíra Schulze

Vladimír Schulz was born in 1953 at the Apolinář Hospital in Prague. His mother identified herself as German, his father came from a family of convinced communists. His early childhood was spent in Bern, Switzerland, where his father was sent with his family as a sales representative for Centrotex. His uncle František, a member of the StB, would occasionally visit them. After returning to Prague, the family lived in Letná, and he went to school with the children of the regime‘s leaders. All of them built communism together and cheered until Vladimir‘s father died of leukaemia. It was a difficult time for the family - his mother had to go to work, and his classmates began to look down on him. His uncle František was his support, and later he found support in the scout troop. He remembers intensely the August ‚68 invasion, which made him aware of the status of Czechoslovakia as an occupied and unfree country. After finishing elementary school, he apprenticed as a metal grinder and joined the CKD, but due to the disinterest of girls and the low social status of the member of the proletariat he had (despite living in the “proletarian paradise”), he decided to apply to the CVUT. While studying nuclear physics, he worked as a ticket ripper at the Theatre in Nerudovka, where he came into contact with critical-minded Chartists. After graduating from university, he entered compulsory military service in Piešt‘any. As a result of a disagreement with a politruk during his political training, he was put on trial, and in order to avoid a nine-year prison sentence, he had to retract his statements before a committee of 200 people. A year later he emigrated. He first lived in Germany, then moved to Spain, where he became a successful businessman. In 2000, he returned to the Czech Republic, where he became politically active. In 2023 he lived in Prague.