Lt.Col. Jiří Kafka in Eduard

On Wednesday, January 17, 2018,

we were visited by a veteran from

the 311th Czechoslovak Squadron

RAF, Lt. Jiří Kafka, former radar

operator and shooter at Liberators Coastal Command.

Lt. Kafka, who flew several

hundred hours of operatic anti-submarine patrols between 1943

and 1945, got to England in 1939

as one of Winton‘s children.

The visit, organized by Mr. Stanislav Cerny, took place at the time

of finalizing the Riders of the Sky

1944 project (Liberator GR Mk.III

and Mk.V Coastal Command RAF).

During the inspection of the construction and production areas of

the company, Mr. Kafka of course

was mostly interested in places

where his „Liberator“ was presented.

Lt. Kafka with his partner Doc. Machacova and Stanislav Černý were welcomed

by Eduard CEO Vladimír Šulc.

Retired Colonel Jiří Pavel Kafka

was born on May 5, 1924, in Prague in

Czechoslovakia. His family was of Jewish

extraction, his father worked as a lawyer and was also the chairman of the Jewish community in Prague, his mother was

a housewife. Jiří Pavel Kafka attended elementary school and later grammar school.

Thanks to the providence of his father,

Jiří and his siblings managed to travel to

England on the so-called Winton train

(June 28, 1939) shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. In England,

Jiří Pavel Kafka and his brother at first

ended up in a camp for refugee -children

in Ipswich. But later, thanks to his father,

who fortuitously came to England and

then worked as head of the Nečas ministry

for economic recovery in the Beneš exile

government, the two brothers got on a summer school and subsequently on a high

school in Cheltenham. However, Jiří Pavel

Kafka grew tired of studying and thus he

went into business, taking an apprentice

at the company Sigmund Pumps. Then,

on June 13, 1942, he resolved to join the

army. For approximately three months,

he served in the Czechoslovak land army,

he completed basic training and then was

accepted to the Royal Air Force (RAF).

He attended training in Wales, Scotland

and the Bahamas and was ranked as a

gunner and radio operator in the 311th

Fighting Wing, where he served between

September 3, 1942 and September 19,

1945. His crew operated over the Bay

of Biscay, the North Sea and the Atlantic. Their task was to accompany Allied

convoys and destroy enemy ships and

submarines. In 1945, he returned to Czechoslovakia where he found his mother,

who had survived the Lodz ghetto, the

Auschwitz concentration camp and then

a camp in northern Bohemia. However,

Jiří Pavel Kafka left Czechoslovakia again

in 1947 and he went back to England.

In 1949, he visited his native country for

the funeral of his father, but didn‘t remain

in the country permanently. In England, he

lived with his brother and then they were

joined by their mom. Jiří Pavel Kafka, together with a friend, founded a company

for the import of components for the manufacture of jewelry. However, he became

influenced by Zionism, and thus in 1960,

he and his wife decided to move to Israel.

In Israel, he became active in the real estate business, renting, buying and rebuilding houses. He continued to work in this

field even after 1968, when he returned to

England. In 1986, his mother died, followed by his wife in 1988, and so he decided

to return to Czechoslovakia in 1990. Jiří

Pavel Kafka currently lives in Prague.

This curriculum vitae has been prepared within project Post Bellum, Memory of Nations.

Post Bellum / how to support: http://www.pametnaroda.cz/page/index/title/donate?locale=en_GB

More information about Lt. Col. Jiri Kafka:






INFO Eduard - February 2018