‘Help’ from the friendly troops

Any other type of use of this text, photos and graphics, other than for personal purposes,
requires the prior written agreement of the publisher.

Tomáš Pfeiffer

A Life of Přinašeč

(the Bringer)


(The invasion of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the neighbouring communist countries)

‘On 21st August 1968 when the ‘Red Army’ came, the museum experienced a difficult period. The museum became a target, it was badly damaged by shooting. The windows were broken, the cupola, where we were guarding, was broken as well. We had to move the collections fast, guard them and secure them against thefts. That time, again, as during the revolution, I nearly lost my life. One of the bullets hit a column next to my head. It was a near miss.

Later, when the political situation calmed down slightly, I could have two shifts on one day and have every other day free. It was convenient because I could do the shopping and cooking in the morning and heal in the afternoon. I worked at the National Museum until the age of sixty and then I retired, but my pension was so low that I only obtained the subsistence minimum. Only then, could I start working in my branch full time. I have yet to explain what problems accompanied my healing activities.

In May 1945, the end of the second world war came and a revolution broke out in Prague. As I mentioned before, I had participated in revolt, so we got engaged into the fight. I served on a barricade in Smíchov next to Křižík’s factory. It was situated on the corner of Plzeňská and Radlická street. German troops were passing that way heading towards the West and we disarmed them there and sent them to Strahov where German captives and civilians were gathered. Those were hectic days. Prague was defending herself and there were many dead people in the river Vltava and in the streets.

Germans shot from the roofs of the houses, they hid in cemeteries and in drains and tried to shoot their way through to the West. We got weapons and munitions from Štefánik’s barracks opposite Kinský garden. As I was going to those barracks to make an announcement, I was shot by a Nazi who was sitting in a tree in Kinský garden and he nearly killed me. My helmet was damaged and I got a small scratch. We know from films and novels how the situation developed further and I am not going to speak more about it. The nation was exulting and did not expect that another suffering was approaching. The ‘Victorious February’ came and they called me ‘an enemy of the class’ (a communist expression which classified people with a different ideology). They confiscated my shop, etc. We already lived in Smíchov, in J. Plachta’s street where I had moved my family from Nusle when my father had been forced to sell our house.

It was a two-roomed flat but it was rather small for us. Only when my brothers moved away and I stayed with my mother alone, did I get the space to heal.

During the communist regime, there was a valid regulation that each person could only dwell in 18 m2 and any further meters were considered excessive. When I stayed in the flat alone, the owner of the house had to declare the excessive meters to the register of flats. These meters were charged much more. As I healed free of charge, I did not have any extra income other than my salary, and later on my pension which was very low. I had to economize a lot.

Very few people know that Mr J.Z. occasionally made graphic designs of books which were designed by the publishing Academia in order to improve his low income. You might have a book with his graphic design in your bookcase.

Současná podoba domu, ve kterém pan Josef Zezulka bydlel.

The current appearance of the house
where Mr J.Z. used to live

The copy of the scanned original - the original follows the text

The publishing of the Czechoslovac Academy of Science

Josef Zezulka

25, Jindřicha Plachty Street

Prague 5

We order a design of a cover of the book: The Coves in Czechoslovakia written by authors František Skřivánek and Josef Rubín.

Format B 5 the number of colours 2-3

You are pledged to deliver the work by 19th January 1972 the latest. The breach of the deadline condition entitles us to cancel the order without any right for a compensation from your side and to claim a damage compensation if it is caused by missing the deadline. The remuneration will be set after the approval. If the work is not taken over, you are entitled to get 1/3 of the given remuneration. The work passes into our ownership after the payment and at the same time you are passing the exclusive law for republishing for 5 years. If the work is republished, you are entitled to be remunerated.

This order is a confirmation of the oral agreement from 4th January 1972. The subject of the contract is the work in compliance with §2 of the 35/66 Collection of Laws.

Comrade regards


In Prague, 25th January 1973

Nakladatelství Academia

The copy of the scanned original - the original follows the text

Josef Zezulka

25, J. Plachty

Prague 5


The Publishing of the Czechoslovac Academy of Science

Prague 1 – New Town

Vodičkova Street


Dear comrade,

You designed the cover of the publication The Soil in CSSR for us in the year 1974.

We are preparing another publication –The Protection of the Countryside in the CSSR (4444) in the same design.

As we are going to reuse your designs, we are sending you 80% of the original remuneration, which is CZK 800,- because your designs will have to be modified.

Yours sincerely,


Nakladatelství Academia


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A Life of Přinašeč (the Bringer)

A Life of Přinašeč (the Bringer)  - Tomáš Pfeiffer
Translated from the Czech original Život přinašeče(ISBN 978–80–85238–60–0)
Published by © Tomáš Pfeiffer - Dimenze 2+2 Praha, 21, Soukenická, 110 00 Prague 1
Printed in the The Czech Republic
30th March 2012
www.dub.cz/en/, ISBN 978–80–85238–76–1
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronical or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system or translated into another language, without prior permission in writing from the publishers.
© Tomáš Pfeiffer, 30th March 2016


© Tomáš Pfeiffer. All rights reserved.