The Only Legacy My Father Left for Me was an Insatiable Quest for My Connections to the Heritage of the Motherland (“The Czech Legion 1914-20”, Men-at-Arms-447, Osprey Publishing, David Bullock* Illustrated by Ramiro Bujeiro, 2009.

The Czech Legion(cover)This is why I am interested in the Czech legion (1914-20) because my father Viktor Holly had many friends from the Czech legion who told him the fascinating stories about how they made their way home. And Dad passed them on to me. One can see the book  cover”The Czech Legion 1914-20″ to the left.

Listen to:“Czech Legion” video story

It was not easy for these men at that time, they had to adapt to a new world order: the empire was gone, Hungary and Austria were resentful for having lost so much territory and prestige. They were having to live with this new reality. On having arrived home in their new Czechoslovak Republic, life was not easy. These men who fought  in a war, they felt was not theirs, and who had lost friends and family members, they must have wondered “where is this going to lead us”. Will this new nation survive and for how long.

How would they have felt if they knew in a few short years another war more terrible than what they lived through would destroy this young nation-Nazi Germany, the Hlinka Guard and other Nazi Allies would leave names like Lidice, Treblinka, Sered forever in the memories of these people.

The world of my father he told me so much about it was in stories about events in his life, tales of a friend who having come back from that war became a station master in Delson which is now only in the mists of memories. This man’s name I do not remember. He was one of many who survived to tell about those times. Unfortunately, there were those who did not return. Many of them were from my family. Their names are etched on the monument of the cemetery in Male Levare where I have been twice, fulfilling my father’s dream to return.

Gone forever is the world of old Vienna, the marching bands of soldiers on the way to the First World War for the Emperor/ Kaiser Franz Joseph. Listen to:“Preobrazhensky March”

My grandfather Joseph Holly on seeing these young men said to my father:”Many will never come home”. The sounds of heavy guns firing in the distance were heard from my father’s village.

Stories of my great uncle Frantishek who was a riding artillery officer saw so much horror in Albania and lost an arm in the combat in the service for the Austrian Army. Some of my father’s friends fought on the Russian front and saw how terribly defeated was the Russian Army. This was to lead to the Revolution and the beginning of the Czech Legion in Russia. Watch the show “The Czech Legion 1914-20”:


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Like I said, the memories of my father’s stories as a young man are fading in my memory. But I am putting this in writing which is only the beginning as there are many tales to be told later for those who wish to listen.

This is the end for now.

Listen to:Siberian Riflemen’s March (White Army)


  1. Наконец добралась до вашего сайта. Не было времени. Прочитала об отце Янека, о чешском легионе. И поняла как мало я знаю историю. И еще, что мои родители и дедушка и бабушка очень мало рассказывали о себе и своих предках. А мы были ленивы и нелюбопытны… О чешском легионе очень интересно.

  2. Понятно, что чем больше читаешь, тем больше узнаёшь мир. И тогда совсем не страшно жить в таком несправедливом и непорядочном мире, как наш. Продолжай познавать мир и не страшись ничего в мире.

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