CZECHOSLOVAKIA: The Wonderful Machine

When the local Reds came around one day and told Vaclav Uhlik that they were going to nationalize his small machine shop in Pilsen, Vaclav made up his mind. He would escape to the West. Cautiously, he enlisted some friends in his plan: two Czech soldiers, a gardener named Josef Pisarik, Libuse Cloud, who had married an American G.I. from Sioux City back in 1949, but had never been able to get out of Czechoslovakia to join him. Then Vaclav swapped his most precious possession, a diesel engine, for a beaten-up British halftrack abandoned after the war.

For two years, Vaclav...

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