In a free country
During the war, Harry Pollak fought against Nazi Germany for five years but after the communist coup of February 1948, Germany became his refuge. It was one of the many paradoxical situations in the new, post-war Europe. However, at that time, Harry Pollak did not feel hatred towards the Germans anymore. It was a long way from Czechoslovakia to his dream land – England – and many an obstacle was going to complicate things for him on the way there. The first stop of Harry and his wife after crossing the Czech-German border was the town of Philippsreut: “We came to a farm. The cows were in the cowshed in the basement and the family which had a ton of children lived on the first floor. It was about five o'clock in the morning and they were already getting up. They gave us something to drink and although it was disgusting, we drank it. Then I left Jarmila there and walked for about a kilometer to the house of the border guard. I rang the bell and a man opened the window on the first floor and said: ‘What do you want?’ ‘We are refugees, I’d like you to receive us and handle the paperwork’.” The town of Philippsreut is only an approximate location that was identified by Harry Pollak himself.