Saturday, 9 June 2018

Czechoslovak colonel's grave in Ethiopia reconstructed

ČTK |
14 March 2018

Addis Ababa, March 13 (CTK) - The Czech embassy in Ethiopia has unveiled a reconstructed tomb of Czechoslovak army's colonel Vitezslav Rosik who contributed to the development of the Ethiopian air forces and died in 1955.

The grave was unveiled on Monday, when the 19th anniversary of the Czech accession to NATO was marked.

Rosik fought in World War One and he operated at the forming Czechoslovak air forces. During World War Two, he left to France and later Britain to fight the Nazi Germany. He became a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot and he fought in the Battle of Britain.

After the Czechoslovak Communist coup in 1948, Rosik was stripped of his posts in the Czechoslovak military and had to retire because of he had been a RAF pilot. Several months after the coup, he left his homeland and ended up in Britain.

In 1949, Rosik accepted the invitation by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie who made him an aide for the development of Ethiopian air forces. He died in 1955 at the age of 60. The Czech government provided the finances for the reconstruction of his tomb at the Ferenji Cemetery at Gulele in Addis Ababa.

In 2015, a memorial plaque to Rosik was installed in his birthplace, the Moravian village of Bzova, close to the Slovak border.

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