It was quite easy then. There was no metal detector at the airport in Mariánské Lázně. Personal searches were sloppy. This is despite the fact that a group of ten young people aroused suspicion in some airport staff. The young men were “little men,” with them three girls and a baby. A strange bunch of hippies who shortened the wait for the plane by drumming in the park.
They smuggled two pistols on board. The father of one of the girls was a police officer. The pistol simply pulled him out of his holster.
The cockpit was not separated from the passenger compartment in the L-410 Turbolet. It all seemed easy. And well planned.
They met at the U Fleků pub in Prague. They listened to rock. And they were thinking of emigrating. The youngest was 18, the oldest 23. Three young men already had experience with the West. They managed to leave in 1969.
Lubomír Adamica was in the United States until 1971. He traveled from the East to the West Coast, probably attended the Woodstock Festival, and experimented with drugs. Normal hippie. But over time, he stopped coping with America. Mentally and existentially. He was at the bottom. He returned and accepted a suspended sentence for “unauthorized leaving of the republic.”
Adamica was mentally unbalanced. He tried to commit suicide before emigrating to the United States. Returning to Prague probably saved his life. But it was a shock. Normalization Czechoslovakia did not resemble Woodstock.
So he started thinking about emigrating again. And plan.
It looked incredibly easy.
Historians consider the 1931 incident in Peru to be the first confirmed hijacking: a group of revolutionaries captured the pilot at the airport. The first hijacking of the plane took place near Malta in 1942 – the flight was taken over by prisoners transferred to a prison camp.
The big increase in kidnappings came at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. Between 1968 and 1972, the world experienced 326 hijacking attempts, or one attempt in about five and a half days.
The number of flights increased en masse. And airport controls were still so low that kidnappings became a common part of period flying. Often they were not even dramatic. And so hijackings have become the subject of television parodies or light newspaper texts, such as the one in Time: What to Do When The Hijacker Comes?
“An extraordinary selection of drinks may even be served during the abduction,” Time wrote. “On board a plane hijacked in November from Chicago to Miami, the hijacker bought drinks for all the passengers who asked for it.”
The communist regime increasingly perceived the war heroes serving in the British Air Force as “minions of imperialism.” Some could still fly for CSA, but gradually only on domestic routes and without family members.
Pilots Vít Angetter, Ladislav Světlík, Oldřich Doležal, Viktor Popelka and Bořivoj Šmíd hijacked three planes taking off from Brno, Ostrava and Bratislava to Bavaria. They also managed to smuggle family members onto the decks. Several other people who knew the plan flew with them. Of the 85 passengers, 27 remained in Germany.
In 1970, the hijackers forced the flight crew to change course on a regular flight from Karlovy Vary to Prague. They landed in Nuremberg. And in April 1972 another plane landed in Nuremberg, which was to reach Prague. The kidnappers were two repeat offenders and had several sentences of theft or burglary. They brought two pistols on board. And they used them: they shot the co-pilot.
The plane then seemed like a wonderfully seductive means of getting rid of its own problems.
One pistol was in the stroller, the other was in another girl’s panties. Everything went according to plan. Nevertheless, the kidnappers were nervous – they did not know if the flight was accompanied by an armed policeman in civilian clothes. And which of the other four passengers would it be.
The plane took off shortly before four o’clock in the afternoon. A few minutes later, Lubomír Adamica gave the agreed sign: he got up and took off his jacket. The action has begun.
In addition to pistols, the hijackers also had other “weapons” that they would certainly not bring on board today – glass bottles of Coca-Cola. They attacked the other passengers. One of the kidnappers aimed his weapon at the room painter Josef Jahn, who was eventually chosen as a police officer.
Adamica and another man hurried after the pilots. They took off their headphones and ordered a change of course to West Germany. What happened in the next few tens of seconds is not clear. It is certain that a shot was fired, which caused a fatal injury to the pilot Ján Mičic.
Adamica first pressed the weapon around the pilot’s neck. But one of the passengers tried to pull him from behind. Adamica hit him, another kidnapper pressed into the seat. A shot was fired shortly afterwards.
According to the indictment, Adamica shot deliberately to show that he did not hesitate to use any means to pursue his goal. Witness Josef Jahn believes that the shot came out more by accident. The kidnappers claimed that they definitely did not want to shoot, that “there were no such idiots”.
In any case, the situation seemed hopeless not only for Ján Mičica: the bullet cut the pilot’s carotid artery. Blood flooded some of the controls, shorted them out and shut them down.
Co-pilot Dominik Chrobák took control, but only partially controlled the aircraft.
The body of the dying pilot Mičici fell on the throttle and propellers. “With my left hand, I just tried to keep him from falling. We would go straight to the ground, “recalls Dominik Chrobák. “The guy with the gun stood behind me the whole time. I could only keep driving and nothing else. “
After crossing the border, Beetle planned to land on the highway. The badly damaged plane had no chance to stay in the air for long. Then he noticed the control tower of a small sports airport in Weiden. “I flew along the highway for a while longer to show them we were in the West. They recognized it by the cars that drove there. “
The terrorist communist regime forced the people to react in this way.
The beetle managed to land safely. Panicking kidnappers jump off a plane and run to the woods. But the police are on the scene in a few minutes…
Lubomír Adamic was facing a sentence of ten years. But a life sentence could not be ruled out either. Before the trial began on January 13, 1973, Adamica was hanged in his cell.
The other kidnappers were sentenced to between three and seven years in prison. Then they gained political asylum and stayed in Germany. Some returned to Czechoslovakia or the Czech Republic after they were pardoned by President Václav Havel. Only one of them settled here permanently.
“Artistic” abduction treatments can serve as an important image of a normalization culture. The clash between some current interpretations, in turn, as an impulse to think about “rewriting history.”
The creators of the series connected the themes of the underground, terrorism and drug addiction. The musicians of the band Mimikry, modeled on The Plastic People of the Universe, were ridiculous, irresponsible, cowardly, insidious drug addicts who planned to hijack the plane.
In the end, they cheated on each other, only some flew by plane. They planned the murder of the pilot in advance. Treacherous murderers.
Mimicry play their main hit Whip of God in the series. Maybe it’s a deliberate parody of the underground, maybe an expression of the authors’ ignorance. In any case, the song became a hit and a legend during normalization.
Jiří Lábus, a popular actor, created a significant role as the guitarist and singer of the group even after the year 89. He apologized for the role in a mid-November interview. He said he was ashamed of her and considered her a disgrace.
The music for the series was composed in Zdeněk by a completely extraordinary composer of film music, Zdeněk Liška. His name is associated with films that are among the best in Czech cinema. And also with “God’s Whip”.
The song Abduction was sung in 1973 by the Olympic group. At that time, not only Petr Janda was in her lineup, but also Jiří Korn. According to Janda, it was the band’s biggest hit at the time. Olympic is not playing today.
“We don’t play it because we don’t want to spark the mood of the time, but I’m personally quite sorry, it’s a great song,” says Petr Janda.
Mimicry of history
“Terrorism is meant here in the sense that the developed democratic world understood it at the time. Over the years, there have been repeated cases that have not been acceptable to the states to which the refugees were heading. If a refugee hijacked a transport aircraft, took hostage or insidious murder, he usually went to court in the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany) or Austria and in many cases heard a sentence with a high prison sentence. “
In other words, even if he fired Adamic unplanned, he used terrorist methods with his friends.
So: Even if they threatened with weapons, they were mainly young people longing for freedom. Victims of the regime.
Modern history: Recognizing victims and criminals at first glance is not easy.