As a multi-linguist and a 'subject matter expert' on Eurasia, Ray Zavrel served with talented, dedicated American patriots for more than 35 years.
Washington/Buffalo, N.Y. (meaus) Radoslav 'Ray" Zavrel was born in the former Czechoslovakia in 1952, near Brno in Moravia, near the historical battlefield at Austerlitz, where the French Emperor Napoleon achieved one of his victories against Austria and Russia.
He studied foreign languages at the school of economics in Brno. After the Soviet Union's 1968 invasion (involving over 500,000 soldiers from USSR, Poland, Hungary and East Germany) he escaped on foot through the former Yugoslavia to Italy.
After spending two years in a refugee camp in Latina, Italy he immigrated to Buffalo, New York. As a volunteer, he joined the U.S. Army at the high point of the Cold War.
After his studies of business administration at the University of Buffalo, he chose to pursue linguistics. He is fluent In Russian, Czech, Croatian, Italian and German.
Then he served in the Air Force and later at the Office of the Naval Intelligence.
From 1995 to 2017, he
was employed by the Department of Defense and retired from
Pentagon after 35 years of combined military and civilian service.
For his significant achievements and contributions to national
security, he received many awards during his lengthy career.
As a multi-linguist and a 'subject matter expert' on Eurasia, Ray Zavrel served with talented, dedicated American patriots and also interacted with foreign nationals, including overseas.
He fondly recalls his assignments at the U.S. Embassy in Prague (1999-2016) following his native country's admission into NATO in 1999. At the time, some Czechs with the communist party, the secret police and Soviet Union's decades-long Russian KGB ties became millionaires or billionaires in a country where the average salary was only $ 1,000 a month.
Today, more than 20 years later, he is involved in a decades-long international dispute with the Czech Republic, which refused to restitute his late parents for property its communist predecessor confiscated and sold to their insiders at bargain prices.
After the so-called 'Velvet Revolution' in Prague in 1989, the Czech Republic restituted properties to its communist-elected President Vaclav Havel, some preferred noblemen such as Karel Schwarzenberg, the Lobkowicz family and even the former Czech-born U.S. Secretary of State Madelaine Albright. Ray Zavrel's late father Bohuslav Zavrel (1920-2013), formerly a German and Russian language teacher, won his case against the Czech Republic at the United Nations Court for Human Rights in Geneva. But the Czech government officials have steadfastly ignored the restitution claims for the real estate properties confiscated by the communist regime in 1970.
Today, in 2022 at the age of 70 years, Ray Zavrel will take up his crusade on behalf of his family and several other compatriots in similar situation not only to Prague, but also to the United Nations, the U.S. Senate, and the human rights organizations in Geneva in an effort to fight injustice, corruption and duplicity of his homeland.
He says: 'I will sue the Czech Republic till death does us part.'
In the fall of 2022, Zavrel will raise these issues with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague, enroute to the Napoleonic battlefield where Austrians and Russians lost to the great European emperor in 1805.
Maybe by then Europe, having lost millions of young people in two fratricidal world wars of the 20th century, will either stop the war in Eastern Europe or inflame it even more.
In any case, the writing is on the European Wall ... the modest case of Zavrel vs Czech Republic may be resolved before the dust settles in the Ukraine.
Ray Zavrel is a strong-willed, no nonsense, serious man, who resents degeneracy in arts and people, be it in America or Europe. He admires the Italian renaissance, Napoleon, the German culture and people, and collects ancient coins, antique clocks and cars. Recently, he translated into English and French the pentalogy 'Napoleon' by the Czech author Dr. Frantisek Zavrel.
He is also interested in genealogy, and has been researching his family's history going back several hundred years in Bohemia and Moravia. He tracked his family tree to late 1500s, and the list of Zavrels includes a general who served the Austrian Empire; a monk who was murdered by French troops in Italy during Napoleonic era; a playwright who was an admirer of Napoleon; a theater dramaturg known as 'Berliner Zavrel', an academic painter, several university professors and an Olympic champion.
Zavrel looks back at his life since he came to the United States 50 years ago, and says:
'It was an interesting life this time around. I would not change a thing.'
Ray Zavrel spends his
time between Buffalo, Kentucky and Florida
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