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Main Page » REMEMBERING » Obituaries’ Archive (1998-2001)

Obituaries’ Archive (1998-2001)


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Dr. Jaroslav Alexander Boucek (1916-1998)

Odesel nam vyznamny vlastenec a neunavny pracovnik v nasich exilovych organizacich od sameho zacatku exilu. V Kanade pracoval pro Federalni vladu, a take prednasel jako hostujici profesor na Carleton University v Ottawe historii Stedni Evropy. Jeho publicisticka cinnost byla rozsahla, a jeho clany, uvahu a analyzy se obevovaly v mnohych nasich casopisech, jak akademickych tak take krajanskych.

Mnoho let vykonaval funkci tajemnika naseho Sdruzeni v Kanade, a velmi uzce spolupracoval s jeho tehdejsim predsedou, Jirim Cornem, a jinymi. Zucastnil se take mnoha delegaci, a pisemnych  podani naseho sdruzeni   kanadske vlade, ve veci uprchliku kteri hledali svobodu v Kanade, v zalezitostech obcanstvi, socialnich podpor a podobne. V Ottawe byl cinnym v SVU, a vzdy velmi ochotne prikladal ruku ke kazde vlastenecke,  exilove a socialni praci. Jaroslav se zapsal do analu exilove historie jako skvely clovek, jehoz prace vyznamne prospela nasi veci. Bude moc postradan, a budeme na nej velmi vzpominat.(Victor M. Fic)

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Charles Bruml (1912-1998)

Charles Bruml, 85, a retired artist, and a long-time member of  our Society, whose talent helped him survive Nazi concentration camps of World War II, died March 22 at the Powhatan Nursing Home in Arlington, VA. A native of Prague, where he was born on October 8, 1912,  Mr Bruml  retired in 1979 after 32 years with the commercial art firm of William P. Gelberg Inc.

In Terezin and Auschwitz camps he was put to work painting numbers on uniforms and in the printing and engineering department. He survived the 40-mile death march in January 1945 from Auschwitz to Gleiwitz, where prisoners were being moved away from invading Russians. Mr. Bruml was liberated by British troops later that year.

He met his wife, Dr. Hana Bruml, a clinical psychologist who had been in the same camps, for the first time at an office in Prague after the war. The couple married and then moved to the Washington area in 1947, Charles Bruml studied at the Corcoran School of Art. He displayed his paintings at galleries in the Washington area and at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. .

His artifacts from the war, including the suitcase he carried on deportation transport, are part of the collection of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. A videotaped interview with the Brumls, who had traveled back often over the years to the concentration camp sites, is also at the Museum. (-MR)

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Milic Capek (1909-1997)

Belatedly we have heard about the passing of one of our distinguished  members, Milic Capek, Boston University Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, on  November 17,1997, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was 88.

Capek was born in the village of Trebechovice, Bohemia on January 26,1909. He received his PhDr. in philosophy at Charles University in 1935. Talking his way out of occupied Czechoslovakia, he studied at the Sorbonne-and directed Czech language broadcasts back to his homeland. Fleeing Paris on a bicycle 10 days ahead of the Nazi tanks, he made his way to America, via Dakar, Casablanca, and a Vichy concentration camp in Morocco. During the war, he taught physics in the Army Specialized Training Program at the University of Iowa, the Navy V12 program at Doan College, and at the University of Nebraska. Returning to Czechoslovakia after the war, he taught briefly at the University of Olomouc before fleeing once again, one month before the communist coup d’etat, to take up permanent residence, and citizenship, in the United States.

Professor Capek joined the Carleton College philosophy faculty in 1948. In 1962, aftera distinguished career at Carleton both as a teacher and as a productive scholar, he accepted a position at Boston University, where he served with distinction until his retirement in 1974. Visiting professorships included the Davis Campus of the University of California, Emory University, North Texas University, Yale, and, again, Carleton, as the Donald J. Cowling Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy. In 1983 Carleton honored him with a Doctor of Letters degree.

He was the author of  A Key to Czechoslovakia: The Territory of Kladsko ((1946), Philosophical Impact of Contemporary Physics (1961), Bergson and Modern Physics (1971), The Concepts of Space and Time (1976), The New Aspects of Time: Its Continuity and Novelties (1991) and numerous articles in scholarly periodicals. Milic Capek made major contributions to the understanding of   the philosophical implications of relativity theory and quantum mechanics, and to the philosophy of time.(MR)

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Vladimir Dostal (1913-1998)

It is with great regret that we inform our membership of the recent death of our long-time member  JUDr. Vladimir Dostal. He was born in Dobrikov in eastern Bohemia on July 11, 1913. He studied law at Charles University, University of Grenoble and the Paris Sorbonne. During the early years of the Nazi occupation he was active in the National Alliance (“Narodni sourucenstvi”) in an effort to help his subjugated nation.

After the communist coup in 1948 he escaped and emigrated to Canada, and in 1955 to the US. He was an active member of the Agrarian Party in Exile and a frequent contributor to its publications. Ho was also a regular correspondent of Radio Free Europe.  For two years he held the position as the Vice President and four years as President of the SVU New York Chapter. During his tenure, the NY Chapter was one of the most active SVU Chapters. In 1989 he published, under the aegis of the Cz. Republican Party in Exile, the book, Antonin Svehla. Profil ceskoslovenskeho astatnika (222 p.),  which was reprinted in 1990 in Prague. Most recently, he authored another important book, Agrarni strana. Jeji rozmach a zanik (356 p.), published by Atlantis in Brno. He died after a short illness in Bethel, CT on September 24, 1998. Dr. Dostal, whom I knew personally, was a person of great ability, energy and impeccable character who will be sorely missed by his many friends and SVU members. (-MR)

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Jaroslav Drabek (1901-1996)

Dne 11. prosince 1996 zemrel v pozehnanen veku devadesati peti let ve Washingtonu, DC dlouholety clen SVU dr. Jaroslav Drabek. Narodil se v Chrudimi 6. kvetna 1901. Po vystudovani prav na Karlove univerzite pusobil jako advokat v Praze. V roce 1938 se stal jednim ze zakladetelu Ustredniho vyboru domaciho odboje (UVOD). Z jeho povereni byl vyslan do Londyna, aby tam informoval prezidenta Benese o situaci doma.  Pusobil pak jako spojka mezi narodnim odbojem doma a zahranicnim odbojem v Londyne az do sveho zatceni nacisty. Byl zalarovan v koncentracnim tabore v Osvetimi a jen zazrakem se dostal zpet do Prahy pri vysetrovani pripadu profesora Krajiny. Zbytek valky prozil v psychiatricke nemocnici v Bohnicich, kam se dostal s pomoci svych pratel.

Po osvobozeni byl dr. Drabek generalnim prokuratorem mimoradneho lidoveho soudu pro stihani valecnych zlocincu, mezi nimiz byl i smutne prosluly Herman Frank. Po unoru 1948 odesel s rodinou do exilu, vyemigroval do Spojenych statu a usadil se ve Wahingtonu, DC. Stal se clenem ceskoslovenske redakce Hlasu Ameriky, kde pusobil jako redaktor az do roku 1971, kdy odesel do penze.

Od svych studentskych let byl cinny i literarne. Prispival do Peroutkovy Pritomnosti a byl autorem Povidek o krutem umirani, studie o moravskych bratrich v Americe, romanu Podzemi a krome toho i zivotopisnych pameti. V poslednich letech byl velmi cinny v prezidentske komisi Holocaustu.

SVU ztratila odchodem dr. Drabka jednoho ze svych nejstarsich a nejvernejsich clenu.Pouzivame teto cesty, abychom vyjadrili jmenem nasi Spolecnosti jeho synovi Janu Drabkovi, novemu ceskemu velvyslanci v Albanii, a jeho rodine, jakoz i rodine zemreleho dr. Jaroslava Drabka mladsiho, uprimnou soustrast. (M.R).

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Jaroslav Dresler (1925-1999)

V Mnichove zemrel dne 27.ledna 1999 byvaly vedouci kulturni redakce Svobodne Evropy Jaroslav Dresler, rodak z Brna – Kralova Pole. Uz jako student na Masarykove universite publikoval literarni a divadelni kritiky v Lidovych novinach. Do exilu se odebral v roce 1949, kdyz pred tim byl z politickych duvodu vyloucen ze studii. Ze Svobodne Evropy po temer padesat let kriticky obziral kulturni deni doma a ve svete.  

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Libuse Drobilkova (1927-1998)

We have just learned of the untimely death in Prague on October 4, 1998 of our member Libuse  Drobilkova. She was born in Cisovice January 22, 1927. She lived for forty years in exile where she distinguished herself as a Secretary of the Women of Free Czechoslovakia. Together with Betka Papankova, who was the organization’s President, she helped a number of Czechs and Slovaks abroad with their problems. She also held the position of executive secretary of the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party, under the chairmanship of Dr. Vladimir Krajina. And thirdly, she represented the Ceske Slovo in the US.

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Zdenek Elias (1920-2000)

Zdenek A. Elias died on February 2, 2000. He was a native of Dvur Kralove n/Labem, Czechoslovakia, where he was born on May 28, 1920. He had his classic Czech education but his studies at Charles University were cut short by World War II. He spent the war years in the death camps of Terezin, Auschwitz and Schwarzheide. After the war he returned to Prague, but in 1948 fled again when the communists seized power. After coming to the US in 1949 he joined Radio Free Europe in its earliest days and for the next thirty years as a broadcast journalist in New York and in Munich, where  he worked tirelessly for the liberation of his beloved Czechoslovakia. Upon his retirement in 1980 he moved to Seattle, WA, which he considered to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

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George   Gibian (1924-1999)

George Gibian, a long-time member of SVU,   the Goldwin Smith Professor of Russian Literature, died at this Ithaca home Sunday, October 24. He was 75.. Gibian, who taught at Cornell University for 38 years, was still an active member of the faculty at the time of his death.

He was born in 1924 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, attending school there until 1939, when he was sent to study at St. Edmunds College in England, ostensibly to avoid the threat of Nazi Germany. Gibian received his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1943. He then enlisted in the US Army and served in the 94th Infantry division, which landed in Normandy in 1944, and he later served in the Battle of the Bulge as part of the Third Army under Gen. George Patton and received the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and “V” device for valor for his infantry service. After returning to the States, he attended the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and earned M.A. in 1947. He earned Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University in 1951 and went on to teach at Smith College until 1959 and at the University of California at Berkeley from 1959 to 1960.

Gibian joined the Department of Literature at Cornell in 1961, specializing in Russian and comparative literature, nationalism and Slavic culture and national identity. He edited 20 books and published 90 articles and was a major translator of Russian dramatists of the absurd and also of the works of Jaroslav Seifert, the Czech Nobel Prize-winning poet. He wrote three books, Tolstoy and Shakespeare (1957), The Interval of Freedom: Soviet Literature during the Thaw, 1954 to 1957 (1960), and Russia’s Lost Literature of the Absurd, A Literary Discovery (1971). In addition, he edited several Russian classics for the W.W. Norton series.

He was chair of the Russian literature department from 1963 to 1973, acting chair from 1978 to 1982 and chair of the committee on soviet Studies from 1966 to 1969 and again from 1981 to 1982. He will be sorely missed. (MR).

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Hanus J. Grosz (1924-2001)

Dr. Hanus Jiri Grosz, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine, died on September 26 at age 77 after fighting renal cell carcinoma for six years. He had been a proud resident of Indianapolis since 1962 and held citizenship in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. In 1981 — after 19 years as a Professor of Psychiatry and eight years as Chief of Psychiatry Service at the Veterans Association Hospital in Indianapolis — Dr. Grosz continued the treatment of patients in private practice, establishing clinics in Anderson, Muncie, Jeffersonville , Huntington and at St Francis Hospital, Indianapolis. He was most noted for his successes using hypnosis to treat addictions and neuroses, and was a pioneer in introducing group therapy to psychiatric practice in the Midwest. Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1924 to Jewish parents, Dr. Grosz, at 15, exiled his homeland as part of the Kindertransport, a war-time humanitarian initiative to relocate at-risk children of Nazi-occupied countries to England and other Allied nations. His parents perished in Nazi concentration camps, Terezin and Auschwitz. A decorated World War II veteran, Dr. Grosz was a wireless operator and air gunner in the 311 Czechoslovak Bomber Squadron of the Royal Air Force and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, retired, with the Czech Air Force. Immediately after the war, Dr. Grosz returned to Czechoslovakia, teaching English for a brief period until the Communist regime, persecuting Czech RAF veterans, forced him into second exile. Back in England, without a high-school diploma, he was awarded an ex-serviceman grant to study at University College, Cardiff (BSc 1950) and the Welsh National School of Medicine (MD, 1953). He held residencies in neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York (1958-60), and psychiatry at Warren State Hospital, Pennsylvania (1955-56), and Maudsley Hospital, London (1960-62). During his studies in London, Dr. Grosz was asked to join Anna Freud’s cadre of psychoanalysts. Though an admirer of Sigmund Freud, he refused on the grounds that there were broader psychiatric methodologies to explore and more diverse patient populations to assist. This dual current of intellectual independence and humanitarianism led Dr. Grosz to publish over 60 scientific research articles in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals, and to devote his medical services to a variety of causes and institutions, including: Indiana Department of Corrections, Indiana Department of Mental Health, the AMA Council on Drugs, Recovery, Inc. self-help group, and Marion County Superior Courts. He was a founding fellow and President of the American College of International Physicians (FACIP) and founding member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych). In retirement, Dr. Grosz continued to evaluate criminal cases for the Courts and public defenders. Dr. Grosz was also a prominent Indianapolis patron of the arts — past president and founding member of the Ethnographic Art Society (Indianapolis Museum of Art), founding board member of the Eiteljorg Museum of Indian Heritage, and a personal patron of the careers of several emerging artists who have gone on to make significant contributions to the world of music, performance, painting, and sculpture. His collections of African and Native American art as well as contemporary art glass have been exhibited throughout the country and are published in a variety of ethnographic and museum catalogues.

Dr. Grosz is survived by his wife, Kirsten; three children, Anita, Martin, and Peter; and two grandchildren, Lillian and Sophie.

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Johanna Karlikova-Hodkova (7. 5. 1907-13. 4. 2001)

Narodila se v Podebradech v zamecku Karlikov u Labe. Byla dcerou Vaclava Karlika z Nezetic, spolumajitele a reditele cukrovaru v Podebradech, a Antonie Kar-likove roz. Bezdickove. Byla vnuckou slavneho chemika a cukrovarnika Dr. Tech. H.S. Ing. Hanuse Karlika z Nezetic, reditele cukrovaru v Nymburce, a Josefa Bezdicka, spisovatele hospodarskych knih a reditele panstvi knizete Kinskeho ve Zlonicich.

Prozila krasne mladi v Podebradech, v Gradu v Italii, kam rodina jezdila na prazdniny, a ve starobylem hrade Kamen u Tabora, kde navstevovala sveho stryce Jaroslava   Bezdicka,   kteremu hrad v te dobe patril. V lete take byvala u sveho dedecka Josefa Bezdicka v zamku knizete Kinskeho ve Zlonicich.

Po maturite z Divci realky v Praze studovala v Parizi na univerzite Sorbonne. Po navratu z Parize se roku 1929 provdala za Mudr. Bohdana Kallmunzera. Mela s nim dve dcery, Hanu a Bohdanu. Roku 1949 opustila s dcerami a s druhym manzelem vlast a pristehovala se do Spojenych statu v roce 1957. Po petiletem zamestnani v elegantnim damskem obchode v Beverly Hills si otevrela svuj vlastni podnik, ktery vedla az do odchodu do duchodu.

V roce 1961 se provdala za Jiriho Hodka, vyrobce, obchodnika, podnikatele a byvaleho partyzana v Jugoslavii za druhe svetove valky.

Byla to vynikajici, vsestranne nadana, inteligentni a krasna zena. Byla velkou ceskou vlastenkou, milovala ceskou historii a obdivovala ceske hrdiny. Skoro do poslednich chvil si pamatovala dulezita data z ceskych dejin. Mluvila plynne nejenom cesky, ale take francouzsky, nemecky a anglicky.

V poslednich letech zila v Pacific Palisades v Kalifornii v malebnem prostredi ve svem condominiu s vyhledem na Pacificky ocean a nedaleko sve dcery Bohdany a jejiho manzela Dr. William Perkinse. Svuj posledni rok prozila v Saratoga v Kalifornii u sve dcery Hany Miklove v okruhu sve milovane rodiny, ktera ji poskytla vybornou a laskyplnou peci do posledni chvile.

Mnoho let byla clenkou SVU a mela tam mnoho pratel.
HANA KALLMÜNZER-MIKL, BOHDANA KALLMÜNZER-PERKINS, dcery, DR. WILLIAM PERKINS, zet

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Oswald A. Holzer (1911-2000)

Dr. Holzer, 83, died on January 3, 2000, of congestive heart failure, at Vero Beech, Florida, two days after his wife passed away. He was born in Benesov, Czechoslovakia on July 23, 1911 and received his medical degree from Charles University in 1937. He fled to China from Czechoslovakia during the German invasion at the outbreak of World War II where he met his future wife who had returned to china to teach. They married six weeks later in Peking. With the increasing occupation of China by Japan in 1940, they moved to the US.

He completed his medical internship and residency in the US. He was subsequently assigned to American oil fields in Peru and Ecuador by the Wartime Office of Procurement and Assignment for Physicians. In 1948, Dr. Holzer joined the staff of the Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee. He went into private practice in Melbourne in 1952, and at that time also became a member of the old Brevard Hospital staff. According to his daughter, Joanie Schirm-Neiswender of Orlando, he delivered over 200 babies in Brevard County in a single year in the 1950′s.

When he retired in 1974, he founded the student Health Service at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. After donating his salary to the university for 10 years, the student clinic was named in his honor. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by Florida Tech in 1955.Dr. and Mrs. Holzer endowed a chair at Florida Tech in genetic engineering and dedicated it in memory of both their parents. It is called Holzer-Lequear Foundation. This remarkable man will be greatly   missed by many of his friends.

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Pavel L. Horecky (1913-1999)

Pavel Horecky, 86, who worked in the Library of Congress for 26 years before retiring in 1977 as Chief of what was then its Slavic Division, died of a heart attack November 17 at the Collington Life Care Center on Mitchellville, where he had spent the past six years.

Over the years, he lectured and wrote on Slavic affairs. after retiring from the library , he was a senior research fellow at George Washington University’s Sino-Russian Studies Institute. He also taught for a time in Japan.

Dr. Horecky, a former Alexandria, VA, resident, was a native of Trutnov, Czechoslovakia, where he was born on September 8, 1913. He attended the Sorbonne and received a doctorate in law and political science from the University of Prague in 1936. He also received a master’s degree in political science from Harvard University. During World War II, he served in Czechoslovak army units under British command. After the war, he worked on war crimes investigations and was a trial attorney at the Nuremberg trials. He also edited trial records for publication by the US Army.

His wife, Emily, died in 1993. Survivors include a son, Frederick J., an attorney, of Agana, Guam. Pavel Horecky was an active member of SVU from the very beginning and  his loss will be felt by many of his friends and colleagues.

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Roman Hruska (1904-1999)

Former U.S. Senator Roman Hruska, a noted conservative Republican lawmaker, whom SVU honored with its Bicentennial Award in 1976, died on April 25, 1999 in Omaha, NE. He was 94.

Mr. Hruska, born in David City, NE, on Aug. 16, 1904, was the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee when he retired in 1976. He was credited with wielding substantial influence in helping develop much of the nation’s criminal justice policy.

Mr. Hruska was proud of his Czech heritage, traditional values, and conservative political philosophy. He was an old-style politician. He liked to campaign, shake hands, and have a cold beer with a constituent on the appropriate occasion. His rhetorical style also harkened to a bygone day. Shortly before his retirement in 1977, the Los Angeles Times said of him:Mr. Hruska’s “conservatism, which can be seen in most of his public policy stances, is also apparent in his personal style. He is an old-fashioned, righteously indignant, July 4 brand political orator and not just on the stump.” Mr. Hruska was elected to the House of Representatives from the Omaha-dominated 2nd District in 1952. He resigned in 1954 to serve the unexpired four years remaining in the term of the late U.S. Sen. Hugh Butler. Mr. Hruska was then reelected for a full six-year term in 1958. He won reelection in 1964 and 1970.

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Svatava Jakobson (1908-2000)

Dr. Svatava Pirkova Jakobson, professor, author, folklorist, and musi-cologist, died Tuesday, September 19, 2000 in a Taylor nursing home.

Born in Vienna, Austria, March 19, 1908, Svatava received her PhDr. from Charles University in Prague, where she translated into Czech the works of Russian authors Pushkin, Pasternak, and Olesha. She also translated the works of French and German writers, including Rimbaud, Le Corbusier, and Aachim von Arnim. At the University she met and married Roman Jakobson, founder of the Prague Linguistic Circle, who would receive international recognition as a linguist and scholar.

Svatava’s fieldwork in folk music and ethnography took her to Poland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Rumania. In 1939, the impending Nazi takeover forced her and her husband to leave the University of Brno and escape to Denmark. They stayed there briefly, fleeing ahead of the Nazi armies into Norway, where they endured train bombings, hiding in the mountains, and sleeping in a hay barn.

Crossing a bridge into Sweden in a horse-drawn sleigh, the Jakob-sons were briefly jailed and finally reached Stockholm in May 1940. Still in peril, they sought the help of the American ambassador and even-tually acquired the papers that would permit them to leave for the United States.

As Roman taught linguistics at Columbia, Harvard, and M.I.T., Sva-tava was a lecturer in Czech language and literature and Slavic folklore at Harvard. She continued her interest in folk music, working with John Lomax and his son Alan, who was curator of the Archive of American Folksong of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. While in New York, she wrote a regular column for Czech immigrants for the news-paper Nove-Yorkske Listy, and in the late 1940s served as editor-in-chief of the magazine America, a State Department publication. In 1967, after she and Roman had divorced, Svatava came to teach for a year in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. Captivated by the Czech communities in east central Texas, she chose to make Austin her home, teaching Czech language and literature at UT for a decade, researching the culture of the Moravian immigrants to Texas, and gaining a reputation throughout the state for her scholarship and involvement. Devoted students, colleagues, and their families were always welcomed at her River Hills Road home, especially for her annual Christmas dinner parties.

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Dr. Cestmir Jesina (June 17, 1924 – January 18, 2001)

Cestmir Jesina, born in the Moravian village of Rapotice in Czechoslovakia, died at the age of 76 in the town of Woodstock in Virginia.

He left Czechoslovakia soon after the Communist take-over in 1948.  He stayed in Germany and in England, where he studied at Oxford University and earned a Master’s degree in Political Science. When he came to the USA he continued his studies at George Washington University and received his doctorate in Political Science in 1970.  He worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce and then for the Department of Energy, where he held the position of Senior Analyst for International Energy Affairs.  In his retirement years he devoted himself to research, writing and working for the various Czechoslovak exile organizations.

Dr. Jesina was an active member of the Czech National  Council, of the Sokol organization, of the Wilson Club (of which he had been President), of the Czechoslovak Interdenominational Services, where he sang in the choir for two decades, and he devoted most of his time to the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU).  He was Chairman of the Washington, DC chapter from 1971-1973.  He served on the Executive Board of the Society as Vice President for two terms: from 1984-1986 and from 1986-1988.

Cestmir Jesina was an exemplary patriot.  He worked selflessly and devotedly for the Czech cause.  He never missed a meeting, national celebration, fundraiser, and his help was always sought by the organizers of such events. He was someone you could always count on and when he became ill, his services were sorely missed.  He will be remembered as one of the irreplaceable members of the Czech community.

His friends who would like to honor his memory may make a contribution to SVU in his name. The gift should be made out to SVU and mailed to the SVU Treasurer, Mr. Frank Mucha, 200 Riverside Drive, Apt. 5F, New York, NY 10025.

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Jan Herman Jirasek (15 August 1926-December 24, 1998)

Dr. Jan Jirasek, a prominent SVU member and founder of the SVU chapter in Sydney, Australia died at his home on Bondi Beach this past Christmas Eve. We are extending our condolences to his family and reprinting for our readers excerpts from the eulogy given by Dr. Oliver Fiala on January 4,1999.

Quoting the publisher of Jan Jirasek’s personal chronicle entitled From Bohemia to theEnd of the World “Jan was for the whole period of his exile in Australia an active Czech patriot. He supported Charter 77 and was in direct contact with its leadership. In his mind he never left Czechoslovakia, and he was one of the first… to fly back so that he could participate in the new events for which he had done so much.”

The establishment of a Chapter of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in Sydney in 1972 provided an important forum for fostering a range of both local and international initiatives relating to Czech and Slovak life and culture, Jan Jirasek, together with the unstinting assistance of Blanka, not only committed himself to the establishment and on-going viability of the Society, but constantly challenged its members to become involved in bigger picture issues. Over the 20 year period of the life of Sydney SVU, Jan served as Secretary, President and Coordinator. Hiscontribution in each of these demanding roles was outstanding.

He worked with all the Czech and Slovak community organizations, worked with the Czech Radio broadcasts and worked as a correspondent for local and overseas Czechoslovak newspapers and publishing organizations, informing readers about the political situation in their homeland and about the activities of the SVU in Sydney.

Of particular significance was Jan’s influence, through his contacts in the theatre, in the production by the Nimrod Theatre in 1981 of three of Havel’s one-act plays under the title “Protest”. The associated and timely support of Amnesty International resulted both in promoting extensive awareness among Australians generally of Havel as a playwright, and also as a dissident, who at the time of the Nimrod theatre production was imprisoned for his on-going human rights activities.

Jan Jirasek was indeed a man of action. For this reason I believe the greatest tributes we can pay to him are not only in our words of gratitude and praise and in our support for his family, but by our renewed commitment to live and work for the ideals and principles he greatly valued. In particular, by our demonstration of a oneness of spirit and through our care, concern and compassion in meeting the needs of others. In this way we will ensure that Jan’s spirit of dedication lives on and that his work to strive for a greater good will continue to have an impact far into the future. (0. FIALA)

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Prof. Dr. Josef Kalvoda (15.,1.1923 – 8.3.1999)

Prof. dr. Josef Kalvoda, predni cesky historik a politolog, clen nesciselnych akadenickych organisaci, autor mezinarodne uznanych knih o zrodu Ceskoslovenska a jeho uloze v sovetske strategii, ohromneho mnozstvi vedeckych studii o osudu naseho naroda a nakonec velkeho trisvazkoveho souboru clanku z boju o narodni zitrek, odchazi ze sveta nejen jako tvrdy bojovnik za pravdivy popis nasich narodnich dejin a mimoradna bytost protikomunistickeho odboje, ale i jako vysoce vzdelany kritik hospodarskych, politickych  a mravnich nedostatku cele civilisace a vzacny bojovnik za lidska a obcanska prava ve svete.

Osobnost, zivot a prace  prof. dr. Josefa Kalvody zustanou provzdy prikladem cestne, pilne a vedecke existence Cecha na tomto svete,  Jeho velkorysa duse oddana Jezisi Kristu, jeho celozivotni nezistna cinnost venovana ceskemu narodu a jeho systematicke a objektivni neuprosne hledani pravdy ve spleti minulych mythu a pritomnych vymyslenin zustanou provzdy vzorem pro ceskeho krestana, muze a vzdelance,.

Postoj prof. dr. Kalvody vuci pohanskemu komunismu, popirajicimu nase vzacne tisicilete narodni krestanske dedictvi, jeho kazdodenni boij proti podlym komunistickym agentum ve vlasti a zahranici a jeho tvrde zavery zalozene na prisne prozkoumanych faktech zustanou provzdy vzorem pro ceskeho vlastence, vudce a vedce. Primost, pravdivost a vzacnost prof. dr. Josefa Kalvody v nasi otresne dobe oportunistu, karieristu, prizivniku, pozivacu, pokrytcu, lharu a vrahu, kratkozrakych ci prolhanych proroku sekularniho materialismu, zustanou provzdy vzorem, jak se ma moderni muz chovat a v dustojnosti zachovat. Bylo mi nesmirnou cti osobne poznat a po dlouhou dobu spolupracovat s timto velikanem naseho naroda. Cest jeho pamatce!

(Prof. Dr. Libor Brom, University of Denver)

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Milena Kargerova

Dne 27. unora 1999 zemrela v Los Angeles paní Milena Kargerova, manzelka dr. Jiriho Kargera, byvaleho predsedy Los Angeles mistni skupiny SVU. Jeji pratele v Los Angeles chteji touto vzpominkou uctit jeji pamatku.

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Otakar Koldovsky (1930-1998)

Somewhat belatedly we have learned about the passing of our member Otakar Koldovsky on April 5, 1998. He was born on March 31, 1930 in Olomouc of a physician’s family. In 1949 he started his studies at Charles University at the Faculty of Medicine and as a medical student joined the working group of Professor J. Krecek at the Institute of Physiology of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. He graduated in 1955 and after practicing as a physician in Karlovy vary he started his Ph.D. studies under the guidance of Dr. P. Hahn in Professor Krecek’s department. He studied the ontogenic development of the intestines in rats and human foetuses at the Institute of Mother and Child, for which work he was awarded the CIBA prize in London. Since then he devoted his efforts to studying the utilization of nutrients during postnatal development.

In the midst of his fruitful research in 1968, Czechoslovakia was occupied by Warsaw Pact armies. Dr. Koldovsky was among many scientists who left the country. He began his research work in pediatrics in Philadelphia where he also received his nostrification.

The last eighteen years he spent in Tucson, AZ where he was in charge of the Neonatal Research unit at the University of Arizona’s Department of Pediatrics. His most promising research turned to the role of hormones and growth factors in milk. He authored many original articles, chapters in books and his own monograph, Development of the Small Intestinal Functions in Mammals and Man.

After the Velvet Revolution, he regularly returned to his homeland professionally and socially. In 1994 on the occasion of the SVU world congress in Prague, he organized a conference on “Czech and Slovak Contributions to Parental Medicine,” which was later published in Physiol. Res. 44 (1995), pp. 339-360. Dr. Koldovsky has made a distinct mark on medical research and his contributions will long be remembered.

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Josef Kratochvil (1915-2001)

Hovorim-li o exilu, vnimam toto krajne bolestive; jsem ditetem po-únoroveho exulanta a to cely zivot boli. Narodil jsem se ctyri dny po odchodu meho otce do exilu, jako pohrobek cloveka, ktery tolik miloval svoji zem, ze nemohl souhlasit s tim, jak zlocinecka organizace komu-nistu tuto zem nici. Odesel do exilu, aby tak jak mnoho jinych pro tuto zemi pracoval a take zemrel v idealech svobody. Mel jsem asi zacit, ze zemrel universitni profesor, senator, skaut, vedec, spisovatel, cestny obcan mesta Brna, vojak-zpravodajec exilove protikomunisticke organizace generala Moravce, zakladatel ceskych skol v exilu, vydavatel ceskych ucebnic, pracovnik SVU, clen exilove vlady, polarni badatel, ornitolog atd., ale predevsim clovek, otec, dedecek, manzel, pritel.

PhDr. Ing. Josef Kratochvil – Baby. Zemrel tak, jak zil, jeho smrt ma podivna zakouti a je plna opustenosti exulanta. Zemrel dne 11. 5. 2001 v nemocnici ve Stuttgartu. Zustal po nem jen bohaty archiv plny kores-pondence mezi dcerou Prezidenta osvoboditele (jak vzdy rikal T. G. M.) Alici G. Masarykovou, pani Kvapilovou, Velenem Fanderlikem, kardi-nalem Beranem, prof. Bromem, Hynkem Trhlikem a dalsimi exulanty. Domnivam se, ze takovy osud postihl mnoho exulantu, lidi, kteri prilis milovali svoji zem a proto museli odejit. Jsme ctyri deti a maminka, kteri na sveho otce vzpominame a jsme hrdi na to, ze zustal verny cely zivot odkazu T. G. M. Je rada mist ve svete a spousta deti, ktere diky jeho vychove nezapomnely na svuj rodny jazyk. Jsem hrdy na to, ze jsem jeho syn, ac jsem zil v komunistickem Ceskoslovensku bez otce, a byl jsem veren jeho idealum, coz nebylo zrovna lehke. Otce nahrazoval nejstarsi bratr spisovatel Jiri Kratochvil, ktery pri mych navratech z detskych domovu a pri krocich do dospelosti vzdy ukazoval na to, ze hlavni je cisty stit cloveka, a ze neseme jmeno nejen otce, ale i deda moravskeho filosofa Prof. Dr. Josefa Kratochvila a dalsich, ktere nas zavazuje k skautskym idealum cti svobody a spravedlnosti. Jsem vdecen otci za to, ze vstipil Jirimu tyto idealy. Jsem rad, ze ani moje deti se nemusi stydet za mne.

Dnes, jiz s úsmevem, vzpominam na vyroky vysetrovatele StB kpt. Maleho, kdyz jsem rekl, ze bych si pral tatinka aspon jednou videt, odpovedel: “Vsak on je v dobre kondici, sportuje, jiste ho jednou uvidite.” Netusil, jak mel pravdu. Jejich rezim padl a my jsme se setkali.

Dalsi moje vzpominka hovori o podivnem mysleni komunistu. U dve-ri naseho domu v roce 1987 zazvonil ideologicky pracovnik Krajskeho vyboru strany s dotazem co si o praci komunistu a krajskeho vyboru mysli tatinek a jeho spolupracovnici. Je humorne, ze se na tyto veci ptali mne, ktery nemohl cestovat a marne leta podaval zadosti na úrad pasu a viz o moznost navstivit otce. Vzdy sdelili pisemne, ze se vycestovani ne-slucuje se zajmy statu. Nastesti je tato etapa za nami. Tatinku, co si myslis o praci dnesnich komunistu dnes tam nahore? Jsi opet exulant nebo jsi konecne doma u sveho otce???! (J.Kratochvil, Brno)

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Frank Kreysa (1919-2001)

Frank J. Kreysa, 81, a chemist who directed the testing and evidence-processing laboratories of the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Alco-hol, Tobacco and Firearms, died of pneumonia March 12 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. He had a circulatory ailment. He was head of the division of scientific services from 1973 to 1982, directing laboratories in Rockville and elsewhere. Lab duties include examining firearms, explosives and arson evidence and checking the purity of alcohol.

Dr. Kreysa, who lived in Gaithersburg, helped create the facility in Rockville, which was moved in 1978 from the Internal Revenue Build-ing. During his tenure, techniques were devoloped to identify voices, explosives, inks, gunpowder residue and other substances.

He also had been vice president of the Smithsonian Institution Science Information Exchange, helping develop a computerized system for the exchange of scientific information. He negotiated cooperative agreements with other governments and private research organizations. Dr. Kreysa was a native of Stankov, Czechoslovakia, who came to this country in 1939. He graduated from Macalester College in Minnesota and received a master’s degree and doctorate, both in chemistry, from Columbia University.

He developed drugs for treating tropical diseases while working for the Division of War Research at Columbia during World War II and then taught chemistry at St. John’s University in New York. He joined W. R. Grace & Co. as a researcher in 1955, working on plastics, metals and petroleum catalysts. He joined the Smithsonian pro-gram in 1961. He wrote articles about chemistry, science documentation and manpower and held patents on polymers and pharmaceuticals.

Survivors include his wife, Aida M. Kreysa of Gaithersburg; four sons, Francis John Kreysa of Damascus, Henry Joseph Kreysa of Frederick, Charles Gerhard Kreysa of San Diego and Peter George Kreysa of Los Angeles, and seven grandchildren. (M.R.)

I met Dr. Frank Kreysa – through Dr. Mila Rechcigl – more then 30 years ago, while organizing the scientific part of the 4th SVU Congress in Washington, D.C. He eagerly accepted my offer to co-chair one scientific section and volunteered to present a paper at another. From the time of our first meeting we became the lifelong friends. We met often   at some social gatherings, or for lunch, or at evening receptions at various embassies, when both of us were employed by the Federal Goverment. Dr. Kreysa was a very punctual man. No matter how earlyI would arrive at some gathering, he would be there already, waving to me to come and join him at the bat section. His Christmas greetings would reach our house two ar three weeks ahead of our next Christmas card. He would never be late in anything he would promise or undertake. In later years we met only occasionally, usually at the COSMOS CLUB, where we would discuss – with a bottle of good wine on the table – the latest news, or our business activities, or to recollect our long-ago studies at Columbia University, our alma mater.

Frank Kreysa was a very decent man, a caring father and loving husband. A gentleman par excellence. To his wife Aida, their for sons and their families, we express our sincere condolences. (Andrew Elias)

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Andrew J. Laska (1927-2001)

Andrew J. Laska, 73, of Weston, died on May 23, 2001 after a short illness. He was a resident of Weston since 1964 and the husband of Vera Laska for 52 years. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, son of the pre-communist Czechoslovak ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Vaclav Laska. As the son of a diplomat, he received an international education: French high school in Algiers and Prague, bachelor’s degree from the University of the Americas in Mexico City, and a master’s degree in international economics from the University of Chicago.

He was a long time employee of the Kendall Company; for three years he headed the Cuban branch of the company, and for five years he was the director of the highly successful Kendall do Brasil, which he established in 1959. In 1964 he returned to the home office in Boston, where he filled several executive positions. As the representative of the International Division, he traveled all over the world and was instrumental in the founding of Kendall branches in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He fluently spoke Spanish, Portuguese, and French. He retired as a director of Marketing International Division in 1988. In his younger years he excelled in mountain climbing and horsemanship. He was a chess champion and an experienced bridge player, together with his twin brother Jim, who was the bridge champion of Mexico. During World War II, he served with the anti-Nazi resistance and was wounded in battle. Throughout the Cold War, he continuously supported refugees from Cuba and Czechoslovakia. He served on the Board of Visitors at Duke
University’s Nicholas School in the Division of Earth & Ocean Sciences. He was a collector of art, and after his retirement successfully devoted himself to photography.

He was the father of Thomas V. Laska, a graduate of Weston High School and of Duke University, who died tragically at the age of twenty. He leaves his wife, Vera Laska, professor at Regis College and Town Crier columnist, and his son Paul Andrew Laska, graduate of Weston High School and of Springfield College. He will be sorely missed.

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Frank Libersky (1917-1997)

Frank Libersky, a long-time member of SVU, 80, a cataloguer who retired in the early 1980s after about 20 years with the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD died of a stroke June 25, 1997 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC. A resident of Bethesda, MD, he had lived in the Washington, DC area for 36 years.

He was a native of Velky Osek, CSR, where he was born on April 13, 1917, and a graduate of the  Czech University of Agriculture in Prague (Ing. 1947). He moved to the US in 1952 to attend the University of Idaho, where he received a B.S. degree in agriculture in 1956. Subsequently (1959) he also received a master’s degree in library science at the University of Illinois.

Apart from his membership in the SVU, he was a member of the DC Library Association. Medical Library Association and the AAAS.

Those of us who knew him personally are very saddened by his sudden death (MR)

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Marte Liskova (1913-1996)

Marta Lislova, dlouhodoba clenka SVU zemrela v cervenci minuleho roku (1996) ve vekun 83 let. Narodila se a studovala na Ostravsku. Ve svych 20. letech zacala pracovat pro ministerstvo zahranici v Praze. Na zacatku okupace odesla s cs. vladou do Amnglie. Po osvobozeni zila a pracovala znovu v Praze, ale 1948 byla nucena znovu odejit pres hranice. Nakonec se dostala do Australie. v roce 1955 se ji uskutecnilo jeji prani a pristehovala se do Ameriky. Usadila se ve Washingtonu, DC, kde ziskala dobre postaveni v knihovne IMF. Zde pracovala po celou dobu az do sveho odchodu do duchodu. Marta Liskova byla uvedomelou cs. vlastenkou a zucastnila se vseho deni ve Washingtonu, ktere melo co delat s Ceskoslovenskem.

Po celou dobu sveho pobytu ve Washingtonu se zucastnila vsech podniku SVU. Pro SVU pracovalka hlavne v zacatcich v dobe kdy dr. Jaroslav Nemec byl generalnim tajemnikem SVU

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Jaroslav Mracek (1928-1999)

San Diego Union Tribune of May 1 carried an obituary of our member of many years Dr. Jaroslav Mracek, who retired in 1991 after 26 years on the San Diego State University faculty.He was a native of Montreal, Canada   of Czech parents. He received his B.A. un music in 1951 from the University of Toronto and Ph.D. in musicology from the Indiana university School of music. In 1965 he joined the SDSU faculty. 15 years ago he organized a musical festival and conference that celebrated the career of famed Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. The Smetana Music Centennial of 1984 attracted musicians, composers and scholars from throughout Europe and the US and spawned a group called the Friends of Czechoslovak Music. Through this organization, Dr. Mracek helped organize several concerts at SDSU and established the Jan Loewenbach Scholarship for music students. The Czech Ministry of Culture awarded him the Smetana Medal for his efforts. (MR)

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Frank Munk (1901-1999)

Somewhat belatedly we have learned about the death of one of our oldest members Frank Munk who died on January 16, 1999 at the age of .97. He was a native of Kutna Hora where he was born on May 26, 1901.He attended the School of Commerce, University of Prague (Dipl. 1922, ScD., 1936) and did research work at Harvard, Columbia and Chicago Universities and at the Brookings Institutions (1931-33). He was a director of the Prague International Fair (1924-31) , Expert on Distribution and Consumption, Czechoslovak National Committee for Scientific Management (1927-39), Secretary, Institute of Business Research at Masaryk Academy of Work, Prague (1933-36) and member of the board (1936-38).

Munk arrived in the US northwest in 1939, after learning his name was among those to be arrested after the Nazi occupation of his native Czechoslovakia. With his wife, Nadia, son, Michael, and daughter, Susanne, the young businessman fled to Portland. He was invited to lecture and teach economics at Reed College. Despite his plan to eventually move back to Czechoslovakia, Munk decided to make Oregon his permanent home. After retiring from Reed College in 1965 he went on to teach political science at Portland State University for another 18 years.

He was a passionate political scientist who dedicated his life to teaching world affairs. He helped establish the World Affairs Council of Oregon, commented on global issues for KOIN-TV in the 1960s and frequently wrote about politics for The Oregonian and the Oregon Journal. Frank Munk was a prodigious writer. Among other, he was the author of The New Economy (1929), Advertising for Export (1929), Contemporary Distribution (1930), Cartels and Trusts (1931), Distribution Costs (1935), The Economic Force (1940), Legacy of Nazism (1943), and  Atlantic Dilemma (1964).

Until a year before his death, Munk and his wife used to hike the trails on Mout Hood together. The man who had adapted to a new homeland learned to adapt to technology later in life. He learned to use computers when he was in his early 80s. By the time he was in his 90s, he was spending a couple of hours every day on the computer, keeping up with friends throughout the world via e-mail. When he was not on the Internet or listening to his short-wave radio, “he tinkered with his barometers, wind and rain gauges” and was able to predict the next day’s weather. He was a great man who will be sorely missed. (MR)

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John A. Nohel (1924-1999)

John A. Nohel, a well-known mathematician died in Zurich, Switzerland on November 1, 1999. A native of Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he was born on October 24, 1924, he and his parents were forced to leave their homeland in 1938, emigrating to the US in 1939. He received his education at George Washington University (B.S. in Electrical Engineering, 1948) and at M.I.T. (Ph.D. in Mathematics, 1953),following service in the Navy during World War II.

His 38-year academic career began at Georgia Tech (1953-1961) and ended at the mathematics department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (1961-1991). At Wisconsin he guided ten students to their Ph.D.s, wrote most of his more than 80 research papers, co-authored or co-edited twelve books, served as Department chair (1968-1970), as director of the Mathematics Research Center (1979-1987), and as the founding Director of the Center for the Mathematical sciences (1967-1990). He was a member of the Human Rights Committee for Mathematicians since 1977 and served as its chairman from 1979-1981.(MR)

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Jozka Pejskar (1912-1999)

S litosti se dovidame, ze 22. zari t.r. zemrel v Kalifornii po dlouhe a tezke nemoci predni cesky exilovy novinar Jozka Pejskar. Narodil se 7. prosince 1912 v Male Skalici. V letech 1945-48 byl redaktorem znojemske filialky brnenskeho deniku Slovo Naroda. Pro svoji protikomunistickou cinnost byl v dobe komunistickeho puce v unoru 1948 zbaven sveho zamestanani. Ustavil ilegalni odbojouvou skupinu, ktera pomahala pronasledovanym vlastencum k uteku do exilu. Kdyz byla jeho skupina prozrazena, podarilo se mu dostat do Rakouska. Hned se pak zapojil do publicisticke cinnosti. Kdyz se v cervenci 1950 zahajila v New Yorku cinnost Svobodne Evropy, vysilila 26 tydnu Pejskaruv serial “My to vime’ -  o utrpaneni cs. demokratu v komunistickych vezenich. Jozka Pero, coz byl jeho  pseudonym, se nato stal clenem redakce Svobodne Evropy v Mnichove, kde pak pusobil az do sveho odchodu do penze v lednu 1978.

Krome sveho pravidelneho zamestnani, Jozka Pejskar byl iniciatorem a spoluzakladatelem exiloveho mesicniku Ceske Slovo, byl jeho odpovednym redaktorem a pozdeji sefredaktorem. Po odchodu de penze se soustredil na shromazdovani materialu o vyznamnych exilovych osobnostech, ktere pak zvecnil v serii   knih nazvanych Posledni Pocta. Pejskar byl tez cinny v mnoha exilovych orgazacich a od sameho zacatku byl clenem SVU.

Jeho umrti je pro SVU a vubec pro cele ceske zahranici velikou ztratou. Jmenem Spolecnosti pro vedy a umeni dovoluji si touto cestou vyjadrit jeho vdove p. Anne Pejskarove nasi uprimnou soustrast. (-MR)

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Karel Planansky (1904-1998)

 Long time SVU member Dr. Karel Planansky died November 1 1998 in Canandaigua,  N.Y.  Dr. Planansky was born May 6 1904 in Sobenov, Czech Republic, the son and oldest child of Karel and Marie (Simackova) Planansky.  He had been a resident of Canandaigua since 1953.

  Dr. Planansky received his earliest education from his father, a   schoolmaster in Dobrichovice, later at the high school in Beroun. He earned a Ph.D. in anthropology, followed by an M.D., from Charles University in Prague.  He joined the Czech Army as a medical officer and served with Czech Allied Forces in Britain during World War II.  He and his wife Ruzena (Otcenaskova), also from Czech Republic, met in Egypt during that war and were married in Prague at war’s end.  To escape the communist persecution, they emigrated to   New York City, where Dr. Planansky became a research associate at Columbia University, in 1946.  In 1953 he and his wife becamenaturalized citizens and moved with their son George to Canandaigua.  He was a psychiatrist with the Canandaigua V.A. Hospital, and an adjunct clinical professor at the University of Rochester Medical School, for many years.

  Dr. Planansky was a keen and caring student of humanity and human culture. He touched many lives directly as a physician.   His research on schizophrenia and its heredity, much of it done in collaboration with colleagues in Canandaigua, added to the medical community’s understandingof this malady.  He especially cared about his homeland, and could describe an innkeeper in a Slovak village with the precision of a cultural anthropologist and the humorous insight of a Jesuit father.  He and his wife kept in close touch with their families and friends in Europe and helped many through the prolonged difficult times following the war, aiding    several to come to the United States.

  Dr. Planansky was also an outdoor rambler, ranging through central Europe and the Balkans as a young man, then, often with binoculars and a well-worn Peterson bird guide, through the Finger Lakes and western New York.  A tall, distinctive fellow, on one journey in the Carpathians he was pressed into a role as a romantic forester in the 1933 Czech avant garde film “Marijka Nevernice”.  Later, his mountain experiences stood him in good stead when, as a Czech army officer at the war’s start, he made his way across the snowy passes of Slovakia   to Hungary, and from there through the Balkans to join the British forces in Palestine.

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Josef Polisensky (1915-2001)

One of the Czech Republic’s most respected historians, Josef Polisensky, has died at the age of eighty-five. He was a specialist on modern Czech history, but was also well known for his research into British, Dutch, Spanish and Latin American history. In the English-speaking world he is best known for his work on the historical links between Bohemia and Britain. In his long career, Josef Polisensky published more than 120 books, and taught at universities around the world. He died, following a short illness, having worked until the last day of his life. He worked on a new volume of his work this time dedicated to the role Danes played in the Thirty Years War.

Professor Polisensky was active despite his failing health. Having traveled to the United States in Spring 2000, he planned another visit Š he was going to give a lecture on Czech Migration to the United States at the SVU conference in Washington but had to cancel the trip because he was not feeling well. He did give a public lecture in the National Museum on December 7, 2000, a week before his 85th Birthday. As always he did not read his lecture and his lecture was very lively.

Professor Polisensky was a true renaissance scholar his research covering Thirty Years War, History of England, and of Latin America, particularly in 16 and 17th centuries. His works include: Anglie a Bila hora, Trice-tileta valka a evropske krize 17. stoleti, Strucne dejiny Kuby. He received recognition and awards in various countries (Austria, Spain, Venezuela to name but a few). He was open to new methodologies (e.g.: in case of migration), and probably nobody knew Czech archives as well as he. His memoirs should be published shortly and should add another aspect on the development of the Czech society in 20th century. On a personal level: Professor Polisensky advised many students on their doctoral work. We became friends while I worked on mine. At the funeral where various generations were represented I sat next to a man whom he advised in 1947. My work was defended in 1992. (Stepanka Korytova-Magstadt)

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Bohumil Samal (1933-1996)

Dne 10. cervna 1996 zemrel nas dlouholety clen Dr. Bohumil A. Samal , profesorlekarske fakulty na Wayne State University v Detroitu.Narodil se v Praze 8. cervna 1933. Po ukonceni stredoskoskolskych studii vefrancouzskem Chambonu (1949-52) , rozhodl se studovat medicinu na Univerzite veStrasburku (1952-53). Po roce vyemigroval do Ameriky, kde se zapsal na WesternMichigan College v Kalamazoo, ktera mu udelila v roce 1954 bakalarsky titul. Potenastoupil na Chicagskou univerzitu, kde ziskal v roce 1958 svuj lekarsky diplom. Ihnedod pocatku projevil zajem o otazky endokrinologicke kontroly rakoviny, ktery se muudrzel az do konce jeho zivota. Po dvou letech sluzby u americkeho namornictva a poukonceni rezidence na interne v Chicagu,  Dr. Samal odesel do Buffalla na dalsispecializovany trenink u dr. J. Hollanda, znameho prukopnika rakovinne chemoterapie. Vroce 1972 byl jmenovan asistujicim profesorem v oddeleni onkologie na Wayne StateUniversity v Detroitu, kde jiz pak zustal natrvalo. Po peti letech se stal mimoradnymprofesorem a po dalsich peti letech profesorem radnym.

Dr. Samal byl povazovan nejen za vynikajiciho onkologa, ale i za znalce kontroly bolesti.Byl autorem mnoha vyznamnych publikaci, jejichz pocet presahoval padesatku. Kromeclenstvi v rade vedeckych spolecnosti, prestizni American College of Physicians hozvolila v roce 1980 svym “fellow”. Bohumil Samal mel povest vyborneho ucitele astudenti mu zpravidla davali prednost pred druhymi profesory pri volbe svych fakultnichporadcu

Samaluv predcasny odchod je velikou ztratou, jak pro americkou medicinu, tak i pronasi Spolecnost a jeho pratele. Vyslovujeme timto jeho vdove, nasi clence MariiHrabikove Samalove a jeji rodine nasi uprimnou soustrast. (M.R).

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Gordon Skilling (1912-2001)

“It would be absurd to consider Masaryk a ready-made model for today, or to treat his ideas as trusty guides in the vastly different con-dition of the immediate future. He himself did not always live up to his principles, and some of them have been outdated by later events. None-theless Masaryk’s towering personality, his belief in truth, his remark-able courage, and his moral approach to politics, seem highly relevant to a world, and to two nations, Slovak as well as Czech, in which political partisanship, party polemics, national egoism, ideological intolerance, and narrowness of vision seem often to dominate the scene.”

H. Gordon Skilling, arguably the best Canadian-born friend the Czechs and Slovaks ever had, will be remembered by many Western academics as a co-founder of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES) at the University of Toronto which he led from its inception in 1963 until 1974 when he had to resign due to ill health.

Yet, what a survivor! He taught, published and defended his opinions with such a vigour and for so long that that he will be undoubtedly remem-bered by humanity as one of its most honourable doyens. The Czechs, and Slovaks, however, will always claim Gordon Skilling as their own man for he loved their country dearly both before and after their separation. He even married his American fiancée Sally at the famous Old Town Hall in Prague (in 1937) as many locals do. Therefore it is almost unbelievable that only two of his numerous books dedicated to Czechoslovak and Central European history and politics have so far been translated into Czech: T. G. Masaryk, Against the Current Prague, 1995 one year after its appearance in the English edition from which the above quote is taken, and his memoirs Czechoslovakia, My Second Home. This, his last work, came out in Prague a few days before his death on 2nd March this year. It would be a fitting tribute to Gordon Skilling’s memory if all his works were to be published post-humously in the country which owes him so much. (Milan Kocourek, Walton on Thames, Surrey)

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Albert Spiegel (1917-2001)

Albert Spiegel, M.D., 83, died on July 10, 2001 at his son’s home in Macon, Ga. Dr. Spiegel was born in Velky Berezny, Subcarpathia, in 1917. He graduated from the German Gymnasium in Brno, Moravia and, after the war, obtained his medical degree from the Charles University in Prague. His education was interupted by World War II and he served from 1939 to 1944 with the French Foreign Legion in North Africa. He returned to Prague with the Czechoslovak Army in 1945.

After the war he was the Chief of Pediatrics in Most, Bohemia. He emmigated with his family to the U.S. in 1964 and practiced pediatrics in Fairfax, Virginia from 1967 until he retired in 1991 at the age of 74. Since his retirement he divided his residence between Vienna, VA, and Naples, FL. His interests reflected his diverse background. Fluent in six languages, he had profound and abiding interest in the world around him, especially history and music, but above all in his adopted country, the U.S., for which he had the greatest affection and admiration.

He remained a member of the Northern Virginia Medical Society and was a member of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences. He is survived by his wife, Alice Spiegel; a son, John Spiegel and daughter-in-law, Rosemary Spiegel, of Macon; a sister, Katharine Laufer, and brother, Zoltan Spiegel, both of Long Island, New York; two grandchildren, John and Audrey Spiegel and Greer Thompson of Macon, two nieces and one nephew.

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Rudolf Sturm (1912-2000)

A long-time member of SVU, the former Skidmore College Profes-sor Rudolf Sturm, 88, of Saratoga Springs, died on November 27. Born in Doubravice, Czechoslovakia on April 15, 1912, he graduated from Charles University with a law and political science degree in 1937.

In 1936, he served as a member of the Czechoslovak delegation to Brussels, Geneva and Paris. After the German takeover of Czecho-slovakia in 1939, he joined the Czechoslovak government in exile in Paris. He also worked as a journalist for the Catholic newspaper, La Croix. After the German occupation of France, Mr. Sturm fled to New York City. There he became editor of the Czechoslovak information Office for the Czechoslovak government in exile. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Army and served in North Africa and Italy as an officer in information and investigation unit for which he was later decorated.

After the war, Mr. Sturm returned to Czechoslovakia to join the gov-ernment. In 1947, he became chief of the department of cultural rela-tions in the united states and arranged visits and exchanges of artists and writers. After the communist takeover he returned to the US and worked for the Radio Free Europe and the Council of Free Czechoslovakia.

He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Slavic languages and literatures in 1956. He then taught at Boston College, Yale Univer-sity, the City College of New York and Hershey Junior College. From 1958 to 1982 he taught Italian and Slavic literature at Skidmore College.

Dr. Sturm wrote and edited several books on East-Central Europe and wrote many articles. In 1988, he was elected national vice chairman of the American Professors for Peace in the Middle East. Upon retire-ment from Skidmore, Prof. Sturm was appointed executive director of the NY Conference of American Association of University Professors.

Rudolf Sturm was an active member of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences since its founding in 1958, and was Secretary General for five years. He attended all the SVU functions regularly and for a number of years organized and chaired the Writers’ Forums at SVU World Congresses. Dr. Sturm was one of the pillars of the Society, particularly in the Sixties and the Seventies. He will be sorely missed.

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Edward Joseph Taborsky (1910-1996)

Dr. Edward J. Taborsky, Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, passed away after a lengthy illness on November 12, 1996.

He was born in Prague on March 18, 1910 and was educated at Charles University where he received his doctorate degree in law and state sciences in 1934. After completing his military service in the Czechoslovak army, Dr. Taborsky became an official of the provincial administration in Bohemia and in 1937 he joined the Czechoslovak Ministry for Foreign Affairs, where he became Personal Secretary to the Foreign Minister Benes.

After the Nazi conquest of Czechoslovakia in 1939, he escaped to England where he served from 1939 to 1945 as Personal Aide to Czechoslovakia’s President-in-Exile, Eduard Benes. In 1945 he was sent to Sweden as Czechoslovakia’s Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.  He resigned from this position after the communist seizure of Czechoslovakia in 1948. After a brief period of teaching at Stockholm University, he went to the US where he taught at different universities until his appointment of Professor of Government at the University of Texas, where he remained until his retirement in 1990.

He was the author of numerous books and articles on Eastern European and soviet affairs.  In 1991, President Havel conferred on Dr. Taborsky the Order of Thomas G. Masaryk.

Dr. Taborsky has been associated with the SVU from its inception, and his loss will be long felt among his friends and colleagues. We wish to express his widow Edith Taborsky and the rest of the family our deep sympathy. (-MR)

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Jaroslava Turkova (1932 -2000)

Dne 4. února zemrela po krátké nemoci ve veku 67 let predsedkyne prazske skupiny Spolecnosti pro vedy a umení (SVU). Ing. Jaroslava Turková, Dr. Sc. Tuto funkci vykonávala jiz druhé volební období. Ing. Turková byla vyznamnou vedeckou  pracovnicí v oboru bioafinitivní chromatografie a imobilizace enzymu na oddelení biochemie Ustavu organické chemie a biochemie Akademie ved Ceské  Republiky. Její publikacní cinnost obsáhla více nez 120 vedeckych prací, 30  patentu, 14 kapitol v odbornych knihách a velikou samostatnou monografii o bioaktivní chromatografii. Svych odbornych znalostí vyuzívala i jako clenka   edicní rady casopisu Journal of Chromatography nebo jako editorka pro Evropu casopisu Journal of Biochromatography. Vysledky své vedecké práce prezentovala v rade prevázne vyzádanych prednásek na mezinárodních sympoziích v Evrope, USA, Indii a Japonsku. Svych pobytu v zahranicí vyuzívala i pro navazování a  udrzování kontaktu s místními cleny SVU. Ing. Turková se nikdy neangazovala v politickych stranách, ale mela velmi pozitivní vztah ke kulture i sportu (byla dlouhodobá clenka Sokola). Pri své cinorodé povaze se i ráda podílela na organizaci nejruznejsích akcí. V letech  1968-69 byla predsedkyní Spolecenské komise ceského svazu vedeckych  pracovníku, ve které organizovala spolecná setkání umelcu a vedcu. Tato  aktivita nemela bohuzel dlouhého trvání. Zapojení Ing. Turkové v SVU bylo   logickym vyústením jejího celozivotního postoje a snah. Ing. Turková byla   velmi aktivním a cinorodym clovekem, ktery se dokázal nadchnout jak pro odborné, tak i spolecenské zálezitosti. Ve svém nadsení dokázala strhnout i ostatní k úsilí o dosazení pozitivních resení. Ing. Turková byla aktivní témeraz do poslední chvíle. Skoda, ze radu svych plánu jiz nikdy neuskutecní. (-M.Hulovec)

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Joan Winn (1910-1999)

It is with great sadness that we inform our members of the recent death of Hanka Winn, as she was known among her Czech friends, which occurred on March 14, 1999. She was a native of Prague where she was born on February 26, 1910 and where she graduated from Charles University in 1933. She emigrated to the U.S. with her husband Joseph Winn, a psychiatrist and poet (pseud. Alcantara), and their two children Jana and Marjanka.

Hanka Winn worked for many years on the Czech Desk of the Voice of America and as a volunteer for Amnesty International in New York. She and her husband were very popular in the Czech exile community, as well as in American circles, and to know her and be with her was an intellectual inspiration and distinct delight. She radiated warmth and kindness and her spacious apartment on Seventy-Second Street on Manhattan was always ready and hospitable for some lost Czech soul.

She is survived by her daughters, Janet Malcolm and Marie Winn, both  gifted writers of New York, her grandchildren Michael Miller of New York, Anne Malcolm of Cambridge, MA, Steven Miller of San Francisco and four great-grandchildren. Her numerous friends in New York, at Lost Lake and around the world will always miss her and never forget her. She was the dearest aunt to my wife and we were all very close. I wish the family in the name of SVU, of which she was a faithful member, our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences. (-MR)

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John Henry Wotiz (1919-2001)

A long-time SVU member, Dr. John Henry Wotiz, and his wife Kathryn E. (Kay) Wotiz, of Carbondale, died Tuesday, August 21, 2001, in a car accident in Morehead, Kentucky.
John Wotiz was born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, April 12, 1919 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1939. He was naturalized in 1944. He studied at the Czech Polytechnicum in Prague in 1937, and after coming to the U.S., received his B.S. in Chemistry from Furman University in 1941, his M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Richmond in 1943, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Ohio State Univ. in 1948. His Ph.D. studies were interrupted in 1944 for two years for service in the U.S. Army at the close of WWII. In the Army he became a lieutenant and gained his U.S. citizenship. At Ohio State he met his future wife, Kay, and they were married in 1945.

John started his full-time academic teaching and research career in 1948 at the University of Pittsburgh where he remained for 9 years. In 1957 he temporarily left his academic career for a research directorship with Diamond Alkali in Painesville, Ohio. In five years he became an author of 44 U.S. and foreign patents. In 1962 he returned to university life as Professor and Department Chairman at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. In 1967 he joined Southern Illinois University, Car-bondale, as Chairman of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. While at SIU he conducted studies on the teaching systems in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. This led to the development of exchange programs involving graduate students and faculty between SIU and many foreign universities, primarily in Eastern Europe, notable among them the Technical University in his birthplace, Ostrava, Czech Republic.

At 70 he retired from SIU and became Professor Emeritus. He continued to work with SIU on the foreign exchange programs, and received an honorary Doctorate from the Technical University in Ostrava in 1998, recognizing his personal contributions in this arena. In 1992 he received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for his outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry. In that same year he was the recipient of the University Gold Medal from the Technical University in Ostrava. He was Editor of The Kekule Riddle: A Challenge for Chemists and Psychologists in 1993.

He achieved an ACBL Life Master in duplicate bridge. John was affiliated with Unitarian Universalist Fellowships during his life in the United States. Kay was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 18, 1923. She attended Ohio State University, studying biology. At OSU she met John and they married on February 23, 1945. She was a homemaker and became a mother with two children born in Pittsburgh, PA, and the third in Painesville, OH. Daughter Anita resides in northern California; daughter Karen resides in Arizona; daughter Vivian resides in southern California. Her lifelong devotion to husband John, and her loving care of their home and children allowed John to pursue and excel in his academic and outside activities. Her interests included opera, musicals, and classic movies. Friends and family remember her as a warm, sweet, hospitable woman who loved to help John entertain. Her roast “Bohemian duck” was a legend about which John loved to boast. She was John’s travel companion on the many trips they both took around the world, trying to visit every place on the earth before they could no longer travel.
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REMEMBERING