Radomír Luža (1922-2009)

Professor Radomír Luža, a well-known member of Czech anti-Nazi resistance, historian and author. He was a long-time SVU member and a member of Council of Free Czechoslovakia.

Radomír Luža was the son of Lieutenant Colonel Vojtěch Luža, the hero of the Czechoslovak legion from Zborov and Siberia during World War One. His father was murdered by the gendarmes after the German takeover and occupation, and the boy, Radomir, was imprisoned by the Gestapo. Then he joined the resistance, commanded a guerrilla band, and brutally avenged the death of his father. After the war, he became a youth official of the Social Democratic Party, studied law, and drew public attention to the spreading Communist danger. He graduated from Masaryk University in March 1948 and, only two weeks later, escaped to Austria. He offered his services to French intelligence. Several times, he returned to Czechoslovakia illegally to perform various tasks. He barely escaped arrest and became a dangerous enemy for the State Security. He recruited new agents in exile and travelled around Europe. He first settled in Paris, but when the risk of his kidnapping increased in 1953, he moved to the USA with his wife. He studied history and participated in the publication of the Testimony quarterly, one of the most important exile periodicals. In the 1960s he went to Austria and worked in the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), which served as a counterweight to youth unions in the Communist bloc. After returning to the USA, he pursued his academic career, teaching modern European history in New Orleans and writing a number of highly regarded papers.

Prof. JUDr. PhDr. Radomír Luža spent his entire life like in a thrilling novel. Following his father, a hero of the Czechoslovak legion and general in the Czechoslovak army, he was a loyal follower of Masaryk’s ideals. He changed from a high-school student to a partisan and warrior, fighting against the Nazis. After 1945, the Communists were his adversaries He became a spy, an editor, an exile leader and a respected historian. Throughout this time, he tried to overthrow the totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia. After its collapse he visited his homeland several times but did not return to live there. After the death of his beloved wife, Libuše, in 2001, Radomír moved to Pennsylvania to be close to his daughter. He passed away on November 26, 2009, at the age of eighty seven.

Text provided by our institutional member THE CZECHOSLOVAK TALKS.