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Professor, PhDr. Ladislav Hejdánek (1927) - Biography


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I've got the feeling that I've spent my life doing things that, today, no one needs or wants any more

Ladislav Hejdánek was born on the 10th of May 1927, the single child of Ladislav Hejdánek and his wife Emílie (maiden name Poupová). His father was a baptised Catholic, but a rather laid-back one. His mother was from an evangelical family with long standing, so Hejdánek was brought up in the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (Českobratrská církev evangelická). He graduated from the Slovenská Street Grammar School in 1946 and went on to study mathematics and philosophy at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Charles University. He switched to the Faculty of Arts to continue his study of philosophy. After graduating in 1952, he worked as a digger and cementer. In the post-war years he was an official of the society Academic YMCA. Beginning of the 60's, Hejdánek, together with Jiří Němec, organised ecumenical seminars in the theological college in Jircháře.
In 1968 he became a member of the Society for Human Rights. In 1971-72 he was jailed for half a year, and in 1972 he was implicated in a planned large-scale leaflet campaign to inform Czech citizens, that they had the right to vote, but not the duty to vote, thus that citizens had the right to abstain from the upcoming elections. Dring the Normalization period, Hejdánek worked as a night keeper, a boilerman, and a warehouseman. He organised private "apartment" workshops, to which he invited foreign speakers. He became one of the signatories of Charter 77 and one of its first spokesmen. Following the year 1989 he lectured at the Evangelical Theological Faculty at Charles University, where he headed the Department of Philosophy.

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