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Professor, Ing., CSc. Věněk Šilhán (1927 - 2009) - Biography

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I have experienced the times of incredible pride of this nation


Věněk Šilhán was born on 12. February 1927 as an oldest of three sons of Josef Šilhán and his wife Marie. He did not complete his lyceum studies, entered an apprenticeship to become a locksmith and after the war he started to work in "Manesmanka" in Chomutov as a qualified worker. He wanted to finish his secondary education in Chomutov but at that time there was no chance to study for full-time employed people. That is why he chose to study The University of Policy and Social Studies in Prague, which didn´t require completed secondary education. After finishing his studies he remained at the same faculty as an assistant and in mid-fifties he spent two years of studies in the USSR. After he had returned  he started to work as a university teacher at the University  of Economy, he habilitated and later became a professor. During 1960´s he specialized in scientific research on the field of industrial economy and became a director of The Research Institute of Industrial Economy. In spring 1968 he was voted a delegate for the forthcoming 14.congress of the Communistic party which was planned for September of that year. Because of the Soviet invasion the congress took place at the end of August. As a delegate of this extraordinary congress (called "Vysočanský Congress") he was voted to become a Deputy First Secretary - a deputy of Alexander Dubček. At the beginning of "normalization" he had to leave political life and he became a labourer. He belonged among the first signatories of Charta 77. At the end of 1980´s he co-founded The Club For Democratic Reconstruction "Obroda". He was one of the seventeen founders of Občanské fórum. In the post-revolutionary period he was a rector of The Faculty of Economy.

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