I thank God that I didn’t get that crazy idea to emigrate
Pavel Bratinka was born March 14, 1946 in Bratislava. His parents soon divorced and Pavel was growing up in Prague with his mother. He graduated from the Faculty of Nuclear and Technical Physics, which was characterized by independent ambience and which taught him precise and non-ideological thinking, as he says. In July 1968 he went to the Netherlands to work on his diploma thesis, and he voluntarily returned to Czechoslovakia at the end of November 1969. He returned to a totally different country than the one he had left. He cooperated with Charter 77 since the time of its foundation, he was delivering money to families of imprisoned dissidents, arranging replacement typing machines for those which had been confiscated, and for two years he was publishing the Expedice series, then he started his own series called Svíce (Candle). Since he refused to join the Socialist Youth Union, in 1970 he was dismissed from the Institute of Solid State Physics, and owing to his cooperation with Charter 77, in 1981 he had to leave the Institute of Technical Development and Information. From then on he was working only in manual professions, for example as a janitor or a boilerman in the subway. Apart from this he was publishing the samizdat editions of Expedice and Svíce, attending various philosophy circles, and translating. One month after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 he co-founded the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA), he became a deputy in the Federal Assembly, and later a deputy to the minister of foreign affairs. In 1996 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies and became a minister without portfolio. After major changes in the party's leadership in 1998 he left ODA and together with Libor Kudláček founded a consulting company Euroffice Praha - Brussels, a.s.