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Ivan Polanský (1936) - Biography

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Unfortunately, the situation today is the same; communists’ sons and daughters hold high offices again. And why? Because they were allowed to graduate at any university. My children couldn’t have studied anywhere...

Ivan Polanský was born on March 22, 1936 in Žilina. He spent the entire childhood in his hometown. Thanks to the membership in the scout organization he could be present at many interesting gatherings and trips. He continued scouting even after the year 1948 when it was formally banned. In 1951 he started studying at the Secondary Technical School for Chemical and Food Industry in Banská Štiavnica where he passed the school-leaving examination with distinction. Apart from literature, chemistry became his hobby, which helped him later when he pursued his printing activities. In 1957 he got married and three years later, he moved to Nová Dubnica along with his wife and children. In this "first socialist townlet" he met Doctor Ladislav Kvasnička and together they founded the first informal religious group. Their contacts as well as their groups gradually proliferated into many Slovak towns. The activities of Ivan Polanský were influenced by many well-know representatives of the catholic dissent such as Vladimír Jukl, Silvester Krčméry or father and son Dubovan. In 1970 he started to make written records and distribute the broadcasting of Vatican Radio, Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. From 1982 he was publishing the magazine Serafínsky svet (Seraphic World) and later, in 1986, he launched into printing the periodical called Historický zápisník (Historical Notebook). He also used to publish the catholic magazine Una sancta catholica and many other periodicals. To reproduce this material he used printing machines, which were secretly delivered to him from abroad. As it was secret and really dangerous activity, only a few reliable members of their religious group could help him. However, in 1987 he was arrested for his activities and in June 1988 he was sentenced for the offence of subversion of the republic to four years of imprisonment. He was paroled on December 15, 1988. During the crucial events of 1989 and 1990 he used to contribute to the broadcasting of the Radio Free Europe really zealously. He commented on the situation in Czechoslovakia. In 1990 he was elected a Member of the Federal Assembly of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. Moreover, even nowadays he still keeps in touch with political prisoners.

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