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RNDr. Marie Chaloupská, roz. Kašparová (1933) - Biography

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The human race is incorrigible, but life is worth it

Marie Chaloupská, née Kašparová, was born November 12, 1933 in Horní Věžnice near Polná. When she was one year old, her family moved to Slavětín near Nové Město nad Metují and Marie attended the local school there during WWII. She met German soldiers as well as Russian partisans. Marie graduated in 1952. She wished to study philosophy or literature, but since she did not have a politically favourable family origin, she went to study geology instead, majoring in hydrogeology and engineering geology. While studying at the faculty, she met her future husband Josef Chaloupský, who studied geology as well, but focusing on a different field - basic research - and he also did scientific work. They married in 1956. Marie then worked in construction geology in Prague until her first son Jan was born. Jan is a civil engineer as well and he lives in Trutnov. Eight years later their second son Petr was born. He is also an engineer, and at the same time he serves as an organist and a choir conductor in the church of St. Giles in Prague. Marie Chaloupská subsequently worked in Geofond, the central geological archive, and at the same time she was taking care of the children and household. The couple travelled frequently. In 1966-1968, RNDr. Josef Chaloupský lectured at the branch campus of the University of Baghdad in Mosul in Iraq where they lived with their children for two years. Marie experienced the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War while there. After the occupation of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, her husband was helping foreign participants of the international geological congress to cross the border. Mr. and Mrs. Chaloupský publicly criticized the occupation and they both faced dismissal from their jobs. Josef then went to work to Libya for one year, while Marie took care of the household and in the evenings she worked on her doctoral degree. In 1970 Josef received a scholarship to go to Norway for one year, and he continued with his research there. Marie with both their sons joined him there for four months. Then they went to Cuba for one year, while the older son remained at home, because he was preparing for the final examination in his last year of secondary school. After a difficult period of working in the archive, Marie wanted to go to work in a dairy shop, because with her personal-political profile she was unable to find another job, but eventually she found employment as a geologist during the construction of the Prague metro. She worked there for twenty-five years and she went down to the tunnels every day. Her colleagues started calling her "The First Lady of Czech Geology." While working there, she met several well-known persons: Václav Malý, who was cleaning toilets and showers there, or Jiří Dienstbier, who worked in a boiler room. She has never become a member of the Communist Party.

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