If my father wasn’t a hero, we wouldn’t be here
Eduard Hájek was born on 23 October 1942 in Ostrava. His father, Břetislav Hájek, worked as a mine blaster and was a member of the Moravian-Silesian Jan Žižka partisan group during World War II - he provided the guerrillas with explosives for sabotage operations. He was discovered and arrested by the Gestapo. The family was not informed of his death in concentration camp until after the war. Eduard grew up in poverty with his mother and his four siblings. His two sisters lost their eyesight, which doctors reckoned was due to the enormous stress their mother suffered when pregnant due to the Gestapo raids and her husband‘s arrest. The family was patriotic, active in Sokol, and never supported the Communist idea. This caused Eduard to be marked as an enemy of the state at school. He trained as a lathe operator but later also completed an evening course at a secondary technical school and earned a degree at the University of Mining in Ostrava. He worked as a design engineer. He never joined the Communist Party, which limited his career options. In 1993 he and a colleague founded the construction design firm Koexpro.