„Regardless of how tough the conditions are and how far the goal is, it is always flawed to say that someone ‚up there‘ is responsible and become passive.“
Prof. Libor Pátý was born in 1929 in Prague into a family of a bank clerk. His family moved to Poděbrady before the war. Since childhood, he sensed German aggression--in 1939 his uncle, a former legionary, was executed. A year later, Pátý begun studying at a grammar school in Nymburk where he experienced an event which resulted in his music teacher being sent to a concentration camp and himself witnessing at the gestapo. He did indeed greet the liberation by the Red Army, however, in the following years he became much more skeptical about communism and the Soviet influence. Just before the February 1948 revolution he was (on the grounds of an imprudent statement and an ensuing indictment) expelled from school. He took the leaving exams in September at a different grammar school. He then enrolled to the Faculty of Natural Sciences to study math and physics. He was called to arms, though, before finishing his studies and assigned to the so-called auxiliary technical battalion (PTP) and worked in construction of ammunition shacks. He was released two years later, finished his studies and became assistant at the faculty. When his case of 1948 became known, he was fired and assigned to work in a lightbulb factory. He did eventually return to the faculty and was named docent in 1983. He organized scientific seminars and exhibitions and co-founded Circle of Independent Intelligentsia. He had a speech on 17 November 1989 at Albertov and in the following days co-founded Civic Forum. He was appointed deputy minister of education in the first post-communist government and it is mostly thanks to him that a new act on universities was adopted just before the first regular parliamentary elections. Since 1993, he has focused on the organization of seminars for teachers, on the support of European Cultural Club and collaboration with Czech Broadcast 6. He lives in Prague.