Vojtěch Sedláček

* 1947

  • “In 1990 American and British experts in risky economic transitions came in here, for instance from the London School of Economics. We have had remarkable debates with them. One of them I would like to recall here because it is still in my head. The economist said that if we did the privatization without a proper legal framework, it would all happen much faster but then there will be mess for two generations. No way to get around it. After all we know that when the ‘clean hands’ campaign started in Italy, it was suddenly impossible to build a road or whatever because nobody knew anymore whom to bribe and where to send the money. The so-called corruption is but a setting we agreed on. The way it went underway was set up this way and was more favorable than other available options on the market.”

  • “Two of the people influenced me the most – philosophers Jiří Němec and Jan Sokol. Both of them were – and I do not want to put anybody on airs or compare them with the others – an apparition for me. And both of them, Jan Sokol to this day, Jiří Němec passed away a couple years ago, remain an apparition. They were extraordinarily educated and smart people who had a remarkable competence to communicate and put the others together. Such a number of skills concentrated in a single person I hadn’t seen before. Jiří Němec and Jan Sokol were capable of talking not only with intellectuals but with people from out there as well – with workers.”

  • “The times were remarkable to me in making anything possible. A radical change means that all laws of physics cease to function. This was extraordinary. It was in fact more of a radical social change than a full-fledged revolution – it did not have the energy of a revolution. I was quite surprised how long it took the people to accept that communism had fallen, that they were suddenly more empowered than they were able to admit.”

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The dissidents were honest people looking for their own way of living

Identifikační fotografie ze spisu StB
Identifikační fotografie ze spisu StB
zdroj: archív pamětníka a Post Bellum, Eye Direct

Vojtěch Sedláček was born on 3 March 1947 in Prague. His father was an army officer, his mother worked as a nurse. After finishing elementary school and graduating from high school he underwent compulsory military service where he witnessed the 1968 invasion of the Warsaw Pact armies. Following his military service he took a job at a computer-producing factory ZPA Čakovice where he met Jan Sokol and other dissidents. He began attending house seminars, notably lectures given by Jiří Němec and Pavel Brázda. In 1977 he was among the first to sign the Charter 77. He was interrogated by the secret police and was transferred from being the head of the programming department to working in design and as an auxiliary. In addition, he also worked in the Jedlička‘s Institute for the Disabled as a teacher and a tutor. In 1989 he took active part in the Velvet Revolution and then until 1992 served as the head of the Office of the Government. He founded Kepler‘s Museum in Prague, worked as a director of the Civil Pension Fund and for a short while as a deputy minister of interior. In 2006 he received an award for the social businessperson of the year. At present he runs businesses creating employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.