Memory of Nation


Marcel Hájek (1965)

  Marcel Hájek (1965)
I was lost for those brave new tomorrows

I appointed myself head of the strike committee

“I appointed myself head of the strike committee, by self-appointment. I stood up in front of the students and said we were establishing a strike committee and that I was its chief. No one debated it. But they already knew me quite well, and Zindr too. Together we established the strike committee, we took over the keys of the faculty [the FMCU in Pilsen - ed.]. At the time it was made possible by the dean, who was extremely polite and said that we had the right to decide our own future and that it was up to us. So the occupation strike began at the Faculty of Medicine, and then other schools joined in - technology, back then the Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, and finally the Faculty of Education, because that was strongly Bolshevik, deep red. Its dean, Brychta, was a proper crook, he wanted heads to start rolling, to expel students right as it was happening. We were glad that we experienced the revolution here, that we were part of it, that we weren’t somewhere abroad or coming from outside. Suddenly it was great. We travelled to Prague overnight. Say three times a night we were in Prague at the main strike committee and then back again. We took materials, printed [leaflets - ed.]. We got typewriters from all of the departments, everyone sat in one lecture room in Pavlov Institute and everyone copied out documents there. Down in the lobby people painted posters and plastered them all over Pilsen. The atmosphere was incredible. We felt joyful as we carried things along all the way to the general strike on 27 November [1989].”

  • born 1965 in Pilsen
  • attended the Third Grammar School in Pilsen and the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Pilsen (FMCU)
  • 1980s, active in the dissent, distributed samizdat literature; 1988, co-authored a petition to Rudé právo to have the full text of Charter 77 published - questioned by State Security
  • November 1989, headed the Strike Committee of the FMCU and the Coordinative Strike Committee in Pilsen, a member of the Civic Forum
  • February - June 1990, deputy in the Czech National Council
  • 1991, founding member of the Civic Democratic Party in Pilsen
  • worked as a doctor at the University Hospital in Pilsen; in 1998-2002 he was head doctor for chest and abdominal surgery at Referral Hospital - Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana
  • 2002-2011, served in the Czech Army; chief surgeon and head doctor of field hospitals of NATO and the Czech Army; participated in two missions to Iraq, two missions to Afghanistan, and one mission to Pakistan
  • currently works for Emergency Medical Services of Pilsen Region and lectures at the Faculty of Medical Studies of the West Bohemian University in Pilsen
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