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Koloman Gajan (1918 - 2011) - Biography


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My hair was blond at that time, and on top of that my German was pretty good

Historian Koloman Gajan was born as Koloman Edelmann in 1918. He was the seventh of nine children. He came from an orthodox Jewish family from Hambork, a little village in Šariš in East Slovakia. He graduated from Jewish Reform Real Grammar School in Brno in the school year 1939/1940. He was shortly arrested by Gestapo in 1940. Luckily he was released and left Brno for a training camp of the Zionistic Youth for emigration to Palestine. It took place in the Křivoklát area. He stayed in the Czech country until March 1942. When there was a threat of his transportation, he illegally left for Slovakia. He lived at his sister's first, then he obtained false documents for the name Jan Gajan. He joined domestic resistance movement. He was arrested in December 1944. He went through six different concentration camps - Sachsenhausen, Bergen-Belsen, Kaufering, Landsberg, Lauingen and Allach - in the period from January to May 1945. He settled down in Prague after 1945 and studied History at the School of Philosophy at Charles University. He received his PhDr. degree in 1952. He was professionally engaged with history of working-class movement, later with international relations of 20th century. He taught at the Philosophical Faculty, Charles University by 1969. He was a Czech Communist Party member in 1945-1969. After 1969 he was prohibited to publish and teach his subject. Therefore he worked as a language teacher in a Conference Center (The Park of Julius Fučík) in Prague. After 1990 he came back to his lecturing activities at the Philosophical Faculty, Charles University. He lives in Prague-Dejvice at present.th century. He taught at the Philosophical Faculty, Charles University by 1969. He was a Czech Communist Party member in 1945-1969. After 1969 he was prohibited to publish and teach his subject. Therefore he worked as a language teacher in a Conference Center (The Park of Julius Fučík) in Prague. After 1990 he came back to his lecturing activities at the Philosophical Faculty, Charles University. He lives in Prague-Dejvice at present.

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