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Ján Gronský (1928) - Biography

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"Talk your father into working for us, or we'll send you to England"

Doc. Dr. Ing. Jan Gronský, CSc. was born on the 25th of May 1928 in Likavka, Liptov district, near Ružomberok. His father was of Jewish descent, however, he left the Jewish community in 1928, and Ján Gronský grew up in an orthodox Catholic family. Ružomberok was the hub of the People's Party (Ľudová strana) which had a decisive effect on local life. At grammar school, Gronský joined an anti-Fascist resistance group. After they were discovered, he was expelled from school and forced to flee with his siblings to Hungary, reuniting with his father who had left earlier. Despite a forced stay in a Russian battalion, he reached the 4th Brigade of the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, where he remained until the end of the war. The same brigade coincidentally liberated Ružomberok. His mother was accused of helping partisans and was sent to her death in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. After the war, Ján Gronský became a member of the Communist Party of Slovakia. He graduated from the Political and Social University in Prague and started work at the Faculty of Law of Charles University in 1952. His father emigrated to England, and as a Communist, Gronský was persuaded to cooperate with State Security. The StB wanted him to convince his father to work for them. However, that was unsuccessful. He himself emigrated in July 1968 - first to Austria, then to Italy, and later to his father's widowed wife in England. He soon returned to Prague and was expelled from the party, but allowed to retain his place at the university. He is currently a lecturer at the department of constitutional law and a very popular teacher. His long-standing interest is in constitutional history which is a subject he also publishes articles on.

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