Professor, Ing. Ladislav Hlavatý

* 1949  

  • "When the students started thinking about holding a demonstration on November 17, of course some of the organizers knew about the existence of the Circle of Independent Intelligence. And we met with some students at Matfyz. I remember that one of them was MP Marek Benda. I don't know who else was there, there were about 3. They told us about this intention, it was about November 10, that they would like to organize this, and if anyone would speak for us there. We finally agreed in the Circle of Independent Intelligence that Academician Katětov would be the most suitable, on the one hand, that he is such a persona, and on the other hand, that he also took part in the events of November 1939, so he has something to say. Sure we all went with him at least out of the six, maybe other people, as personal security. It may sound ridiculous, but it's true that we went there to protect Katětov somehow, which turned out to be completely useless. "

  • "The impulse was simple. We said to ourselves, 'For God's sake, if we managed to get four hundred signatures, so we have a list of people who are willing to get involved, it would be a shame to leave it at the petition and let it go indefinitely.' And so we started meeting different people, Ladislav Trlifaj played a big role there, then Libor Pátý from Matfyz joined, Mirek Kratochvíl from the Institute of Geophysics, etc. And we started thinking about how to use this potential of the four hundred and probably more people who would be willing, in some more or less, rather less radical, form to become a kind of opposition to the regime. We wanted to pull it on the academic and professional side, the opposition. That we will say that this is rationally wrong."

  • "As an eighteen-year-old naive boy, I never believed it could end the way it ended. In 1968, I went to England in early August to meet my 'pen friend.' It wasn't a problem to go somewhere when you had the letter of invitation, I came to England, where I went sightseeing for fourteen days and enjoyed my life in capitalism, and I was in London all this time. That I also set off for the English countryside, so I hitchhiked, and the moment I stopped the first car, which was a truck, the driver told me, 'There are Russians in your country!' I didn't trust him, so I went to look at the newspaper and it was there. "

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    Praha, 13.11.2020

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    Praha, 13.11.2020

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    ED Praha, 24.11.2020

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Young people began to demonstrate in Prague. That’s when I realized I had to get involved

Ladislav Hlavaty as groom, Prague, 1976
Ladislav Hlavaty as groom, Prague, 1976
photo: archiv Ladislava Hlavatého

Ladislav Hlavatý was born on November 29, 1949 in Košíře near Prague to the family of Judge Ladislav Hlavatý Sr. and his wife a pharmacist. In the late 1940s, both parents lost their jobs. The father did not go through personnel checks and had to leave the post of judge, the communists nationalized the pharmacy of his mother. However, the parents did not educate the witness in an anti-communist spirit and gave him space to form his own opinion of what was happening around him. After graduating from elementary school, Ladislav Hlavatý was able to enter the grammar school, where he first met the foreign music scene and was at the birth of a student band. He graduated in 1968. The invasion of Warsaw Pact troops on August 21, 1968 caught him on holiday in Great Britain. In the autumn of that year, he entered the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University and participated with older students in protests against the invasion of the Allied armies, including the autumn student strike. After graduation, he had trouble finding work because he refused to get politically involved. It was not until three years after graduating from university that he was able to join the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences, where he also began his postgraduate studies. Since 1973 he has become a member of the Tourist Academic Club. He also lived with his wife and daughter in Mexico for several months as part of internships, and at the end of the 1980s he spent a year in Soviet Dubna. However, he never used the opportunity to emigrate. In 1989, he initiated the Researchers’ Petition for the release of Václav Havel from prison, and a few months later he became one of the founding members of the Circle of Independent Intelligence. In the late 1980s, he took part in most anti-regime demonstrations. The Circle of Independent Intelligence even co-organized the demonstration on November 17, 1989 in Albertov, Prague. After the Velvet Revolution, he no longer became politically involved and returned to the scientific profession. In 1993, he accepted an offer to teach at Charles University.