Exiled bookseller sold Czech books to emigrants
Librarian and bookseller Václav Hora was born on 10 December 1937 in Pilsen. He came from a simple background, his father trained to be a locksmith. Parents moved to Cheb in 1946 due to possibility of having better housing in flats that were left empty after the Germans had been displaced. Václav Hora inclined towards books and magazines since he was little; he helped a local newsagent to sell newspapers and he later went to help in the library of Cheb. He studied at Secondary School of Library Science in Prague. He was expelled from the school a year before the secondary-school leaving exam because he was failing Maths but he eventually finished the school as an extramural student. After his military service, he studied Library Science as an extramural student at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University; at the same time, he started to work in Cheb as an employee of Cultural and Social Centre KASS. His task was to organize variety shows but he also run a film club on his own initiative. He participated in publishing of samizdat information journal “Contemporary” several days after the Invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968. He left for Frankfurt am Main on 30 of August 1968 where he started to work in local university library. However, he returned the same year in November to finish his studies at the Faculty of Arts. He definitely emigrated in September 1969. He published a magazine for emigrants “Frankfurt courier” in Frankfurt between 1974 and 1976. In 1976, he founded an exile bookshop Dialogue which at first worked as a mail order shop and which also opened a shop in 1977. Apart from above stated activities, Václav Hora continued to be an employee of Frankfurt university library. The bookshop did not prosper much at the end of the 1980s and he had to close the shop in 1988 but he still continued to sell books by mail. He worked in Frankfurt till 2002 and he gradually moved to the Czech Republic after his retirement.