I repeatedly went to Prague, met dissidents and organised demonstrations in Norway in support of them
Born on 1 June 1952, Alf Skjeseth grew up in the Norwegian countryside, but his interest in politics and journalism brought him to Oslo. His parents were involved in the anti-Nazi resistance, therefore he too had a fondness for left-wing ideologies. After the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact armies in 1968, when he was 16, he rejected the authoritarianism and imperialism of the Soviet Union. Like many of his generation in Scandinavia, however, he succumbed to the illusory allure of Maoism, and was one of the leading figures in the magazine Klassekampen (translated as Class Struggle). The manifesto of Czechoslovak Charter 77 appealed to him, and from 1978 to January 1990, as a journalist for this newspaper, he regularly travelled to the Czechoslovakia to interview dissidents and signatories of Charter 77 and to find out facts about life behind the Iron Curtain. He became perhaps the greatest capacity among Norwegian journalists for covering communist Czechoslovakia. He interviewed Marta Kubišová, Jaroslav Hutka, Vlasta Třešňák, Jiří Hájek, and Petr Uhl, among others, for the Western media. Thanks to his Czechoslovak experience, he broke with Maoist views. He also did a major reportage from Prague immediately after the revolution in January 1990, the last one during the floods of 2002. He visited Prague in January 2023 on the occasion of a debate, Support from the North, organised by Post Bellum at the Václav Havel Library.