Ladislav Hejdánek, a Czech philosopher, was born on 10 May 1927 in Prague as the only child of Ladislav Hejdánek and his wife Emílie, née Poupová. He graduated from grammar school in 1946 and studied philosophy and sociology at Charles University. He was awarded his PhD in 1952. He found work as a manual worker after his studies and was not allowed to publish until the 1960s. He could only work within his field for a brief period between 1968, when he started working at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, until 1970, when he had to leave the position due to political reasons. In November 1971, he was imprisoned for distributing leaflets before an election and held in custody for half a year. He was sentenced to nine months in prison the next year. During Normalization he worked as a night guard, boiler attendant and warehouse keeper. He organised philosophy seminars in his flat; some of the most renowned philosophers from French, Dutch, British and other universities participated in his seminars. He was one of the first signatories of Charter 77 and was also spokesman of the movement twice between 1977 and 1980. He was under the constant surveillance of the state security during Normalization. In 1985, he started the samizdat edition Oikoumené, focusing on philosophy and theology. He also helped publish the philosophy magazine Reflexe.Hejdánek worked as a lecturer at the Evangelical Theological Faculty of Charles University after 1989. He was awarded the Jan Palach Prize in 1984 and an honorary doctor degree by the University of Amsterdam in 1987. After the Velvet Revolution, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1992 and the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk in 1995.
- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
Author(s) of this page
- Hanáková, Jitka
Archives of the National Museum
Post Bellum. 2018. "Paměť národa: Prof. PhDr. Ladislav Hejdánek (1927) - životopis." Accessed December 15. http://www.pametnaroda.cz/witness/index/id/23?locale=cs_CZ.