Miroslav Holomek was born in Svatobořice near Kyjov in southern Moravia and followed the footsteps of his uncle JUDr. (J.D.), Tomáš Holomek, who was the first Roma lawyer in the former Czechoslovakia. He was one of the founders of the Roma-Gypsy Union and was its chairman in 1969-1973.
Miroslav Holomek went to the municipal school and started studying at Kyjov gymnasium, where he was expelled for racial reasons during World War II. He worked as a labourer and managed to escape from the concentration camp, where many of his relatives died. In 1951 he graduated from the University of Social Sciences in Brno, from 1962 to 1966 studied at the University of Politics, where he received his Ph.D. degree in social sciences. He then worked as Deputy Director at the State Labour Back-up School and was also Director of the Evening University of Marxism-Leninism, and then worked for 15 years in the Communist Party. As part of his profession, he devoted his entire life to the Roma question and published a number of expert articles on the subject. Due to the tragic history of his family during the Second World War, which suffered from racial reasons, he was very critical to the Communist Party. During March 1968, he and others founded the Union of Gypsies-Roma.
- Brno, Czech Republic
Іван Горбачевський – один з найвідоміших вчених свого часу в галузі хімічного органічного синтезу. Народився в сім'ї греко-католицького священика на Тернопільщині, Горбачевський провів більшу частину свого дорослого життя поза межами України. Під час навчання в гімназії в Тернополі (1864-1872) він став членом організації «Громада», метою якої було зміцнення української громади, формуючи людей на керівні посади. Іван продовжував вивчати медицину у Відні (Австрія), де продемонстрував особливу здібність до хімії, яку він викладав після закінчення навчального закладу. В цей час він зустрів Михайла Драгоманова, одного з провідних письменників України, драматурга і дядька Лесі Українки. Завдяки проведенню базових досліджень Горбачевському запропонували посаду професора в Празі, де він став ініціатором створення нової галузі – медичної хімії.
Хоча Горбачевський проживав за кордоном у Відні, а згодом у Празі, все ж він підтримував зв'язки з батьківщиною, допомагаючи у 1873 році у Львові створити Наукове товариство ім. Т. Шевченка. За свою кар'єру він обіймав різні посади в наукових і урядових колах, як завідувач кафедри медичної хімії, а згодом як декан медичного факультету Карлового університету в Празі, потім ректор цього ж університету, член Санітарної ради Чеського Королівства та перший міністр охорони здоров'я в Австро-Угорській імперії в 1917 році. Ця посада через геополітичні обставини була скасована у 1918 році.
З початком Першої світової війни у 1914 році Горбачевський допоміг створити комітет допомоги українським біженцям з Галичини, який мав на меті організувати громади, освітні ініціативи та допомогу Українському Січовому стрілецтву. У 1921 році Горбачевський повернувся до Праги, сприявши створенню Українського вільного університету, який на той час був єдиним українським університетом у світі. Будучи ректором університету в 1923-23 і 1931-35 роках, він викладав у ньому органічну та неорганічну хімію. Горбачевський відіграв важливу роль у створенні Музею Руху за незалежність України (1925-1948 рр.) за сприяння групи професорів Українського вільного університету в Празі. У музеї зібрані документи з Праги та інших країн про військове, табірне життя, архіви Союзу визволення України, політичні та дипломатичні матеріали, документи про еміграцію, мистецтво, студентське життя та Січових Стрільців. У 1939 році Горбачевський очолив процес створення Комітету оборони Карпатської України – території, що на сьогодні називається Закарпаттям в складі Україні. Ці землі в 1939 році проголосили незалежність від Чехословаччини. У 1942 році у Горбачевського загострилась багаторічна хвороба, яка прискорилася у воєнні часи.
- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
- Vienna, Austria
Alla Horska was born in Yalta, Crimea in 1929 into a family of fairly high-ranking communist officials. Her father was a Soviet filmmaker and then eventually moved to Leningrad, where she and her mother survived the siege in 1941-1943. The family moved to Kyiv, partly to avoid pressure from the Soviet authorities on her father. In 1946 Horska enrolled in art school, became a Komsomol member, and later graduated from the Kyiv Art Institute. Her work was displayed in a number of all-union exhibitions.
A member of the ‘red bourgeoisie,’ Horska married well, had an apartment in the centre of Kyiv, and studied fine art. Like many artists of her generation, she took advantage of Khrushchev’s thaw and experimented with cultural and literary forms that had been stamped out by socialist realism. Horska was a founding member of the Kyiv Club for Creative Youth (1959-1964) and, although being raised in a Russian-speaking family, began learning Ukrainian and exploring traditional motifs in her work. She was also involved in unearthing crimes of the Stalinist period. In 1962-63, together with Les Taniuk and Volodymyr Symonenko, she located unmarked mass graves of NKVD victims, who had been slaughtered in the 1930s, near the village of Bykivnya. They penned a memorandum informing the Kyiv City Council of their location. Soon thereafter, Symonenko was brutally beaten up, eventually dying from blows to his diseased kidneys.
Horska was radicalized by her many run-ins with the authorities, a turn reflected in her later work. In 1964, a stained-glass window she created at Kyiv State University, portraying an angry Shevchenko holding a woman betrayed–-symbolizing Ukraine—was destroyed for being ideologically alien. Horska wrote letters in support of colleagues arrested and incarcerated for “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.” In 1968, she was one of 139 signatories on a letter addressed to Leonid Brezhnev, Aleksei Kosygin, and Nikolai Podgornyi asking them to put a stop to these practices, which violated ‘soviet legality.’ She also refused to testify at a number of trials of her colleagues, citing the illegality of the proceedings. Shortly thereafter, rumours began circulating that a terrorist banderite organization with ties to the CIA was working in Ukraine; Horska was named a leading member of this illegal organization.
On December 2, 1970, Horska was found murdered in the village of Vasylkiv, killed by blunt force trauma to the back of the head. She had visited her father-in-law Ivan Zaretsky on the morning of November 28 to borrow an old sewing machine. The following day he was found lying, decapitated, on train tracks near Fastiv, 35 kilometers from his home. After a brief investigation, the Kyiv Procuracy determined that Zaretsky had killed Horska, and then committed suicide in despair. Contemporaries saw the hand of the KGB, who tried first to intimidate Horska into silence, and, when that failed, brutally murdered her.
- Kiev, Ukraine
- Saint Petersburg, Russia
Petr Hrabalik is a musician, composer, lyrics author and singer. Since the first half of the 1980s, he was active in music bands influenced by underground, and later, punk. He is well known mostly because of his activity in the hard-core music band “Našrot”. Petr Hrabalik is also a music historian. He collaborated on the making of the documentary TV series Bigbít (1998, Czech Television). He has been responsible for the website of that TV series since 2001, including the broad overview of world rock music in the twentieth century that was added later on. He initiated the founding of the museum and archive of pop music (the Popmuseum), where the archive materials were originally stored after they were collected for the filming of the TV series. He also collaborated on the making of the documentary series “Fenomén Underground” between 2012 and 2014, for which he also created a website.
- Havlíčkův Brod, Czech Republic
- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
Marko Hren was born in Ljubljana on 26 April 1959. At the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing, he graduated with a degree in applied mathematics and computer science. From 1984 until 1990, he was employed in Iskra Delta and Mikro Ada, enterprises specialized in computer equipment and software development. At Mikro Ada, in which Hren became chief of the software development department, Janez Janša and Igor Omerza were fellow employees. Mikro Ada served as an “infrastructural base for alternative politics in Slovenia.” The State Security Service raided Mikro Ada on 31 May 1988, and special attention was accorded to a document entitled “Call for Non-violent Resistance in the Case of Repression,” written by Marko Hren, about which a report was sent to Stane Dolanc. Hren was a co-founder of the Centre for the Culture of Peace and Non-violence established in 1989, which was registered as a political organization in June 1990, immediately after the onset of democratic changes. He also co-founded the Peace Institute in Ljubljana, whose foundation he initiated in June 1990, and the process was successfully completed in June 1991. From 1991 to 2000, he was an activist of the centre in Metelkova Street in Ljubljana, in which he organized a number of NGOs. Since 2000, he has worked in the civil service of the Republic of Slovenia.
In the 1980s Hren was the leader of the Peace Movement in Slovenia and the liaison for contacts between the Peace Movement in Slovenia and the War Resisters' International (WRI), in which he was a board member. The flagship project of the Peace Movement was the promotion of the right of conscientious objection to military service by conscripts. The Peace Movement in Slovenia was institutionalized within the framework of the Republic Conference of the Alliance of Socialist Youth of Slovenia as the Working Group for Peace Movements and as the Section for the Culture of Peace by the Student Culture Centre. In 1986, Hren became the editor of the Peace Movement Information Bulletin, published under that title since 1985. Eventually that bulletin evolved into Independent Voices from Slovenia. In February of 1988, Hren initiated the establishment of the Coordination of the New Social Movements, which demanded a referendum on new constitutional amendments, and in March 1988 it publicly announced the Call for a Referendum on Constitutional Amendments. Hren was also a member of the Committee for the Preservation of Human Rights, on whose behalf he maintained contacts with the members of similar foreign institutions as well as European parliamentarians. During the Congress of the Alliance of Socialist Youth of Slovenia in Portorož on 3 November 1989, he called for the demilitarization of Slovenia, aimed against the Yugoslav People's Army. The project was presented to the public on 15 November 1989, and on 28 March 1990, a few weeks before the first democratic elections, the public signing of the project was organized by new political groups under the title “Slovenia Abolishes Military Apparatus.” In these elections, Hren was a candidate of the Independent Slate of New Social Movements. Immediately after the elections, the new Executive Council of the Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, or in simpler terms, the Slovenian government, was keen on cooperating with the Peace Movement, but already in October 1990, Peace Movement activists began to perceive reserve among politicians and the necessary funding to fulfil action plans was granted at much smaller percentages than requested and required by the Peace Movement.
Hren felt defeated inasmuch as he could not prevent the outbreak of the war, but he is proud of the effectiveness of the Peace Movement and its publications as a platform for communication between democratic forces in Slovenia and the world public during the struggle for the democratization of Slovenia. Hren considers research and preservation of the material about anti-communist movements in Slovenia, including the peace movement as the most serious opponent of the Yugoslav People's Army, important, and he personally contributed to its preservation by guarding the collection's documents in his private archives for decades. This particular collection is seen as “extremely important” by Hren, because through it the activity of the Peace Movement is clearly illustrated, as are its contacts with numerous international factors and the coordination of activities of most of the regime's opponents. To him, cultural opposition vis-à-vis the communist regime means opposing militarism and totalitarian consciousness. His main criticisms of the communist regime are related to its militarism and lack of freedom. The Peace Movement was institutionalized through the Alliance of Socialist Youth of Slovenia, which was an organization subordinated to the League of Communists of Slovenia.
His work was very critical of the regime, to such a degree that the State Security Service raided the enterprise in which he worked and confiscated the materials that he wrote. At the time of the raid, he was in the USA, beyond the reach of the repressive organs of Yugoslavia. Hren was not only a member of the critical movements, he was also their leader and the initiator of contacts with transnational organizations such as European Nuclear Disarmament, East-West Network, and the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly. Marko Hren was under operative surveillance by the State Security Service as case number HSM 098600470, which means that he was subject to searches and seizures of his property, and that under the threat of the arrest he had to flee abroad to safety.
- Ljubljana , Slovenia