Prague, 5 December 2012. Dr. Zdeněk Boháč, Chairman of the Prague Academic Club 48 and initiator of the international appeal of former political prisoners and victims of Communism “Declaration 2012“, passed away on 25 November 2012. Zdeněk Boháč fought and survived both Nazism and Communism. At 90 years of age, he was a tireless advocate of justice for Communist crimes. The Platform will uphold Zdeněk Boháč`s legacy.
A student during the German occupation, Zdeněk Boháč became a member of an anti-Nazi resistance group which was imprisoned by the Gestapo. „I only survived,“ he recalled, „because two of my friends did not betray me during interrogation. They were executed. I owe my life to them“. Three years after the war, on 25 February 1948, Zdeněk Boháč participated in a student march to the Prague castle protesting against the Communist coup. The students were brutally beaten, becoming the first victims of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Like many other defenders of democracy, Zdeněk Boháč was thrown from university and further persecuted.
After 1989, he became founder and chairman of the Prague Academic Club 48 and relentlessly worked for the restoration of justice and coming to terms with the legacy of Communism. Recently, he united and chaired seventeen organisations of victims of Communism in the Czech Republic in an initiative “Legal Settlement of Crimes of Communism.“ In 2012, he brought the Prague Academic Club 48 into the Platform of European Memory and Conscience and initiated the Declaration 2012, which calls for justice for the Communist perpetrators on an international level. The Declaration 2012 has been joined by 45 organisations and institutions from nine countries so far.
With Zdeněk Boháč`s passing, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience has lost a dedicated activist with a youthful spirit. The Platform thanks Zdeněk for the inspiration and goals, which it will continue to pursue as a priority.
Zdeněk Boháč (1922-2012)