Zdeněk Hájek – czeski (morawski) historyk dziejów Polski

Roman Baron


Zdeněk Hájek – Czech (Moravian) historian specializing in Polish history

Zdeněk Hájek (1894–1958) was one of those people who dedicated their lives to scholarship. After many years, however, it was not granted to him to fulfill his life’s mission within the strictures of state employment. Even the forced interruption of his study of history and geography at Charles University in Prague (due to his conscription into the army following the outbreak of the First World War) in many regards foreshadowed his later fortunes, which were marked by a certain discontinuity. Among some of the milestones of his life’s journey, one ought to mention: his service in the Czechoslovak legions in Russia, a two-year assistantship in a history seminar with Professor Jaroslav Bidlo, a nearly twenty-year period of employment in a state high school in Brno, popularization of scholarship in the daily press – mainly in Lidové Noviny, where he was also employed during the period of the Protectorate, his employment at the Pedagogical Faculty of Masaryk University and at the Pedagogical College in Brno (where, among various other functions, he was responsible for conducting a history seminar, he held the post of vice-dean for scholarly research and was head of the department of history and the constitution). He also took part in community life and lectured to students, teachers and the general public. His scholarly interests focused particularly on questions relating to Poles residing on Czech territories in the 19th c. Thus, Hájek became the first researcher ever to comprehensively analyze, the subject of Polish political prisoners at Špilberk Castle in the years 1839–1848, the internment of Marian Langiewicz, the Leader of the Polish January Uprising, in Tišnov (Tischnowitz) and Josefov (Josephstadt), the relationship of Henryka Pustowojtow to the Czech milieu and other aspects of Czech assistance in the Polish strivings to national independence. As a historian, he wrote about expressions of Czech-Polish solidarity in the past; as a man and citizen, he promulgated this idea in his own environment and within his sphere of activity, he actively worked toward it.

Słowa kluczowe: stosunki czesko-polskie, historiografia czeska, Brno, Uniwersytet Masaryka, Zdeněk Hájek

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