Jiri Ganzelka and Miroslav Zikmund
Short Biography

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He was an extraordinary figure in recent Czech history: the famous explorer Jiri Hanzelka, who, along with Miroslav Zikmund, organized extensive expeditions to regions around the world, including Africa... more info here >>>

Ing. Jiri Hanzelka

Born December 24, 1920 in Stramberk, Czechoslovakia

1938 - graduates from the Trade Academy in Prague and commences his studies at the Trade College, where he meets Miroslav Zikmund, and they put together their "Plan 5" (for the 5 continents)

1939 - 1945 the Nazis close the universities and he is sent to do forced labor, first as an agricultural laborer and then as a clerk

1946 - graduates from University with an engineering diploma (Ing.)

1950s- marries, has a son and a daughter

1953 - awarded the Order of the Republic

1965 - awarded the Golden Plaque of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences for Meritorious Service to Science and Humanity

1968 - active as a Communist reformer, works for several months in the trade department of the Czechoslovak Embassy in Stockholm, runs for President

1969 - expelled from the Czechoslovak Writers' Union, his works are banned from publication, he is unemployed

1976 - signs Charter 77

1979 - 1982 works as a gardener for the Prague Company "Sady, lesy, zahradnictvi" where he falls seriously ill and is forced to retire prematurely

1984 - 1990 - lives in the border village of Sedlo, South Bohemia

1993 - awarded the E.E. Kisch Prize

1996 - awarded the annual Prize of the Pangea Foundation "For Contribution to the Healing of Human Affairs"

1999 - February 23 aawarded a Gold Medal by the Silesian University in Opava; October 28 President Vaclav Havel awards him the Czech Republic Medal of Merit; publishes his "On Tolerance: Reflections of a Traveler at the End of the Millennium"; lives in seclusion in a hospital

2000 - April 21 awarded the Prize of the town of Zlin

Dies of a pulmonary embolism in Prague on February 15, 2003.

Ing. Miroslav Zikmund

Born February 14, 1919 in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia

1938 - graduates from Masaryk Secondary School in Pilsen and commences his studies at the Trade College, where he meets Jiri Hanzelka, and they put together "Plan 5" (for the 5 continents)

1939 - 1945 the Nazis close the universities, so he works as a clerk

1946 - graduates from university with an engineering diploma (Ing.)

1950s- marries, has a son

1953 - awarded the Order of the Republic

1959 - becomes a member of the International African Club in Vienna (IAC)

1965 - awarded the Golden Plaque of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences for Meritorious Service to Science and Humanity

1968 - speaks out against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia on Czechoslovak radio in a personal message to Yevgeny Yevtushenko

1969 - 1989 expelled from the Communist Party and the Czechoslovak Writers' Union, his works are banned from publication, he is unemployed and denied a pension

1992 - travels to Japan and Australia

1993 - awarded the E. E. Kisch Prize

1994 - April 21 awarded the Prize of the town of Zlin

1994 - travels to Australia and New Zealand

1995 - awarded the Historical Seal of the City of Pilsen

1996 - awarded the annual Prize of the Pangea Foundation "For Contribution to the Healing of Human Affairs"

1999 - February 23 awarded a Gold Medal by the Silesian University in Opava; October 28 President Vaclav Havel awards him the Czech Republic Medal of Merit; publishes his "Blue Mauritius...and yet Australia!"

2000 - travels to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

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