Letter to Dr. Fearon, President and Vice-Chancellor at Brock University

Dear Pres­i­dent Fearon,

The Czech and Slo­vak Asso­ci­a­tion of Cana­da, an orga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing Czech and Slo­vak Cana­di­ans, was found­ed in June 1939 — after Czecho­slo­va­kia was occu­pied by Nazi Ger­many.

Dur­ing the Ger­man occu­pa­tion many peo­ple were exe­cut­ed and deport­ed to con­cen­tra­tion camps. Yet sol­diers who man­aged to flee went to join the Allies in W.W. II., as did Czech and Slo­vak Cana­di­ans who brave­ly fought along­side the Cana­di­ans. The 1938/1939 immi­gra­tion wave was fol­lowed by anoth­er after the 1948 com­mu­nist coup, and final­ly after the Sovi­et occu­pa­tion of 1968 (which last­ed 23 years).

Many Czechs and Slo­vaks immi­grat­ed to Cana­da and found lib­er­ty and also free­dom of speech, such as the late Vic­tor Fic, pro­fes­sor at Brock Uni­ver­si­ty, who was one of our organization’s most esteemed mem­bers.

Anoth­er refugee fam­i­ly were the Hudlick­ys. Their son went on to become a pro­fes­sor of chem­istry at Brock Uni­ver­si­ty, and to be rec­og­nized as a lead­ing author­i­ty in the field of organ­ic chem­istry. He was award­ed the Sil­ver Medal by the Charles Uni­ver­si­ty in Prague.

We are very con­cerned by the cen­sor­ship of Dr. Tomas Hudlicky’s essay pub­lished in the Ger­man mag­a­zine Ange­wandte Chemie, and by the crit­i­cism he was sub­ject­ed to from your Uni­ver­si­ty. We con­sid­er free­dom of speech to be an extreme­ly impor­tant part of life in demo­c­ra­t­ic Cana­da — some­thing we were seek­ing when we came here. We should nev­er allow this right to be vio­lat­ed under any pre­text, espe­cial­ly not in the acad­eme.

We there­fore ful­ly sup­port prof. Hudlicky’s right to express his views and hope that Brock Uni­ver­si­ty will agree. We would appre­ci­ate if you were to con­firm that we are of one mind on this impor­tant issue.

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