Ján Langoš

A noble soul, a moral soul, a just soul, a self-giving soul.

Jan Langos was born on August 2nd, 1946 in former Czechoslovakia. His life was a tapestry of activity. Prior to the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Jan Langos belonged to the underground in Slovakia. Fearless, offering hope and encouragement to people, he invited a group of dissidents, including Vaclav Havel, to meet regularly in his apartment. He was writing articles, taking active part in underground seminars or participating in events defending other people's rights. His presence during illegal samizdat book-binding sessions was frequent.

He was known as a friend of all religions, Catholic opposition claimed him as their brother, as well as the Jewish community. Often compared to Buddha's patience and wisdom, he kneeled down before God in all humility. In November 1989 Jan Langos joined the Slovak-based Public Against Violence group as one of its leader, and began his association with the world of high politics.

When Czechoslovakia broke free from communist rule in late 1989, Jan Langos took on the monumental job of Minister of the Interior. Sacrificing his own safety and safety of his family, he challenged the STB (Secret State Police) and cleared the Ministry and other high politic positions from the collaborators with previous regime. Next to the presidential office and the foreign ministry, this was no-doubt the most important post in the country. When Czechoslovakia broke apart, Jan Langos became a Slovak Member of Parliament and until 2001 he served as the chairman of Slovakia's Democratic Party. When he left the Parliament in 2002, a new chapter started in Jan Langos's life: he devoted all his effort to ensure that Slovaks would not forget their 20th century history. In 2003 Jan Langos became the Director of the newly-established Slovak Nation's Memory Institute, for which he fought tirelessly. Opening weighty documents of former communist Secret Service for the public cost him a risky life.

Jan Langos was married and had two daughters.

Jan Langos died in "a misty" car accident on June 15th, 2006.

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