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Jan Drabek

21 March 2013 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The prolific author and former diplomat Jan Drabek discusses his recent biography, Vladimir Krajina: World War II Hero and Ecology Pioneer (Ronsdale Press, 2012), with Joseph Planta.

Vladimir Krajina: World War II Hero and Ecology Pioneer by Jan Drabek (Ronsdale Press, 2012).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Vladimir Krajina

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

A recent book tells the story of a hero of the Second World War, and someone who made his way to British Columbia to teach and impact our environmental and protection policies in Canada. The book is called Vladimir Krajina: World War II Hero and Ecology Pioneer. Krajina was a botanist born in what is now the Czech Republic in 1905. He was a member of the Czech Resistance during the Second World War, becoming a leader in the fight against Nazi aggression. There were many near-misses when it came to his life, he was captured and imprisoned, even sentenced to death. The book reads like a novel in some parts. He comes to Canada after the war becoming a professor at the University of British Columbia, and goes on to a distinguished career in academia. He becomes the father of the British Columbia Ecological Reserve Program, something that reflects his long-standing environmental concern, which is then copied throughout Canada. He is honoured in this country for his endeavours with honorary degrees and the Order of Canada, and returns to Prague in 1990 to receive the Order of the White Lion, the Czech Republic’s highest honour. I’ll ask my guest now, the author of this book, to tell us about Krajina’s fascinating and eventful life, how he knew Krajina, and how this book came about. This book is a welcome addition to the world of biography, but also the story of British Columbia. The author Jan Drabek, has also lived an extraordinary life. He was born in Prague; served in the US Navy, and was a journalist and broadcaster throughout the world. He first came to Canada in 1965, and worked as a high school teacher, as well as a travel agent, and writer. He has since written nearly 20 books in both English and Czech, and is a former president of the Federation of BC Writers and a former member of the governing council of the Writers’ Union of Canada. He returned to Prague in the 1990s to work in government there, as well was the Czech ambassador to Kenya and Albania. His life is more fascinating than just that, and he’ll be publishing a memoir later this year. Until then, this book on Vladimir Krajina is published by Ronsdale Press. www.jandrabek.com is the website for more. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Jan Drabek; Ambassador Drabek, good morning.