Jta’s Prague Correspondent, Josef Klansky, is Dead at 74

Josef Klansky, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s correspondent in Prague, died July 26.

Klansky, 74, had contracted hepatitis from a blood transfusion, his wife, Edgara, said from Prague.

He was born in the small town of Kosino, located in Ukraine.

Klansky received a doctorate of law from Charles University in Prague.

After World War II, Klansky took a position with CPK, the Czech national press agency. By 1950 he was forced to take a job in a factory because he was not a member of the Communist party.

In 1965, Klansky founded and became the editor of Solidarity, a monthly magazine about Africa published in English and French.

His interest in Africa led him to move with his family to Zambia in 1970 to teach journalism and communications at the Evelyn Home College in Lusaka for three years.

Klansky was also an ardent Zionist, his wife said.

He traveled illegally to Israel in 1985 while on vacation in Vienna.

In April 1990, he accompanied President Vaclav Havel on an official state visit to Israel.

With the demise of the Iron Curtain, Klansky sought to help revive the once thriving Jewish community in Czechoslovakia by serving on the country’s Jewish community board as well as becoming president of B’nai B’rith of Czechoslovakia, his wife said.

Klansky worked as a reporter for JTA and the London Jewish Chronicle from 1990 until his death.

In addition, the newfound freedom of the press in his homeland prompted him to write two books: “Traveling to the Holy Land” in 1991 and “How I Survived Hitler,” an autobiographical sketch published by the State Jewish Museum in 1992.

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