The international archival community has been greatly saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Vacslav Babicka, former Director of the Archives and Records Management Administration at the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, on 12 May 2012.
He was born on 28 May 1949 in the Czech Republic and spent most of his life in Prague. After completing his studies at Charles University, he started his career at the National Archives in 1972, rising to become Director in 1992. He was then Director of the Czech Archives Administration from 2000 until his retirement last year. In addition, he completed theological studies at Charles University in 2010 and was ordained a deacon last year.
He was a long-time member of the International Council on Archives, a familiar figure at the meetings of the European Board of National Archivists for many years, and active in many Czech and international professional bodies. He was appointed a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government, was awarded an Honorary Cross for Science and Art by Austria, and received other Czech and Slovak decorations.
Wise and highly educated, Vaclav Babicka was a man of firm principles who nevertheless remained broad minded and tolerant. He could exercise great charisma but always avoided pomposity. A kind, quiet and gentle man, he will be remembered with great affection by all those who knew him for his honesty and integrity in his professional and private life.