I was born in Prague, at the beginning of 1918. When I was seven years old, my parents bought the Ratměřice estate. That village has always been the embodiment of everything childhood means. Nobody can take away my memories of that place, they are all pleasant, except for one – the memory of the day I came to the castle to find a locked door and the Communist Party inside. They took everything from us, including my children’s toys.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. My father founded the automobile factory Aero and later also took an interest in aviation. He was a trained lawyer though and I decided to follow in his footsteps.
Nobody can take away my memories of that place, they are all pleasant, except for one – the memory of the day I came to the castle to find a locked door and the Communist Party inside
After I graduated the Faculty of Law at the Charles University, I started working at the factory to gain experience – and my father didn’t go easy on me!
Apparently I proved a good worker though and I soon became the company’s secretary and then the chief clerk, which meant I acted as a liaison between the employees and the management. I didn’t inherit any technical skills though – my father wanted me to become an airplane or an automobile engineer, but I mostly focused of personal or social issues in the company.
After 1945, there wasn’t a place for as at the nationalized factory anymore. All we could do was watch from the distance and observe which direction the communists decided to take. When my father died in 1948, I decided to leave the republic. My departure wasn’t dramatic at all; I walked over the hills to Germany with two pairs of underpants and two cartons of cigarettes. My wife and both of my daughters joined me a bit later.
I spent two years working for American military administration in Heidelberg and then I left for the United States. At the George Washington University I obtained qualification in the American law and thanks to my language proficiency I became involved in a project involving central and east European law at the Library of Congress and found a job with the International Commission of Jurists, just as it was being established.
After some time I became a deputy of an UN committee and also its secretary. In the 60’s I worked as an advisor of Cyrille Adoula, who was a prime minister of the former Belgian Congo.My work in the committee was mainly focused on human rights.
After 1989 I helped advocate for political and economic interests of our state abroad, I was an advisor to Václav Havel and I helped promote economic and cultural relationships of the Czech Republic and the US.<br />
Apart from that I was also engaged in several others areas which related to my homeland – I worked with the Council of Free Czechoslovakia, the Society of Arts and Sciences, the Czechoslovak National Council of America… I was also there for the foundation of Amnesty International, which is interested in the fates of individual people. Cardinal Beran was chosen as one of the first „prisoner of consciences“ back then, which was a very big deal for us Czechoslovaks! After 1989 I helped advocate for political and economic interests of our state abroad, I was an advisor to Václav Havel and I helped promote economic and cultural relationships of the Czech Republic and the US.
In 1999 Dr. Vladimír Kabeš received the Medal of Merit of the first grade, a state award recognizing his life work, and in 2004 he was also a recipient of the Gratias Agit award. This educated and skilled lawyer, patriot, philanthropist and an eternally optimistic man passed away in Washington, during Easter of 2009.
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