Dr. Karel Hujer (September 18, 1902, Zelezny Brod – June 10, 1988, Chattanooga, TN) was a Czech astronomer interested in the study of astronomy of ancient civilizations.
Dr. Hujer came to the United States with a Doctor of Science degree (higher than Ph.D.) from Charles University in Prague. He immediately became active in the life of the Barnard Astronomical Society and gave lectures in Astronomy to churches and civic groups throughout the city.
Dr. Hujer had earlier been employed by the University of Chicago, and had worked at their famous Yerkes Observatory at Williams Bay, Wisconsin, which houses the largest refracting telescope ever built. Lockmiller offered Hujer the Directorship of our Clarence T. Jones Observatory, along with an Associate Professorship at the University – an offer Hujer accepted without hesitation.
He was Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for many years. He had been invited to come to Chattanooga from his position at Iowa State University by University of Chattanooga President Dr. David A. Lockmiller.
Karel Hujer was fascinated with ancient civilizations and traveled when he could. He was in India in 1935 and had stayed for two days in Gandhi’s Ashram near Delhi. He remained in touch with him through writing…
“I think of you in prayer… I see the only hope of light for our Western civilization in your radiant and friendly guidance and wisdom. I am the same as when you saw me except that my faith burns, if possible, brighter than before.”
You may read his article, Gandhi’s Non-Violence Way of Life, by Karel Hujer, Reconciliation Quarterly, (London), Fourth Quarter, 1966, at this link. He also wrote Mahatma Gandhi, My Host, an eight page recollection.
He was an organizer of the World Pacifist Meetings in India in December 1949 and although he traveled extensively, he felt primarily Czech and often lectured on the contribution of Czech and Slovak scientists in the field of physics and astronomy.
Below is a letter I discovered written in 1929 between Karel Hujer and a Mr. V. Kafka and its response. (You can click the letter to see a bigger version.)
Dr. Karel Hujer was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Astronomical Society of London. He was a Member of eight scientific societies in America and Europe. He had chapters published in seven books and more than 40 scientific and philosophical papers published in America and Europe. You may access some of these articles at this page.
We also invite you to visit this list of biographical notes written by his wife Harriet shortly after he passed away. You may access them here.
We also highly recommend you read this: A Memorial Tribute to an Astronomer and Humanitarian and look at some photographs of Karel at various times during his life and at various places around the world in this photo album.
In closing, has written 2 amazing books on Karel Hujer. One focused on his work and the other on his travels. Excellent and highly recommended!
We never cease to be amazed at how many amazing Czechs have spread themselves throughout the entire world and have given so much to our growth, development and society,; so many amazing and incredible contributions in art, science, technology – everything! Learning about people like Karel Hujek make me all the more proud to be Czech!
We know that you could spend hours, days, weeks and months finding some of this information yourselves – but at this website, we curate the best of what we find for you and place it easily and conveniently into one place. Please take a moment today to recognize our efforts and make a donation towards the operational costs of this site – your support keeps the site alive and keeps us searching for the best of our heritage to bring to you.
Remember, we rely solely on your donations to keep the project going.
Thank you in advance!
If you have not already subscribed to get TresBohemes.com delivered to your inbox, please use the form below now so you never miss another post.