Karel Hulicka, Ph.D., a retired University at Buffalo history professor who was an expert on Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, died Sunday in his Buffalo home. He was 97.
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, he was drafted into the Czech army after graduating from the Czechoslav Academy of Commerce. He completed officers' school just prior to the Munich Agreement in 1938, and the Czech army was disbanded after Nazi Germany took over the country. During World War II, he studied and taught in Prague.
After the war, he earned the equivalent of a doctoral degree in economics and business administration from the Technical University in Prague and became a professor of commerce in Prague's Industrial Arts College.
Dr. Hulicka came to the U.S. in 1947 as a visiting scholar and decided to stay after the Communists took over his homeland in 1948. He earned a second doctorate in political science and history at the University of California at Berkeley.
He taught at Berkeley, the University of Minnesota and the University of Oklahoma before coming in 1959 to UB, where he became a professor of history and government.
Thanks to his knowledge of several languages, he easily exchanged ideas and writings with academics from other countries. He frequently traveled to Central Europe and the U.S.S.R.
He spent a semester at Moscow State University on research projects and lectured for a semester at the Sorbonne in Paris. He also led a group of Buffalonians to the Soviet Union.
Dr. Hulicka was widely published. "Soviet Institutions, the Individual and Society," co-authored with his wife and published in 1967, was used as a textbook in many universities.
He was listed in American Men of Science, the Dictionary of International Biography, the International Scholars Directory, the International Who's Who of Intellectuals and Who's Who in the East.
A music lover, he played first violin in an orchestra in Prague before coming to the U.S. For many years after his retirement, he traveled to Europe twice a year and enjoyed many opera performances.
Surviving are his wife of 53 years, the former Irene M. Mackintosh, and and a son, Charles Mackintosh.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Buffalo Covenant Church, 786 Kenmore Ave.