Jan Šimsa is a representative of the Christian-oriented dissent of Brno. He was born 2. 10. 1929 in Prague and after finishing high school he studied theology at the Comenius Theological Faculty and graduated in 1952. As a parish priest of the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren, he worked until the forced prohibition of pursuing a profession in 1973. In this period, just as Božena Komárková did, he sought the transformation of theological and the ideological foundations of their home church within the informal stream New Reconstruction. In the following years, he changed his profession, worked as an archivist, a handyman of church buildings, and after moving to Brno in 1975 as a manual labourer. Šimsa was a signatory of Charter 77 and in 1978, he was arrested and spent eight months in a jail. During normalization, he participated in the organization’s underground university´s lectures, publishing samizdat and leading informal ecumenical dialogs. After the Velvet Revolution he also worked on publishing Božena Komárková's writings after her death, which he kept with his wife Milena Šimsová on her estate, which was donated to the Moravian Museum in 2012. In 1991 Šimsa received the Order of T. G. Masaryk. He died 5. 4. 2016 in Brno.
Brno, Czech Republic
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- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
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- Nečasová, Denisa
Šimsa, Jan, and Ludvík Vaculík. 2003. Vážený pane Mikule: dopisy 1967/1988. Olomouc: Nakladatelství Olomouc.
Soukupová, Jana. 2010. Nepoddajní, aneb, Nešlo to jinak: příběhy jihomoravských disidentů v 70. a 80. letech 20. století. Brno: Host.