herald

Tuesday 27 September 2016

War hero Josef gets degree at age of 93

War hero Joe Veselsky (r) with Physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Professor Peter Higgs
War hero Joe Veselsky (r) with Physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Professor Peter Higgs

Josef Veselsky is just three years shy of his 100th birthday ,but that didn't stop him from celebrating an honorary degree from Trinity College yesterday.

The 97-year-old native of Slovakia, who lost both parents and a brother in Nazi death camp Auschwitz, was conferred with an honorary master of arts degree which he earned after resuming his education in 2010 - it had been cut short by World War II.

"I'm very proud," he said of being the college's oldest student as he joined the graduates' procession to the examination hall, which was led by college chancellor and former President Mary Robinson.

Mr Veselsky, who moved to Ireland following the Czech coup in 1948, was decorated for his role in the Czech underground and Slovak national uprising movements.

Business

He set up a successful jewellery business here and was also a accomplished table tennis player who was appointed Life President of the Irish Table Tennis team.

His keen interest in history and the humanities as well as his "incredible story of courage and perseverance" earned him the honorary degree.

Writer JP Donleavy (90), author of The Ginger Man, received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree while Nobel prize-winning physicist Professor Peter Higgs was conferred with a Doctor of Science degree.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News