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M.Eng. Ján Benček (1921) - Biography

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If we respect moral, human and Christian values, Slovakia won’t be subverted

Ján Benček was born on November 20, 1921 in Horné Sľažany, district of Zlaté Moravce. His father worked as a servant on a manor farm and his mother was a midwife. After finishing the elementary school he continued his studies at grammar school in Zlaté Moravce. He graduated in 1941 and since Mathematics became his love, he decided to study at the Technical University in Bratislava, in the field of civil engineering. However, the life or students is of a good quality only when he is surrounded by kind people. Ján began to live in a collegial school in Svoradov and right away he got involved in regular catholic meetings. Here he got to know many interesting personalities of Christian life, as for example professor Tomislav Kolakovič. Ján often attended his lectures or spiritual exercises and was fascinated by the way of professor's Christian teaching. Eventually he also started to lead some of the meetings, which didn't focus only on Christianity, but they also aimed at academic improvement. After graduating from the university, Ján remained working at this school as an assistant of his professor; however, as soon as the State Security found out about his activities within the so-called catholic action, he was fired. In 1950 he was sent to manual work to a production of building components to Sučany, near Martin, where he spent six months. From the beginning he worked as a manual worker, but later his boss moved him to work in a laboratory, since he found out Ján wasn't just a novice in the field of civil engineering. After half a year, there was a Slovak-wide enterprise built in Bratislava and Ján was transferred to work there at the Technology Department.  Even though he never joined the communist party, thanks to his professionalism and hard work he gained the communists' confidence. He was allowed to lecture at the university for over 25 years and he also attended various foreign conferences. Since the regime tried to detain all the people actively working with Christian youth, also Ján for two times ended up in the State Security's office. In spite of that he continued to secretly attend Christian activities and masses. In 1968 he took part in the Work of Conciliar Renewal and later he was also active within the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH). Despite of him rejecting any kind of collaboration with ŠtB, since 1977 the State Security kept files of him being the "Confident".

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