Ing. Hubert Antes

* 1934  

  • I began writing the chronicle in 1985 after the death of the last chronicler. I have been doing it ever since including the first period from 1979 (when the previous chronicler stopped) until 1985. Writing chronicles is a responsible as well as an amusing work that brings many pleasures when one has to note down facts and dates that evoke nice atmosphere. Such is the documentation of our summer theater festival with our youngest children here in Horní Počernice. Another part of a chronicler’s job is to bear witness to the events that are written down. One part of this captures the past historical periods and long-gone events about the place. The other part brings even the newest events to young people in schools. But those who went through the described affairs are interested as well. As the time passes, much is becoming forgotten and many things are falling out of memory or merging into an indiscriminate sequence of events, so that reality doesn’t correspond to one’s perceived experiences. Although it is not such a long time ago, many could forget that it has been fifteen years since the terminal station of the metro line B was built. But we celebrate many other anniversaries this year: it has been 925 since the first written record about the village of Chvaly. And I could continue. It has been 90 years since the first fire brigade was established in Chvaly. Ten years later, the same was done in Horní Počernice and seven years after that in Svépravice. Why was it done so late? At that time, the Svépravice municipality had twenty seven houses. And still they had the courage to establish a fire brigade and bought the most modern four-wheel fire engine.

  • Before 1968, professor Kadlec spent one year in Canada. Then he came to Czechoslovakia with an idea that their economic-mathematical methods applied on diverse problems to optimize the production structures could be used in agriculture. He and another professor were working in the Research Center for Economics, Agriculture and Nutrition. At that time, I was working in a department that collected data from agricultural factories. We were going around the Agricultural Production Communities and farms. Out of this, we made a huge dataset of fifty agricultural factories from the whole republic including the submontane areas. As I was working on these data, my director sent me over to the two professors to create the first economic-mathematical model of the structure of agricultural factories. As there was no computer in Czechoslovakia that would be able to count it, we were sending it via diplomatic mail to England as encoded documents. They counted it in England and returned it. These were the first attempts. Who counted it and why was it confidential? Because Communists here were worried that the West might see how big the agricultural factory is, what does it produce and how much. There were also prices, such as for how much was the product bought when it was submitted to the state fond. They could have seen our efficiency, how much does an acre yield. It was all in the table and it was all coded. The Englishmen had large computers that were embargoed so they couldn’t be imported here. Although there was an exhibition here, the computers could be only presented, but weren´t allowed to stay here. So the Englishmen took them back.

  • Originally, there were three villages here. Actually, there were even more of them – such as Čertousy, Babice and Babičky, but the latter two were destroyed during the thirty-years war by the Swedes and were never restored. Čertousy merged with Horní Počernice in 1924. At that time, there was a law that settlements were not allowed any more to exist on their own and had to be made part of the nearest village. Besides the three basic villages (Chvaly, Svépravice and Horní Počernice), there was the Xaverov court. It was a specific area for horse breeding. And here is the catch. In 1887, the first chronicler came to Horní Počernice and Čertousy. He wrote the chronicle for the years between 1885 and 1910. His name was František Vítězslav Veselý, a member of the parliament in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire representing part of the Czech lands in Vienna. And this man started writing the chronicle in tribute to Franz Joseph I., the emperor. The first twenty pages are dedicated to the emperor’s family. Then he follows by writing the municipal chronicle. As a member of parliament, he had certain privileges of how to get to archives that were in Vienna. He used this opportunity and wrote about things from the eleventh and twelfth century. I don’t know why, maybe because it was important at the time, but he was focusing strongly on property rights. It was easier than now because back then, there were only four farms in Počernice. So there were also only four owners and four homesteads. Some people lived around the farms in little houses but the primary concern was with the farmers. He depicted the whole period from the first written note about the village in 1415 – who handed the farms over to whom, if it was divided among two brothers and so on. Unfortunately, we don’t have this chronicle here. It is in Zdiby, the place of the archive for the former county Prague-East. After his death, no one continued in his work. It was not obligatory. In 1920, however, a new law was passed making it a duty for every municipality to start a chronicle. But Horní Počernice resisted and established it only in 1937 after a huge pressure from the county which was already about to appoint its own person who would write it and be paid by the municipality. In order to avoid that, an employee of the municipal authority was appointed to do the job. He was the first chronicler after whom I took it over. He was doing it since 1937 until 1978, and everything from 1979 is already my work.

  • I moved to the Agriculture Academy, which I also closed down as its last employee in 1993 after Czechoslovakia ceased to exist and was replaced by separate Czech and Slovak republics. My job was to manage the division of all of the Academy’s property. One third had to go to Slovakia and two thirds to the Czech Republic. It was very interesting. The academicians who worked there were highly qualified gentlemen, directors of the Czech and Slovak institutions and best friends. In the beginning, everything went smoothly. But then the Slovaks received some commands that they have to get the one third no matter what. And they came with such ideas! The chairman of the Academy had a fully equipped library, so there was also this thirteen-volume encyclopaedic dictionary. But one third had to go to Slovakia. So some volumes had to be sent away- but which ones? The first ones, the last ones or those in the middle? The liquidation was full of such funny stories.

  • During the Protectorate, our history classes in school were modified. Most of all the change lied in the predominance of the German history. From our history, everything implying that we were a nation at a time when the Germans were not was crossed out. They had to be the winners who were above all of us. We could keep some little things. For example that St. Wenceslaus was sending them oxen because he had to as he was the loser and they were the winners. In Toušeň, we had a German lector on the German language. She was teaching, as it was common in schools at that time, with a cane. She was the one who especially used it; who didn’t know the matter or said something in wrong German was hit by the cane. This made us dislike German even more. Of course, we were also lead to draw all sorts of German signs in drawing classes, but this was just a detail.

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    Horní Počernice, 15.04.2013

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Writing a chronicle is a responsible as well as pleasant task

Youth
Youth
photo: Rodinné album

Hubert Antes was born in Horní Počernice and has been linked with the municipality ever since. Nevertheless, he visited primary school in Toušeň, where he lived with his uncle after his mother was killed by a German military car in 1941. His father, already paralyzed on half of his body, couldn’t take care of little Hubert anymore. In Toušeň, he witnessed how the German occupation influenced the educational structure. Besides intensive learning of the German language, history classes were quite changed and so were the drawing classes. He moved back to his father after the war.After graduating from a high school of agriculture and going through the military service, he came to the Institute for Economics, Agriculture and Nutrition. There, he started to feel the influence of the Prague Spring in the second half of the 1960s even on the level of his profession. New methods were introduced as a part of the wave of the easing. The then rector of the University of Economics in Prague, professor Kadlec, started applying new methods studying the efficiency of agricultural policies. But because the technology in Czechoslovakia was not at a good level, they sent the data coded through the Czechoslovak embassy in London to some English institutes, where they were processed and calculated. This complicated path was chosen to prevent the West fromrevealing the true results of the Czechoslovak agriculture. In 1968, he started working at the Ministry of Agriculture where he spent the next two decades in the position of a specialized officer. After a disagreement with Minister Toman in 1987, he left the Ministry to the Academy of Agricultural Sciences. In 1992, he was closing down the Academy as the last employee responsible for division of all the property in ratio of two thirds for the Czech Republic to one third for Slovakia. For the municipality of Horní Počernice, the most important activity of Mr. Antes is undoubtedly his record as a chronicler. After the death of the previous chronicler in 1985, it was Mr. Antes who took over the job. First, he had to finish the previous six years which the previous man in charge missed because of his illness. Hubert Antes has enjoyed writing down the records of the life in Horní Počernice as it is a fairly responsible and pleasant task, as he says. Thanks to the chronicle, all generations can recall the changes that Horní Počernice as a municipality has gone through.