Božena Beňová

* 1951  

  • "The Bibles came from the West, we didn't know where they came from or who brought them, because it was better not to know." "To your parish in Počernice?" "To Počernice or home. And then we took every opportunity to deliver them. But we did that even before I met my husband. My mother and I used to smuggle them. There was a regular meeting of the workers of eastern Slovakia and Subcarpathian Russia on 9 May, and there was a free passage..." "Across the border?" "In the border area. And nobody checked it there, it was easy to hand over those Bibles. I still have a little one at home as a keepsake."

  • "'Be joyful, my soul, as the Lord protects you, The guardian eye of your Creator neither sleeps nor slumbers. If the Lord is your shelter, your weapon and your shield, by victory you will end all struggles, triumph will welcome you. Be joyful, my soul, and offer a sincere sacrifice. No man shall pluck thy portion out of the hand of the Creator.' This is my personal anthem. To this day."

  • "The village of Sklené was very badly affected by an unfortunate event, a massacre, in the autumn of 1944. Such a thing happened there. At that time the Soviet army was already coming. On its orders, the partisans were forced to take all the men from sixteen to sixty out of the village. There were 187 of them. They concentrated them first in the school, telling them to take shovels with them, that they would need them to dig trenches outside the village. The next day the men dug the trenches and they shot them dead there. It was a very bloody massacre. One of the survivors, a parish priest, managed to escape and gave his testimony about what happened."

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 16.06.2021

    (audio)
    duration: 01:47:49
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
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Faith is a gift everyone can get

Božena Beňová in 2021
Božena Beňová in 2021
photo: natáčení Post Bellum

Božena Beňová, née Božena Kratková, was born on 5 April 1951 in Sklené, Slovakia, in a modest farming family. Soon after her birth, the family moved to the village of Jenkovce in eastern Slovakia, near the border with the Soviet Union. Her parents were members of the Methodist Church. Her mother helped pass out Bibles in Russian to religious Ukrainians living on the other side of the border. After graduating from the grammar school, Božena was accepted to the Faculty of Philosophy, to major in psychology, but her mother did not support her studies, so she ended up studying only librarian follow-up. Soon after, she met her husband Andrej Beňa, a member of the Church of the Brethren. In 1973 she moved with her husband and two little daughters to Horní Počernice near Prague, where Andrej Beňa worked as a lay preacher. Božena Beňová, who was also actively involved in the life of the Brethren congregation, worked in the Počernice municipal library and later in the technical library of the State Research Institute for Machine Building. After November 1989, Andrej Beňa became a full-time preacher and the couple worked together on the reconstruction of the church rehabilitation centre in Chvaly near Prague. Božena Beňová has four children; her husband passed away in November 2020.