Josefa Bilíková

* 1937

  • "So I have an interrogation. So I went to the interrogation. I had to go to Hradiště. When I walked into the room where I was to be interrogated, two guys were sitting there. I walked in slowly, took off my coat and gave it to them to hang up. They were staring at me. I said, 'I don't know what you want from me. You're worse than the communists in the fifties.' As I started talking, I gave them such a lecture that they sat there, staring, silent. 'And I already told you everything. I won't talk to you anymore. It's not worth it telling you anything,' I told them. They sat there staring. One of them took a chair, sat down next to me and said, 'I know what you're doing right now, you're praying.' And I said, 'You know, I like to pray very much, but I can't pray in your company. I'm sitting, waiting for what's going to happen, but I'm not praying.' Then others kept coming in, changing, and I kept sitting there. Then I told them my bus was leaving in five minutes and to give me my coat. They gave me my coat, and I walked to the bus station."

  • "Mom had a red blood cell deficiency. In the hospital in Kyjov, they didn't give her any blood. When we went there, Mom said that they had no money to get the blood, that Dad had to find the money. He didn't. We didn't have any, so Mommy had to die. She told us everything, how to behave, what to do, how to help each other and most importantly, that we should listen to Daddy, help him and love each other. She told us all this knowing that she was dying, that there was no blood for her!"

  • "I might remember that because the communists were wreaking havoc in our village. They arrested the parish priest right away. I remember it. It was a difficult time. In 1950 they arrested about sixteen boys in our parish. Some of them may not even have been eighteen years old. My uncle, who lived one house over from us, had three kids and a wife. They came for him and offered him something. They came as friends. They knew that there was poverty in the village during the fifties, they were offering something. They took him with them. That they would give him something. And they arrested him right away. They went with him to the place where they were locking people up, and they didn't let him go. Then came the law courts. That was a hard time, the fifties!"

  • "Of course, it was very hard when he got locked up, especially for his parents, right, for his mom. And so I used to go with my mom to visit him there. When he had visitors, I would go too, but they wouldn't let me in. All I could do was wait in the hallway until mommy came out. And mommy would sit there with him, and the guard would sit there with her, two of them, František and mommy. And mom gave him a little cross, and they didn't even let him take it. He was only allowed to kiss it, take it and give it back to mom. So they were always very strict. But I have only good memories of František. We spent a nice part of our lives together."

  • "This one stetsec sat near the altar, and František Lízna saw him there. He was dressed like a priest, so he went over there and gave him a blessing. The poor guy didn't know what to do, so he sprang up (laughter) - and at that point, he didn't know whether to kneel or what. So he turned on his heel and out of the church! He ran away, but whether he fled, I don't know, maybe he only walked a little further. Well, I don't know why he thought of it, poor man, blessing him there, the stetsec, while he was in uniform, he was wearing their clothes - and he goes and gives him the blessing..."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Vyšehorky, 28.04.2021

    duration: 02:08:19
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Kroměříž, 30.11.2022

    duration: 01:34:36
    media recorded in project Stories of the region - Central Moravia
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

They kept arresting Father František Lízna. I prayed for him

Josefa Bilíková, 2022
Josefa Bilíková, 2022
photo: Post Bellum

Josefa Bilíková was born on 13 January 1937 in Dolní Bojanovice. She came from a strongly religious Catholic family, and her parents had a small farm. In the 1950s, she witnessed how the communists arrested the Bojanovice parish priest and other villagers. When she was fifteen years old, she went to work in a monastery in Velehrad. She helped care for ill people who lived in the local home for the severely handicapped. In Velehrad, she met a priest, František Lízna, who publicly voiced his disapproval of the communist regime and was arrested several times. Because of this, she was interrogated by State Security. In 1995, she left Velehrad for Vyšehorek near Mohelnice, where she became a parish housekeeper and cooked for homeless people. In 2023, she lived in the Home of the Holy Cross in Kroměříž.