Helena Faberová

* 1935  

  • “When my daughter was in the first grade of grammar school, the principal’s deputy called me. I thought that my daughter became sick, but he said no, no, no, but please come here, Mrs. Faberová. I came to the school and he told me: call her to come out of the class, the State Security police was there and they talked to your daughter, a fifteen-year-old girl. I had her called out from the classroom, and in the school hallway she embraced me and started crying and she said: ‘Mom, but I didn’t cry in front of them.’ She told me that she was scared. ‘Magda, don’t be afraid, they will not come again.’ ‘But mom, they told me that I was a brat, and that I would deserve to be beaten on my ass…’ ‘This is an honour for you, you don’t have to worry about this at all.’ They tried to get information from her - Who was coming to visit us? Which priests were coming? - and other things. They started interrogating a fifteen-year-old-child! I considered this to be the meanest thing possible.”

  • “I was there for nineteen years and during that time we served as intermediaries for distribution of underground literature. That was where I got to know Mrs. Marie Weiss from Munich, but I didn’t know that she was from Ackermann-Gemeinde. Ackermann- Gemeinde is a Catholic organization which was established in Germany in 1946 for the deportees from Czechoslovakia. They were bringing medicine, books and clothes here, at their own risk, and they brought it not only for the German minority living here, but for other people in need as well. I was cooperating with this lady at the turn of the 1970s and 1980s. I was taking things from her and handing them over to others. (What kind of books were being sent to you to Prague?) I remember that there was a book Information about the Church, the typewritten version, then some titles from the Petlice edition, catechism from Rome… There were several types of books, but I don’t recall the titles of the books anymore. We stored most of these books in our basement and I also had some things in my drawer in my office at work.”

  • “My mom, who was already a widow at that time, told me: ‘Helenka, do not let them mar your wedding. I hope you will marry only once in your life, whereas under this regime they can undermine you several times. I cannot forget this! (…) The malicious words which I heard from other people enraged my colleagues and they helped me to find another job. They changed the grounds for my dismissal from “loss of credibility” to a six-week notice and I thus gained time to look for another job. Thanks to one of the colleagues I got a job as a secretary in the State company Kancelářské Stroje (‘Office Machines’), where I told them beforehand that I had troubles with the Ministry of Interior. I rather told them straight away. My future boss told me that he did not care and that the only thing he was interested in was whether I was capable of doing the job and writing shorthand notes… My other sin was that I had relatives abroad. After about a month of my working there the boss called me and he dictated a letter to me, whereby he was requesting the authorities to mitigate the severity of my punishment, because I had been given the notice for loss of credibility even though I had been employed for seven years before that. The boss then petitioned to the labour unions organization on my behalf and he asked them to give me back all my employee benefits which I had thus lost. I was touched by it. Later I came to understand his reasons: his name was Hermann Kunte and his mother was German and he therefore did not mind that I had relatives abroad.”

  • „A samozřejmě pak jsem po devatenácti letech na biskupství na přání tehdejšího biskupa budějovického Miloslava Vlka založila diecézní charitu. Zároveň jsem v té době byla v Unii katolických žen a jako taková jsem byla pozvána do Holandska na evropskou konferenci proti obchodu se ženami, byla jsem tam z Čech sama, a po příjezdu domů jsem napsala zprávu na ministerstvo vnitra magistře Gjuričové o té konferenci, která jednala o tom, jak pomáhat těmhle děvčatům, co se dostanou do obchodu s bílým masem. A zároveň jsem poslala i kardinálovi Vlkovi do Prahy zprávu a byla jsem pověřena českou biskupskou konferencí, abych se angažovala v té pomoci obětem obchodu se ženami, takže jsem vytvořila projekt Magdala. Ne Magdalena, Magdala je místo v Izraeli, odkud podle tradice pocházela Máří Magdalena, a filosofie toho projektu byla: ‚Vrať se domů, vrať se do Magdaly. My tě nebudeme soudit, můžeš začít znovu a jinak.‘ Pro ten projekt jsme získávali peníze na doporučení biskupské konference od různých sponzorů, první, kdo na to přispěl, byly řeholnice z Holandska.“

  • „A vůbec nejhorší můj zážitek z týhle doby byl, když za mojí tehdy patnáctiletou dcerou, která byla v prvním ročníku gymnázia, přišli estébáci a začali ji vyslýchat. Kteří kněží k nám chodí, co se doma děje a tak dále. A mně tehdy velmi slušný zástupce ředitele školy volal do práce na biskupství, říkal!: ‚Paní Faberová, přijďte sem do školy.“ Já jsem říkala: ‚S dcerou se něco děje?‘ A on říkal: ‚No byla tady státní bezpečnost, myslím, že by bylo dobře, kdybyste ji uklidnila.‘ Tak jsem tam přišla, zástupce ředitele mi řekl: ‚Vyvolejte si ji ze třídy.‘ Což jsem učinila, ona mi padla na chodbě kolem krku, plakala a říkala: ‚Mami, ale před nima jsem nebrečela.‘ No a teď mi říkala, co se stalo, že ji prostě vyslýchali. My jsme jim řekli: ‚Odmítejte s nima jednat bez přítomnosti rodičů.‘ A ona se podle toho zachovala. A oni jí řekli, že je spratek, který by potřeboval na prdel. To říkám tak… Cituju prostě, co tomu dítěti patnáctiletými řekli. A já jsem jí řekla: ‚Magdo, neboj se, oni nepřijdou znovu, oni to zkoušeli a obstála jsi.‘ A to bych řekla, že byl vůbec můj nejhorší zážitek z té doby. Že si troufli na dítě.“

  • „Do základní školy, kam tehdy chodila naše dcera, přišlo takzvané udání, že náš dům je plný nepřátelských živlů, že k nám chodí plno kněží. A pan ředitel byl pověřen okresním výborem strany, že musí mluvit s oběma rodiči toho dítěte. Napřed tam šel manžel, tam mu pan ředitel řekl, že byl pověřen s námi promluvit, že ničíme budoucnost svých dětí. Zase ty argumenty jako estébáci měl i ten pan ředitel, i když mu to bylo nepříjemné, byl to v zásadě slušný člověk. Takže manžel s ním tedy pohovořil, řekl mu, co tedy chtěl, a pak řekl pan ředitel: ‚A zítra prosím, ať přijde vaše žena‘. Manžel říkal: ‚Proč? Teď jsem tu byl já.‘ – ‚Já jsem dostal poručeno, že musím mluvit s oběma.‘ No tak jsem tam druhý den šla, protože oni počítali s tím, že není jednota v rodinách a někdo řekne: ‚Podívej, kvůli těm dětem přece jenom bychom měli…‘ Takže tlačili na každého zvlášť.“

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    České Budějovice, 14.08.2015

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    duration: 41:35
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    České Budějovice, 30.08.2018

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    duration: 01:10:51
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Do what you can

Faberova dobova orez.jpg (historic)
Helena Faberová
photo: Jana Červenková

Helena Faberová, née Uhrová, was born October 14, 1935 in a family of a professional artist - landscape painter. Her mother came from a Czech-German family, she worked as an accountant and it was she who provided most of the family’s income since the proceeds from her father’s work - the selling of his paintings - were not consistent and therefore lacked stability. Due to her family origin Helena was not allowed to study at a university and upon graduation from secondary school she therefore took a language course and then found employment with the company Strojexport. At that time she already knew Karel Faber, whom she met in the Vyšehrad choir. The choir was actually a Catholic fellowship whose members pursued common spiritual growth and they organized various volunteer activities and other events. After a tragic accident when one of their members drowned, the police began to investigate their community and penalties followed, because the community was not affiliated with any recognized organization such as the Youth Union or others. Helena was given a warning from the prosecutor, and she was dismissed from work, but fortunately she managed to find another job. After becoming the wife of Karel Faber, they both moved to southern Bohemia where her husband worked. While there, they formed an open Christian fellowship and they raised two children, Magdalena and Tomáš. They took part in theological education, which was done in secret by various priests (Ota Mádr, Josef Zvěřina, Jožka Kopecký), they maintained contacts with Jiří Reinsberger and they fearlessly faced the pressure of the StB and other state authorities which disliked their openly confessed faith. After November 1989 Helena continued to be involved in the same activities and she helped to establish the Charity organization in České Budějovice. Later she worked for the organization Magdala (against the trafficking of women) and for the organization Ackermann-Gemeinde. She eventually became the leader of the Czech branch of this organization. The German president decorated her with the German Cross for Merit for her activity.