Josef Janczik

* 1928

  • „So I had the visit. Imagine a wall, over a meter thick, inside it a metal plate with holes in it. I was at one side, behind me a prison officer, my wife was on the other, behind that metal plate in a different room, also with prison officer behind her back. And through that plate we were talking. She couldn’t see me, neither could I see her. As the boy heard my voice, he started gurgling: ‚daddy‘ and wanted to creep into the window. The officer cried: ‚Put the boy away, or I’ll suspend this visit of yours!‘“

  • „That Tuesday it went just alright – we came there, undressed the working clothes and stood there in underwear. We stepped into the water, it was nice, tepid. A friar had a Biblical speech, we prayed, some other friar held guard and at the same time witnessed, so as the act was relevant. Then we were plunged, than prayed again. We took the clothes on and got on the way to the mine. It all took some fifteen minutes.“

  • „We also knew that there were some villages meant to be burnt down. I, for instance, saw the village ‚Mladoňová‘ after they burned it down. All the inhabitants were shot with the exception of one old man who hid in a kind of basement on a hillside. He saw everything – how they took the children into a barn, poured oil on it, set it on fire. And they were prepared to shot anyone who’d run out.“

  • „We didn’t know certain things, for instance the effect of Uranium 235. I worked at a mine where there was a seam – thirty centimeters of pure meconium. With those bare hands I picked it and piled it up in boxes. We were laying on a piece of wooden scrap, ore underneath us… I earned 10-15 thousand Crowns per month thanks to this kind of work. We thus had a huge income by having ore.“

  • „Actually I liked a lot about it because from all those thesis we were hearing now and then I realized that it could improve the social situation, which was an issue I felt was important. Nonetheless I still couldn’t put up with all the violence included, that those things were being forced on. "

  • „I got biblical answers to questions that interested me. And suddenly I stood firmly on the ground. I said: „Well, of course, this is fairly obvious. This, what is happening is a transitory status because this Earth just must be brought up to the state where it was at the beginning, when Yahveh created Adam and Eve, placed them in the Eden and told them: ‚Procerate and rise, fill the Earth up.‘ This Earth shoudl have been thus filled with perfect people who should have felt joy in life, who should have lived under perfect conditions. It was completely obvious to me. I needed nothing else. I said: ‚Yes, this is it what I have longed for, those are issues I have been thinking about for a long time.‘ And since then I sucked in everything by any possible means.“

  • „Eventually I was told that I was charged with ‚thievery on national possesion‘. I said: ‚Well that is correct, of course, I have been taking some spirits with me home, becaouse everyone did so and it was the way they used to do it in the past.‘ But it was then agreed that noone could get free spirits (of course that not everyone was getting them, just those people who had some kind of position in the Božkov distillery). So a tangible inventory was carried out. It was found out that the difference between this and accounting reserves was 369,95 Czech Crowns. The main accountant proclaimed: ‚You, as a person responsible for production should get a medal for that. And I got five years in prison.‘

  • „They called me by name already, I was no more ‚A029542‘, which was my registiry number. They said that the released Mr. Josef Janczik is to show up at the headquarters to go out. So I finally said goodbye to my friars and went to the exit from the . And there some lieutenant told me: ‚Are you Janczik?‘, I said: ‚Yes‘, ‚We are searching for you for ages, everyone is at the HQ already, what are you doing, don’t you want to go home?!‘. And I told him: ‚Mr. Commander, you are actually right. Here at the I experienced the most important and best what life could ever bring to me and what I have been actually ever waiting for.‘“

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 14.01.2009

    duration: 03:16:33
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“I got biblical answers to questions that interested me. And suddenly I stood firm on the ground.”

Josef Janczik
Josef Janczik

  Mr. Josef Janczik was born at 1928 in a family of a farmer at Javorníky, Slovakia. After finishing his elementary studies he wished to apply for a grammar school, he went to work in a distillatory, as his father wanted him to, instead. There he begun working as a link for a guerilla group. After the war he went to Prague to study accountery, after which and thanks to his connections he got a job in nationalization of the distillery industry. However, in 1949 he was sentenced to six months, suspended for his critisism of the socialist jurisdiction. A year later he went for his military service where he met his wife. Afterwards, thanks to his qualifications, he got as far as to the possition of the associaate producer at the Stock ltd. However, he was charged with ‚thievery of the national property‘ and sentenced to five years (later reduced to three). He had gone through several s and finally ended working in an uranium mine at ‚Bytíz‘ camp. At that time there were already imprisoned a couple of ‚Yahweh’s witnesses‘. They spoke to him, he accepted their doctrine and even got baptized at the camp. He stood for his belief even after release although it wasn’t simple - both at work and in the family. In 1981 he was sentenced once more, this time for two years for violating the law of control of churches.