Mgr. Jiří Mach

* 1950

  • "So, he remembered it would be shot here. However, the system worked in such a way that no resolutions were issued on such very sensitive matters. The system worked with a system of telephones and face-to-face meetings. Therefore, this secretary called the chairman of the district national committee, then it was Josef Lukášek, and said that this matter needed to be resolved, and that he should arrange for the remnants of the church to be blown up and send to some landfills and the like. These orders were not contradicted, because if he questioned it in any way or contradicted it, he would be fired from his position. That was not a problem. So, the chairman of the National District Committee had the budget prepared and at that time it cost, this liquidation, some 700 thousand crowns, which was a lot of money at that time."

  • "In the seventies, all what remained were the perimeter walls and some kind of rubble in the middle, moreover the remains of the roof and everything. Nevertheless, the Germans, the former settlers, were going there and they probably didn't do well at the church. And then the ideological secretary of the Communist Party District Committee [Petr Szimansky], in order to prevent those pilgrimages, decided that the rest of the church would be blown up."

  • "I'm having a hard time looking for a word to express it, but it certainly wouldn't be flattering. Because my dad remembered - then we talked about it many times - he remembered the year 1938, which he experienced as a sixteen-year-old boy, when suddenly there was such an atmosphere of terrible helplessness, and we experienced that atmosphere too. We knew that what happened here could not be returned, and only the most naive people thought that the troops would withdraw. It was clear here that there was a profound reversal of developments, and no one liked it. And my dad experienced it particularly intensely, because it was repeated for the second time in his life, and if I add Victory February 1948, for the third time. Such a feeling of defeat, a feeling of helplessness that is very frustrating."

  • "When he got this budget, he got upset and called him, which was very brave at the time, to the secretary, and he told him that nothing would be shot. That if he had 700,000, he needed them for completely different things, such as repairing roads that were in a catastrophic state, and that he would definitely not give them to this purpose. Then it somehow became silent."

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    Pardubice, 22.11.2021

    duration: 01:41:18
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - HRK REG ED
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The secretary of the Communist Party wanted to destroy the church. It was saved because of the high cost of blasting

Jiří Mach in the military 1975
Jiří Mach in the military 1975
photo: archive of the witness

Jiří Mach was born on June 30, 1950 in Rychnov nad Kněžnou. His father Josef was transferred from Dobruška to a village school in Hlinný for disagreeing with the communist coup. Later, however, his father gave up to the pressure and persuaded the farmers to join the cooperative. His great-grandfather was an enthusiastic amateur actor. His grandfather, father, Jiří Mach and his son were dedicated to amateur theater. He remembers August 1968 as a time of despair and ruin. At the same time, however, he says that in the same year he joined the Communist Party out of conviction, where he remained until the Velvet Revolution. He studied the sociology of human settlements at Charles University. For eight years he was in charge of monuments and nature protection at the District National Committee in Rychnov nad Kněžnou. From 1985 to 2017 he ran the museum in Dobruška. In 2021 he retired and lived in Dobruška. He was married and had four children and eight grandchildren.