Monsignor Antonín Pospíšil

* 1925  

  • "The students of the gymnasium in Kroměříž, boys, girls, were determined to work in Luthena at Sigmund-Chema. There were two factories. One of them was much milder, where we were welding. Whereas the factory two produced components for the Messerschmitts, German planes. I got into a group in the factory one. Our job was welding with autogen. We sat like swallows on the wire in one row, about twelve we were. Boys and girls together. Working hard from 6 AM to 6 PM. However, we achieved our daily norm already by 2 PM, and then we just walked around doing nothing until 6PM. Our shift master, Mr. Dolinek, did not make any obstacles for us. But we got really cheerful when there was suddenly an alarm and we saw the American fortresses (the Boeing B-17 bomber named Flying Fort) - or British aircraft. We had to leave the factory and run into the fields to be saved in case the bomb fell down. Fortunately none did. The Russians flew in the evening to bomb down. We were mostly gone. Well, we slept in the barracks. It was quite good. We worked from Monday to Saturday. We could go home at night, but we had to come back in time. We had good food so we were not too bad off. They accepted the fact that we were not allowed to work in that profession we studied."

  • "We were ordained prematurely. Normally the priests were consecrated on the day of St. Cyril and Methodius in July. Because the situation was politically difficult and we were threatened the seminary would be closed and we would not be ordained, the Archbishop hastened that we had [ordination] in a year rather on December 10, 1949. Otherwise we should normally have been ordained in the year 1950. And the Archbishop rightly decided. We were ordained, but we did not work in parishes, but we were still studying. And besides, when we were to join parishes, we were given inter alia the command: "Not in the parish. You will join the army as PTP soldiers. 'A technical troop, which, of course, was a criminal for people politically unsuitable. And we, as priests, were unsuitablein the first place. We got the classification E, that is gulag, concentrate, jail. So we got to Mimon. We did not expect our first location of parish to be Mimon, a criminal camp."

  • "The first such contacts, clear, open, which the StB had against me, were in Uherské Hradiště. Although I had only a clue before, because what they did, relocating the priests, as I wrote there, the communists were alwways to blame, the state police were another level. But I have known clear, obvious relations or behavior towards me only in Uherské Hradiště. And that's the way I got an anonymous letter from one of the state policemen, where he wrote, why I was bad, how politically unsuitable and miserable, how I was in touch with Mrs. Fojtíková, how I was about to be relocated and so on. It was such a lie and fiction. Then Mrs. Fojtíková was visited by the policeman, who lived in the same house. He knew Ms. Fojtiková, then he interrogated her. She was a precious lady. She would just have a little talk to you about something, and they wanted to send you in prison. 'There in Uherské Hradiště. So Mrs. Fojtíková saved me. It just took some time. One day he came and bounded my hands to take me to jail. It was at noon, and there I spent a day in the jail. They interrogated me every way they could about what I did. But they did not hurt me in any way, just threatened. I said: ´It is a strange thing, today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11th. So the Virgin Mary protects me.´And he replied: 'What? When we want to lock you up, no Virgin Mary will protect you. "And I added:´Well, it does not matter, but it will be the will of God for my own good.´I do not know how.'"

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    Brno, Žabovřesky, 21.06.2018

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Through Maria to Jesus – dedicated service to the people

Antonín Pospíšil - contemporary photo from the gymnasium.
Antonín Pospíšil - contemporary photo from the gymnasium.
photo: archiv pamětníka

Antonín Pospíšil was born on September 14, 1925 in Horní Nětčice. He spent the war at the Archbishop’s grammar school in Kroměříž, which was closed and relocated several times. In 1944 Antonin and his classmates were totally deployed to labour in the Sigmund-Chema Lutin factory. After the war he joined a seminary in Olomouc and studied at the Faculty of Theology. He became one of the last consecrated priests of this seminary before the communists abolished it in 1950 and the Faculty of Theology. For a forty-month period, the witness had served under very difficult conditions at the Auxiliary Technical Troops. After his release he was assigned to his first parish of Újezdec near Luhačovice, but because he was politically unsuitable he was moved to Nivnice, Štípa, Uherské Hradiště and Vsetín. In Uherské Hradiště the state police began to watch and interrogate him. In Vsetin the interrogations continued due to his membership of the Community, whose 23 members were sentenced to jail in 1961. Antonin lost his state approval for the exercise of his christian activity and worked for 5 years in the paper mill in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm. In 1967 he was able to work again as a priest in the Hranice parish, where he founded a school and a scout club during the Prague Spring. Soon they re-transfered him to the Angel Mountain, where he worked for nine years, repaired a number of churches, and spiritually formed the youth. He had to leave again, this time to Postřelmov and shortly to Dlouhomilov. Even there he did not stay for a long time, and in 1980 he went to Dolany, where he worked as a parish priest for several neighbouring parishes until 1992 and during that period he repaired local churches and parishes. He continued in the nearby parish of Jivova, where he worked until his retirement in 2005. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Antonín Pospisil in 2010 a chaplain of His Holiness. At the age of 93 he lives in Brno-Žabovřesky.