Karel Albrecht (Angelus) Waldstein-Wartenberg

* 1931  †︎ 2023

  • "It happened that we actually had to move to Kozel Castle in April 1945 - the forest castle, as we used to say. The provincial executive, who was a very wise man, who was not infected by Nazism, told us at that time, 'As far as I know, the Americans will come there, whereas the Russians will come here, please go there instead.' First I cycled from Doksy to Prague, because at that time you were not allowed to travel more than 50 km. In Prague, at night, we were picked up by a tractor with a trailer, which came to meet us. We then spent the last weeks in Šťáhlavy near Plzeň until the beginning of May, when we were sent away anyway and we walked a few days to get to Horšovský Týn, where one of my mother's sisters was married. Here I spent the summer until September, finally getting across the border into Austria. From Austria we eventually moved on to Bavaria, because there was my mother's youngest brother, who with great luck found a place for me and his eldest son in Ettal in the monastery school that was just being opened. That was in November 1945. [They were Ferdinand Kinski senior and junior.]"

  • "Yes, Abbot Anastáz. He experienced a lot of bad things because he was part of one of the first staged trials of the early 1950s. They had a convenient reproach against him, since he had been in Rome shortly before because they had been negotiating about separating the German-speaking monastery in Broumov and the Czech-speaking monastery in Břevnov. The German monks from Broumov left for Bavaria, and the Břevnov monastery had to close when the monasteries were generally dissolved. At that time he was given a life sentence among the inmates and served about ten years in a hard prison, later he was released at amnesty. I was in contact with the Benedictines, of course, so I visited him near Břevnov in his mother's apartment. At that time, he first tested me according to the Benedictine catalogue we had sent him earlier: 'How old are you, when were you born,' and so on, until he was sure that everything was in order. We kept in touch after that - the second time I visited him near Old Town Square, when he was no longer working on a building site but in the National Gallery, and we went for a meal in a pub near the Old Town Hall. Everyone there greeted him as an old friend, so I understood that he was really a well-known personality. Later he went to Vienna and Munich, where he founded Opus Bonum, which was a group of exiled intellectuals who were partly non-Catholic but attended his very lively institute. At that time I helped him a little bit because the official Czech clergy saw it as interference and I had to guide them to cooperate with him. I remember we had a lively discussion evening at count Belcredi, to put it all in perspective. Of course Abbot Anastasius worked as long as he could, he was really an exceptional person."

  • "Yes, it was a subject I enjoyed. For example, I used a worksheet with Georg Büchner, who wrote in German, on one half of the page and Karel Hynek Mácha on the other half. The same Mácha who had walked through the landscape of my home in northern Bohemia and whose name had meanwhile became the name of the Great Pond (formerly Grossteich in German). The Czech authorities at first would not allow it because they correctly claimed that it was a pond and not a natural lake. There are a number of ponds in that area, founded in the time of Charles IV, which were used for fish farming. Eventually, however, due to the influence of tourism, this happened and the Great Pond became Mácha´s Lake. It was a point of refernece to compare Mácha as a local literary figure with Georg Büchner, who certainly needs to be discussed within German literature, since they had so many similarities - they lived in the same time, wrote about the same topics, had similar motivation and destiny. Of course, I also introduced other authors to the students when time was available."

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    Ettal, Německo, 01.12.2021

    duration: 01:10:46
    media recorded in project Bohemian nobility
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Nowadays, there is a museum of „Čtyřlístek“ [comic magazine] in our children’s rooms

Angelus Waldstein, 2021
Angelus Waldstein, 2021
photo: Post Bellum recording

Father Angelus Waldstein-Wartenberg was born as Karel Albrecht on 13 January 1931 at the castle in Doksy. He came from an old aristocratic German-speaking family. In the spring of 1945, as the armies advanced and Czechoslovakia was being liberated, the family moved to Pilsen, then to Horšovský Týn and finally to Bavaria. In 1945-1950, together with his cousin Ferdinand Kinský, he studied at the monastery grammar school in Ettal, Bavaria. In 1951 he decided to enter the novitiate in Ettal and he accepted the religious name Angelus. He continued his studies in Rome and Munich and was ordained a priest in 1956. He then worked all his life at the school in Ettal, first as head of the boarding school, teacher and later as headmaster. He became a member of both the Ackermann-Gemeinde and the Adalbert-Stifter-Verein. He always kept in close contact with the church in Czechoslovakia and was acquainted with Abbot Anastáz Opasek. After 1989 he established a partnership with the grammar school in Česká Lípa. During literature lessons he staged Havel’s plays and introduced students to various Czech authors. He wrote several historical essays and other works. He maintains connections with members of other noble families. In 1995 he received the Medal of Merit from President Václav Havel. To this day he is in lively contact with the town of Doksy, which is gradually renovating the Valdštejn castle. In 2003 he also received the Art Award of Czech-German Understanding.