Even in 1968 my boss was still reproaching me for my imprisonment – telling me not to be too audacious, not to forget where I had been
Anna Magdalena Schwarzová was born March 14, 1921 in a Prague Jewish family which had converted to Catholicism. Already in 1939 she became a postulant of the monastery in Jiřetín. After the beginning of WWII she and her mother were taken to Terezín in one of the first transports. Her brother served in the British Royal Air Force during the war, her father perished in Auschwitz in 1944. At the end of the war she managed to escape from the concentration camp and return to her native Prague. In the first postwar years she studied French and English at the university in Prague. After February 1948 and the purges her study was however terminated. She therefore had to earn her living as a foreign-language secretary in the Juta company and later as a referent in the company Kovo. In 1953 she was arrested and a year later sentenced for anti-state religious activity. She served her eleven-year sentence in the women's prison in Pardubice. Her imprisonment was interrupted only by the amnesty in 1960. After her release she worked in manual professions, later as an interpreter in Český Krumlov. In 1968 she became a translator at the Agricultural University in Prague, During the normalization era she was actively involved in Charter 77 and VONS. In August 1980 she made her eternal vows in the monastery of the Discalced Carmelites in Krakow where she lives today.