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Karel Fořt (1921 - 2014) - Biography

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I wanted to be a partisan, but while in prison I realized that killing others was no solution. I became a priest


Catholic priest and editor of Radio Free Europe Monsignor Karel Fořt was born November 8, 1921 in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem. He spent his childhood in Vodňany and Horažďovice. He studied at a grammar school in Strakonice and in České Budějovice. During the war, in 1940, he was arrested by the Gestapo and briefly imprisoned. In 1941 he entered the Catholic seminary. The following year he was taken to Linz for conscripted labour, where he also met Adolf Hitler face to face. After the war he finished his study of theology, and in 1948 he was ordained a priest. He served in the parish of Vimperk and he was visiting abandoned parishes in the Šumava Mountains. In the very last moment he was warned that the StB planned to arrest him and involve him in a fabricated trial for a murder case. He escaped over the border on a motorcycle. Later he served as a priest in Algeria, where he experienced the anti-French uprising and war. He eventually settled in Munich, where he was conducting holy masses for Czech expatriates and working as an editor for Radio Free Europe. At present he lives alternately in Munich and České Budějovice.

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