Jiřina Hošková

* 1926  †︎ 2009

  • I wanted to ask him something the next day. I went through the palace from the top to the bottom. Nobody has stopped me so I went and kept opening the doors as long as I got to the basement because I knew that professor Kolakovič had to hide since the nazis (and later communists) were after him. And just like that I saw the plunk beds and lots of scared people. Later I realized they were the Jews, whom the bishop hid in his palace to avoid their deportation to a concentration camp.

  • Mrs. Professor told me to hide somewhere, because they had some interest in me. However, they were much more interested in her. So I went to my parents‘ at Vysočina and there they came for me at 10/25 1951. Four guys in a car arrived and escorted me to Jihlava (Iglau). There I stayed overnight and then they handed me over to the Secret Police in Bartolomějská street in Prague where I was held prisoner as long as until the beginning of February 1952.

  • In that old building there was a palliasse on the floor. Then they put me in the new building It was a kind of concrete cell with a bed which would collaps in the wall. They woud lay to our heart: ‚your number is this and that, your name is secret in here.‘ I don’t know who would have I told it to since I was alone at the solitary cell. In the morning there was an alarm and as soon as that the warder would shout: ‚Ventilate!‘ So the bit of warmness which was there thanks to the radiator would leave by this ventilation. When I was at the former cell I used to walk in circles because it was fairly big. I prayed. Father Mádr always popped up in my mind – that he was in a very alike cell. And I reminded books I read. That proved useful in Pardubice and elsewhere where the co-prisoners wanted me to tell them something.

  • I used to rebel when we were supposed to work Sundays. Couple of us would protest and not take up work. For that all advantages were halted plus a week of correction. Correction was an underground room where normal food came once in three days and the rest of the time there was only bread with so-called coffee. I know of one nun who protested with us and whom she put on a cell with an agressive parasite. Those were at a special department and usually were very agressive women suffering from STD’s. So they worsened the nun’s situation by putting one of those women in her cell.

  • I remember one such event which took place at professor Dobiáš‘s seminary of Greek who gave us lectures on assistant history science. Some two commies with guitars came there and were agitating for the Association of Youth or something. When they finished their speech, Mr. Professor said: ‚You know, we are at a Greek seminary and the Greeks used to have two godesses. The godess of justice and the godess of good laws. Without justice or good laws there is no peace.‘ We clapped our hands and the guys left.

  • I refused to testify. I even refused to sign the witness protocol. They’d formulate those protocol just as they wanted to, anyway. At first they showed me some testimony signed in her handwriting. I told them: ‚Handwriting can be faked. I don’t believe you.‘ So he told me: ‚Alright, I’ll bring her over‘. And he really did. Růženka told me: ‚You may just tell them because they know already!‘ Because it made sense, I only made a protest against such formulations as ‚illegal‘, ‚against the state‘ etc. Then, when I was to go witness the said that there was gonna be a monster-process and that there could even be death sentences. For Mr. Mádr and such. So I told them that I won’t testify in that. So they brought Růženka over once again an she told me: ‚Hey, go there. You may just sign it and what you say you say. Otherwise there would be this protocol read.‘ So at last I went to testify.

  • They changed our clothes and separated us into cells. I remember spending some time at a cell with Jiřina Štěpničková. I remember her telling us various acting stories. Marta Hellmutová had the permission to translate the ‚Egyptian Sinuhet‘ there. Someone made pressure at the headquarters, that the book had to be published. I got to know prof. Slováčková there. She was a Latin teacher so we related to each other. Even though notebooks were prohibited there, she found some and wrote Homer’s Ilias for me in Greek. At the beginning they put me in the cable department but the the very Anička Slováčková persuaded the chief of the textile department that I know how to sew and that it was a pity to leave me in the cable dpt. At the textile dpt. it was neccessairy to work hard but sometimes there was no material. To make us work they brought a large rubber piccaninni and we had to sew dresses for him from the leftovers.

  • Just before our release we had to sign a proclamation. In Bratislava it was such, that it was possible to sign. There was a sentence in a sense that I aknowledge that when I would talk about what I’ve gone through in the prison and at the court it would be considered as a crime. This was simple to sign and than talk about it. In some prisons there was a formulation, that they pledge not to talk about it, which was worse.

  • I haven’t done much in the bees, but when the persecution of the church begun, it was neccesairy to send certain thigs to Vatican City. It used to be send through certain embassies. For instance I would bring a message to the Italian embassy. The secret police somehow got it and they would treat it as an espionage. Mr. bishop Trochta would send us some letters and I would then bring letters from father Zvěřina or Mádr to Litoměřice. I haven’t read those letters, just took them and put them in a mailbox at the Italian embassy.

  • They locked us in a bus. There were single closets for one person each, closed in the front, with a bar in the rear. I thought they were driving us around Prague, so that we, as witnesses would get some air, because at Ruzyň we had no outings. We spent all our time in the cells there. As to get some air, the warder would time to time open the door and suddenly I saw father Zvěřina sitting across. Through the top window I could see him making a cross. I stood up a bit so that he’d recognize me. We arrived to Brno, but I didn’t know that. I was put to a solitary cell and saw that there was a sausage for snack. I thougt: ‚Oh my, that is some weird stuff. A sausage in prison?‘

  • We used to pray with the sisters in a squad, we would tell stories and when then Růženka came, she had those philosophical and history-of-art seminars. Illegal, naturally. We would meet at a toilet, sometimes at a wash-room, sometimes in a hall. Those houses were locked up during nights, the cells inside weren’t, though. So we could meet during the nights. Růženka would interpret Saint Thomas Aquinas‘ philosophy and the history of art, which lectures were preserved.

  • After my release I headed to my parents‘. When I got back from the bit the people would consider me a criminal. For long, I couldn’t find a job. They didn’t want to give me one. There was only a ‚Agriculture cooperative‘ at Trmice. In Kamenice there was a textile factory but they didn’t want me there. I would always go to a employment office at Kamenice nad Lipou. The local magistrate told me that they didn’t want me because they had one from prison before there and she used to steal stuff. When I explained to him that I wasn’t there for theft, that I am a political prisoner, he went there, explained it to them and so I was accepted. I wouldn’t want to take revenge on anyone but I think that some steps should’ve been taken and reveal all the evil of the system, rather than some individual, who was just a small wheel in the whole twisted system.

  • I spent a lot of time with Professor Vacková. I used to visit her often even privately. We already knew they were following us (-the cops-). Some pretty entertaining things happened. She used to live at the Lesser Town Square 1 and there was a statue of Saint Nepomuk in the yard. Every May, before his fete, the statue used to be decorated. Ms. Professor wanted to light a candle, but couldn’t reach it. A cop who stood behind us said: ‚Wait a moment, I will light it for you.‘ And he really did which was really funny for us. Sometimes, Professor would come home (I somehow partly lived at her place) and say: ‚I made them go around lots of churches once again!‘

  • Mr. Čížek was the procesecutor and Mr. Novák the chairman. They asked what I knew about the illegal actions etc. And I told them that we held some meetings etc. I think he told me that father Mádr prompted me to illegal activity in a confessional. I told them that I never confessed to him. Which was true. I confessed to father Zvěřina. There tendencies were to make us seem like seduced wretches who were seduced to anti-state activities by those priests and Růženka Vacková. They asked me what I thought of father Mádr. I told them he is a priest loyal to the church and the Holy Father. When they asked about my belief I told them I try the same. Čížek shouted at me: ‚Do you think the nation is going to be grateful to you for that?‘ And that was it. Then they brough us to Prague and back to Ruzyň.

  • Apart from that there were just thieves, prostitutes and frauds. The Roma girls were quite neat. Of course, they tried to elicit from us whatever they could. For instance at the textile department even a pin with a colored pin-head. The warders would tell the murderers for instance: ‚You have killed only one child or a husband but those ones wanted to slaughter the whole nation.‘ I remember one so-called parasite telling some stuff from her life and another one telling her: ‚Shut up! There are decent women here!‘ by whom she ment us.

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    Praha, 20.02.2007

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I wouldn’t want to take revenge on anyone but I think that some steps should’ve been taken to reveal all the evil of the system

Jiřina Hošková
Jiřina Hošková

  Jiřina Hošková was born in 1926 to Czech parents in Slovakia. At the grammar school in Banská Bystrica, under the influence of her teachers, she became a member of the ‚Family‘, a small community of the Catholic Action. After the war such people as Oto Mádr or Růženka Vacková became representatives of this community. Mrs. Hošková became very close with Mrs. Vacková at that time, since she did lectures at the Faculty of Philosophy where Mrs. Hošková studied. Almost the whole year 1948 Mrs. Hošková spent in hospitals and spas. After her return she was enabled to return to the Faculty, thanks to her activity during the Slovak National Uprising. In 1950 there was a violent disband of the Catholic Action and arrests of uncomfortable persons took place. In October 1951 even Mrs. Hošková got arrested. Three months later she was transported to Ruzyně, where she spent almost nine months at a solitary cell. Then she was taken to Brno to witness in the trial with Mádr and others. She refused to do so until Růženka Vacková persuaded her that it was a reasonable thing to do. Mrs. Hošková herself was sentenced to 15 years in prison. She was taken to a jail in Pardubice, where, during the nights, collective prayers and seminars took place. Mrs. Vacková led many of them and some of them were even preserved in writing. The later part of her sentence, she spent in Bratislava. In 1965 her boyfriend, Jiří Hošek, also a political prisoner was released and they got married soon after. They moved to Prague where Mrs. Hošková lives until present.