Monsignor Antonín Hýža

* 1924  †︎ 2010

  • “In our society, it is very hard to keep away from the surveillance of the state police. They keep on watching us a bit until today. It is sometimes funny. So I went somewhere… I always asked the people: ‘Does that man commute on this line regularly?’ And they said: ‘We never saw him before.’ That meant that the man in the leather coat was in fact from the state police. So a funny thing happened to me. When I thought that they didn’t watch me anymore, I went to Domaslav and I messed it up. They moved the bus lines that went from the train station to the square. I took a wrong bus and I had to go over the fields to get there. And lately when I was arrested, I was interrogated for two weeks and they asked me what I did in Domaslav, because that was where the policeman lost me.”

  • “Ladislav Hanes had lectures in ethics. He came from Slovakia. Josef Zvěřina had lectures in dogmatics, but I didn’t attend to his courses. When I came to the prison, lieutenant Protiva [Engl. Sourpuss], he was a real sourpuss, said: ‘So you like to study? I would recommend Zvěřina, he likes to give lessons. And if we find out, and bet that we will find out, we can prolong your studies to five years.’ So when I met Zvěřina I told him: ‘They are still interested in you.’ And I expected that he would be afraid, but he said: ‘That’s fine,’ and went on: ‘You know what? Call me Josef.’ But he didn’t gave me lectures on dogmatics because they would find out. So I had lectures with a redemtorist, an excellent priest. What was his name? Maybe I will remember… So I passed the university in prison. And it was a university with high standard.”

  • “I worked there with professor Kůrková. We both spent the whole vacation there – three weeks. The first week the workers thought that we were a married couple. The next week they thought that we were going to get married, and the third week they didn’t know what to think. And it also caught the attention of other people, rumors spread and the first interrogations started – in secret, so we didn’t know about each other. We had it all well organized. So when the dentist was finished, a doctor came, sat in the dentist’s chair and gave a lecture in ethics to people who were ducked around. When the arrests began, they had a good deal of the lectures taped. We were arrested in three phases. The first group got sentences from seven to thirteen years. Then Khrushchev came to power, so the other group got milder sentences, from three to seven years. The second group was in fact imprisoned only for ten months and there was an amnesty. The highest sentences in my group, the third one, were one and a half year.”

  • “The archive of the Community, because there was a great danger that the police would find it, was kept at approximately twelve different places, and out of all these places only one archive survived and that was mine. By a curious divine intervention. Some things were there in two or three copies. And I didn’t want to throw them away, so I kept them. So in the first file were the documents that had three copies, the second file had documents of two copies and the third file was the actual archive. And when the state police found it. They were very skillful at finding things. My mother was there and she prayed a lot. She said it was a miracle because they took the first one, the second one and didn’t pay attention to the third one as if they didn’t see it. So my mother says that the Virgin Mary heard her prayers and blinded the policemen so that they truly didn’t see the file, because there is no other explanation. So a complete archive survived.”

  • “One of the obstacles [in the activities of the Church] was for example the state police. One of our Franciscan sisters was named the main abbess, which means that she served in Rome. And she thought that she knew the situation here. So she visited the country with a diplomat passport and she thought that she was safe. Sometimes she wore ordinary clothes and sometimes she wore their vestments. But all this time the police were watching her. So when she was leaving they took off all her clothes off and found all the messages she wrote and our Franciscan priests got arrested because they wrote reports about their activities and all the information got into the hands of the state police.”

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    Plzeň, Česká republika, 29.08.2008

    délka: 50:08
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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“And it became my credo that I will devote my time to make the world a better place, and especially my country.”

Antonín Hýža
Antonín Hýža
zdroj: Eva Palivodová

Monsignore Antonín Hýža was born on 21st of October 1924 in Branky near Vsetín, North Moravia. He graduated at a grammar school in Valašské Meziříčí, he passed the graduation exam after the war. During the war he was placed into the ammunition works in Vsetín where he assembled machineguns for fighter planes. After the war he studied at the ecclesiastical seminary in Olomouc until its abolition in 1950. Then he became a member of the so called Společenství (Community) founded by Vladimír Neuwirth, a community that gathered religious people to provide the access to ecclesiastical education. The Community had three branches, one for the singles, for the families and for ecclesiastical students and priests. The Community was disclosed with the efforts to establish a public house for communal meetings and its members were arrested in separate phases. Hýža was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison which he served between 1962 and 1964 at the Valdice prison. In prison he finished his studies at the imprisoned prominent theologians and in 1963 he was secretly ordained by cardinal Korc. After the release he managed, with the help of cardinal Tomášek, to legalize the ordination. He began his service in Pilsen, where he serves until his death. He  was a priest at the Church of John of Nepomuk by the parish at Pilsen-Bory. He was appointed as the prelate by the pope John Paul II. in 1998. He became Dominican on 18th January 2010. He died on 10th February 2010.