Alfréd Kocáb

* 1925  †︎ 2018

  • “The New Orientation behaved as if there were no problems. It looked forward with hope, with that the Gospel would win over in the near or far future. Those were Don Quixotes, who knew however that the promised land is something like Paradise, which does not exist, but that at the same time the most precious thing that mankind has, unless it isn’t a complete paradox that we were born on this space-faring planet, is the ability to reflect on why we are here and where we are going. If it is someone or something’s joke, so be it, but I don’t believe in those kinds of jokes, there’s too much at stake here.”

  • “My name is Alfréd Kocáb. I was born in Vienna. I lived there for twenty years, so I’m a Viennese Czech. My parents came from Moravia, my mother was from Tišnov, my father from Moravský Krumlov. We were brought up in a national spirit, which stemmed from the fact that our parents’ dispute, of whether my elder brother Karel and I should attend Czech schools or Austrian ones, was won by our mother - otherwise devoted to our father - who pushed through the decision that we would attend Czech schools from the very start. So I don’t have any German education.”

  • “A fellow pastor came and showed me a sheet of paper with the text. When I read, I reckoned I had nothing against it. We had voted for and signed similar resolutions in the past, so it wasn’t really anything new. So I signed it. I didn’t expect there to be such a commotion and hysteria around it, so we counted on the possibility of being deported to Austria, which would have been quite a paradox if I had gone back there.”

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    Újezd nad Lesy, 03.08.2011

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To have a heart for others, that means a lot

Kocab dobova orez.jpg (historic)
Alfréd Kocáb
zdroj: Archiv sběrače

Alfréd Kocáb was born on 28 June 1925 in Vienna as the younger of two brothers in a devout Czech Catholic family. During World War II he refused to join the German army and was assigned to forced lanour; he and his pious mother hid a fugitive Polish prisoner for thirteen months and later also a German wartime deserter. After the war he moved to Prague. He graduated from the University of Politics and Society, and he and his friend Jaroslav Pfann applied to study at the Komenský Evangelical Faculty of Theology. He gradually found a new spiritual home in the reformed faith in Christ‘s kingship. In 1952 he married Darja Myslivečková, who later worked as a psychologist. Together they raised a son Michael and a daughter Magdaléna. In 1955-1960 Kocáb served as a pastor of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in Zruč nad Sázavou. He then moved to the congregation in Chodov near Karlovy Vary, where he was introduced to Pentecostalism. In 1969 he was summoned to serve the congregation in Mladá Boleslav. He worked with youth, communicated with the Taizé community and with Gossner‘s industrial mission. He was one of the founding members of Nová orientace (The New Orientation) and its socially engaged theology. After losing his state permission for the provision of spiritual services in 1974, he worked as a boiler man. He repeatedly refused offers of collaboration from State Security. He was in the first wave of signees of Charter 77 in late 1976, and soon after he began working in the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted. In mid-1989 he was the first Christian Charter-signee to officially return to pastoral care, when he was elected parson of the congregation of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in Salvator Street, Prague. In 1997 he was awarded a Medal of Merit, First Class, by President Václav Havel. Alfréd Kocáb passed away on March, the 15th, 2018.