Václav Konzal

* 1931  

  • “On 13 April 1950 I was shaken awake by a bloke with gun on his chest, in my bed, at midnight. When I came to, he said: ‘Take your personal things and go to the ground floor. You’ll get more information there.’ So I took my personal things. Well, and then I went down to the cloister on the ground floor, next to the church, and there they told us they were taking us away, that we should take our personal things. Then they loaded us on to a bus and took us to Broumov. When we arrived, they discovered that we weren’t supposed to be there at all, that we were allocated to Králíky, because the younger boys had been delegated to Králíky, to the monastery there, because they were... We were to prepare things there for the internment of older priests, who came later.”

  • “What intrigued me about it - when I approached it with a clean slate - was how the Bolshevik existence, their presence, compared to the Orthodox tradition. And I found that every Russian has at least a bit of Orthodox in him, that Comrade Stalin wasn’t able to do much about that. For one thing, he was Georgian - I studied Georgian... So he didn’t ruffle them much. It was interesting to observe. I was also fortunate enough to make some good friends there. Anatoliy Turilov became a renowned scientist of literature and linguistics, so I was fortunate to be friends with him. I learnt many things there, things I’d have never known otherwise. For instance, one time he took me to Zvenigorod, which was a pilgrimage site not far from Moscow... You travelled a few stops by train and then walked up into the hills. It was a powerful experience - Zvenigorod.”

  • “The shift was in that, the point was to make a translation, not an imprint. Because the older translations, their authors sometimes reckoned it was necessary to basically just print the Latin text into Czech, so in that sense that made them difficult to use in modern times. So we tried to translate the liturgy in to Czech in a way that would be truly Czech and to avoid some kind of an amateur, mechanical approach.”

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Praha, 26.10.2016

    (audio)
    délka: 01:53:05
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Praha, 24.11.2016

    (audio)
    délka: 01:40:25
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of nations (in co-production with Czech television)
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

I don’t feel qualified to impart any great message. I am grateful to God that I can live in a society that is diverse

Václav Konzal, 2017
Václav Konzal, 2017
zdroj: Sbírka Post Bellum

Václav Konzal was born on 13 December 1931 in Prague. In 1941 he enrolled at the boarding school established at Redemptorist monastery on Holy Mountain near Příbram. In 1950-1952 he was interned in „centralisation“ monasteries and forced labour camps around Křivoklát, he then worked in construction. In 1953 he graduated from grammar school and was accepted to study Russian and Georgian at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. From 1960 to 1970 he worked as a documentarian, in 1970 he took up the position of researcher at the Slavic Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. As members of the Prague Translators Group, he, Bonaventura Bouš, and Jiří Máša adapted most of the currently used Catholic liturgical texts into Czech. He is a recognised philologist, Byzantologist, and paleoslavist, the author of numerous translations, studies, and encyclopaedia entries. He was a secret Scout, and he participated in the activities of the underground Catholic Church. He was awarded the Rudolf Medek Prize.