Milada Anna Kopecká

* 1932

  • “We worked as interns. We lived with the cleaning ladies. One time a man came to the ward, I don’t remember what his diagnosis was. The Borromean Sisters worked there. And a nun came and whispered to me that the man had brought Our Lady of Holy Mountain, that he was hiding her because they [the Communists - trans.] had come to destroy Holy Mountain [a famous pilgrimage site in Central Bohemia - trans.] and the whole library there, and all the things they’d taken the pitchfork to. He had taken [the statue]. She said there was sure to be a raid here as well, that I should take Our Lady. That was the Virgin Mary, it was a precious statue because it had been carved by Archbishop Arnošt of Pardubice himself by the commission of Charles IV. I wondered where to put it. So I hid it into my bed.”

  • “I’d like to say that it culminated in that big raid on 27 March 1983. Palm Sunday. There were perhaps twenty of those houses, some even in Slovakia. The raid started at exactly seven in the morning. The police entered all the objects. They took everything religious they could find. Sixteen sisters and brothers ended up in custody. That was a long custody. Father Bárta, the author of the whole operation, knew that he would be called on to serve a term in prison. And he died, when he came to say goodbye and one of our sisters took him by car. He suffered a stroke. That was two weeks before he was to go to prison.”

  • “Then there was a raid on our place in Šolínka. They came up of a sudden, looking for me. We were preparing a Bible group for university students. Incredible. You’ll come with us, they said. So I did. I didn’t know where they were taking me. It wasn’t until later that I discovered it was to somewhere in Červený Vrch. They wanted to know at all costs which students attended our events. No matter that it took an hour and a half. They started off nice. Then it got ugly. I didn’t what to do, how to get out. What I worried about was that the students could still be there and that they might get caught. I was in uniform, so I said I was caring for some bedridden patients. And that there wasn’t anyone else on duty. That they should either release me or arrange for some other carer. And just imagine, they let me go.”

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    Praha, 10.02.2017

    délka: 01:58:25
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of nations (in co-production with Czech television)
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

It was hard to do anything under that terrible Communism

49263-photo.jpg (historic)
Milada Anna Kopecká
zdroj: Archiv pamětníka, archiv Post Bellum

Milada Anna Kopecká was born on 12 August 1932 in Pohora near Polička. As a child, she remembers how her parents helped the partisans during the war. In 1949 she entered the novitiate of the School Sisters of St Francis, despite her father‘s protests. When the Communists deported the nuns from their homes in 1950 and interned them in various far-lying locations, she remained in Prague and worked at Vinohrady Hospital. The School Sisters were accommodated in a semi-derelict building in Krnov. She visited them secretly in 1951 to profess her solemn vows. The School Sisters then obtained permission to work at the hospital in Vysoké Mýto. She spent ten years there. Then she cared for disabled children and old people near death. While working, and despite various obstacles placed by state authorities, she managed to complete a course in special pedagogy at Palacký University in Olomouc. Besides her work at the elderly care home in Prague, the witness helped organise secret courses of theology for students, which caused her to be interrogated by State Security. She witnessed police raids on Catholics under the totalitarian regime. In 1992 she was elected the superior of the Conference of Higher Monastic Orders. She served in this function for sixteen years.