Josef Zlámal O. Melit. Prior

* 1915  †︎ 2008

  • “In the church, when I was reading the Shepherd’s letter I saw a copper hiding behind the pillar. I read the letter and I said aloud: ‘This is a letter from the bishop and it is obligatory for all the Catholics of this parish, including the man who is hiding in the back behind the pillar.’ That was later taken as an aggravating circumstance.” “Were you afraid to read the letter?” “We were not afraid, we read it more out of revolt.”

  • “There are steps in front of the church in Hejnice. There was a small platform from which the celebrant talked to the people. Scouts had moved the platform to the park nearby. Minister Plojhar went out of the church and there was no platform, so he gave a speech but nobody was listening to him. There was sanctifying of the springs at Libverda scheduled for the afternoon. He was accommodated in the state spa building. The Scouts advised us to change your clothes already in the vestry and set out for the sanctifying. The Silesians played boys’ music which was played also during the opening of the springs. When we had finished the Minister Plojhar appeared in the distance, coming from the state building. They played a march for him and also disappeared. When he came to the place, there wasn’t anybody left. I also had troubles with this incident. On Monday, I was called to the district office to explain why I hadn’t stopped it as a vicar. Those were the two main aggravating circumstances – the Shepherd’s letter and the refusal of the Minister Plojhar.”

  • “I spent the longest time plucking feathers, there were about 250 prisoners in the hall. We were divided by clerical rank. The prior general of the Jesuits Frntišek Šilhan and opposite him Silvester Braito, a Dominican. When the guard, who controlled that the convicts do not talk, went further away from them, Šilhan said: ‘Silvester…’ Then there was silence because the guard was passing by. Braito then answered: ‘What’s up František?’ Then a pause again… And Šilhan said: ‘You know that the end of the world is coming?’ ‘How did you come to that?’ And Šilhan said: ‘It is true that when a Dominican sits with a Jesuit together by one table, the end is near.’ You could come across moments like this.”

  • “The senate at the state court consisted of five judges. The head judge was a woman of an apparently Jewish origin. As we say in Moravia, she had a nose like a captain’s hook. You couldn’t be wrong. She asked me why I had asked the godparents if they are Catholics or communists. A witness who was there and was supposed to give a testimony against me took my part and said: ‘No, he asked me whether I was a Catholic or non-Catholic.’ He defended me while he should have given evidence against me. ‘And why did you asked for that?’ The judge inquired. ‘As a lawyer you must know that the registers are maintained both by the state and the Church. Catholics are registered as godparents and others as witnesses,’ I explained. And she said: ‘Look here, I was a godmother several times and nobody has ever asked me a question like that.’ – ‘They didn’t have to ask you because it is plain to see.’ The judge biretta fell off her head. The prosecutor asked for a word and proposed to add four years to the sentence for vilification of the race.”

  • “Some of the prisoners have passed through spiritual experience and awakening. I also baptized in the prison and I wasn’t alone. I don’t want to say that God arranged that they were put in prison but… For example, they put an agent among us and he came and said: ‘I am here to spy on you. It’s just for you to know who you are here with.”

  • Celé nahrávky
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    v rezidenci Velkopřevorství řádu maltézských rytířů, 23.03.2007

    délka: 01:55:37
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

As a message I want to say only that there has already been written a lot of books and testimonies And people should read them

Josef Zlámal O. Melit. Prior
Josef Zlámal O. Melit. Prior
zdroj: Archiv - Pamět národa

Josef Zlámal was born on  July 1st 1915 in Halenkovice in Moravia. He studied at the Archbishop grammar school in Kroměříž and in 1936 he entered the archdiocese seminary in Olomouc, where he studied at the eventual Prague archbishop František Tomášek. Josef Zlámal was ordained a priest by a German bishop (standing in for bishop Leopold Prečan, who had been seriously ill and later interned in his residence). He was transferred to Ptení near Prostějov as a priest and he served at several different parishes during the war. After 1945, he moved to the Litoměřice diocese as a friar. In 1949, he was arrested in Hejnice near Frýdlant for reading from the Shepherd‘s letter and sentenced to six years in prison. For his allusion to the Jewish origin of the judge, his sentence was augmented to ten years. Until 1959, he was imprisoned in Liberec, Bory, Mírov, Kutná Hořa and in Valdice. After the release, he worked in manual positions until 1967 when he could return to ecclesiastical service. In 1972, he was titled by the Austrian province of the Knights of Malta with the title of honorary Magistral Chaplain. It was a symbolical honor for his help to German members of the order during the displacement of Germans after the war. In 1989, Josef Zlámal was called from the parish in Hrubý Jeseník near Nymburk to Prague to take the place after the deceased father Horký and to become the prior of the order. He passed through the compulsory novitiate until 1994 when he took the service as a prior. In 2004, he was decorated by the president with the highest state decoration, the Order of the White Lion