Jan Dlask – One Victim of the Shooting Spree at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague

Jan DlaskInjured in our hearts we remember Mgr. Jan Dlask, Ph.D. (1973-2023), who came from Pardubice, the member of VERITAS and the alternate of its Administrative Board. He joined our Society in 2007, although neither Church history nor the Czech Reformation were his main professional interest. He graduated in Finnish and Swedish at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University. This college became since 2002 also his workplace and however, after all the place, where he tragically died as one of the victims of the mass murder on December 21, 2023.

At the Department of Finnish Studies (German Studies Institute of the F. of Arts) worked Dr Dlask as a lecturer with the specialization for Finnish-Swedish Literature (i.e. literary authorship written in Swedish at the territory of Finland) and literary sociology. He gave lectures about contemporary Finnish literature and its history. He also translated, worked as editor or author of special articles about the Nordic literature and, of course, he observed Finnish literature at Czech literary scene. Philology and Literary Arts, as well as the whole academic community have been deprived of an enthusiastic expert in rather narrow branch of Finnish studies in Czechia.

Jan Dlask was regular attendee of spring and autumnal seminaries VERITAS in Pardubice. VERITAS held them there more than 50 times. Despite this interest was for him only a hobby, we never forget his special questions, discussion entries, nor his always cultivated speeches and both: calm and friendly nature. During 46th seminary on October 21, 2017, we invited him as a guest in order to reveal the intersection between his professional interest and his hobby in the lecture: History and Present of the Nordic Protestantism.

We are thankful for his life and benefit not only for the Historical Society VERITAS. We offer our deepest condolence from his loss to his mother, friends and other intimates.

Administrative Board of VERITAS


Headword Jan Dlask at Wikipedia
Complete data about a teacher from Faculty of Arts website
Dlask's obituary written by his long-time friend Martin Valášek for Deník Referendum
Message about the tragic death of J. Dlask in newspaper Pardubický Deník
Message about the tragic death on server
Colleagues' memories of the tragically died teachers of the FA of the Charles University

Photo taken by Bjørn Forsberg was borrowed and modified from the website


400 Years since Comenius wrote the Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart

LabyrinthThis year it is 400th anniversary since John Amos Comenius - "the Teacher of Nations" - wrote the Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart. Just in 1623 Comenius finished the original manuscript of the Labyrinth (that he later revised and enhanced again). Apparently it is his most known opus, its value is also in high linguistic level.
Everybody should be remind that the original text of Labyrinth in both Czech as well as English language is available on a special website for all interested in.
The book has been issued even as English audiobook (in format mp3). You can listen it (free of charge) narrated by Glenn Boychuk. Warmly recommended.


Doc. PhDr. Eva Melmuková's Obituary

Eva MelmukováOur sister Doc. PhDr. Eva Melmuková, one of the founding members of VERITAS, honorary member of its Administrative Board and emerita Moderator of VERITAS, parson, historian and archivist, woman of many professions, jobs and giftings, died on November 5th, 2022 at the age of 90 years. Till last days sound judgement, life wisdom as well as kind sense of humor did not left her.

Eva Romana Melmuková, born Šašecí, studied and graduated in theology, history and archival science. In 1960s she added also a doctorate (PhDr. degree) from ethnography and folklore studies. As one of the first women, Eva Šašecí was ordained to be a parson in the Evangelic Church of the Czech Brethren. Soon after the beginning of her preaching career in the congregation in Prague Smíchov the Communist regime took her "state approval for preaching" away. The refusal for working at profession that she had been qualified and promoted for was indefinitely. Finally, it lasted 29 years. During this time she married Protestant parson Dr Jiří Melmuk and together with him brought up their son Peter. She worked at different places and positions. She was allowed to return to preacher profession after a stroke just when she became an invalid pensioner. In 1986 her husband took over the congregation in Velká Lhota and she was elected to be the Protestant parson in Telč. There she worked officially till the end of 1996. Nevertheless, then almost till the last hour (still in 2022) she helped to her son Petr in Telč ECCB congregation - not only with worships, but also in leading the assemblies in workdays, during meetings over Bible or teaching religion pupils etc.

On the treshold of 1990s a short but very successful communal politic career awaited her in the town of Telč (that was in 1991 added to the list of UNESCO). Likewise not much longer lasted her academic activity at the Protestant Theological Faculty of the Charles University in Prague, where she became the associate professor (Doc. degree) at the Department of Church History. Just that time she was at the inception of the ecumenic focussed cooperation in the Historical Society for Updating the Legacy of the Czech Reformation VERITAS, c. a. Despite she initially was neither the Moderator nor the Secretary, she worked consistently and relentlessly in its Administrative Board and her wisdom and decisiveness electrified many other collegues; she always had been "the motor and also the rudder" of all activity of VERITAS.

Through a detailed and comparative analysis of primary and secondary historical sources from the Toleration Period on the whole area of contemporary Czechia Eva Melmuková and her colleagues revealed and reliably proved the so far only suspected and legendary (often downplayed as well) continuity of the Pre-White-Mountain Church with Tolerational Church even through the Post-White-Mountain Period (1620-1781). Christians that time - folowers of the Czech Reformation - several generations had to live in illegality and due the political oppression in the first and also the longest one totalism in Czech history in the period of dictate of ideological monopoly of the Roman Catholic Church originated the non-institutional, but at once also unified Secret Church of the Czech Reformation. With this revelation, proved by precise study of historical sources and summarized in the collection Protestants in the Early Toleration Period (Evangelíci v rané době toleranční, 1995-1996 and 2017) and monograph Patent Called the Toleration (Patent zvaný toleranční, 1999 a 2013), the existing Czech Church history has been in large measurement rewritten by her merit.

By her initiative a unique Evangelic Toleration Area at a small village Velká Lhota has been recorded as the state preserved historical monument in the Czech Republic. In later years she did not hesitate to use money from her family inheritance, what she restituted, for repairing this monument.

In 1990s, Eva Melmuková for the first only alone only with her son represented the Evangelic Church of Czech Brethren (and the whole Czech Republic as well) at annual European Protestant Museums' Conferences held mostly (but not only) in France. Soon, she convinced VERITAS for parcipitation and in next years till the Covid Pandemic every year regularly a small delegation drove from the Czech Republic, representing VERITAS, where she was a member. (At the last conferences there were in the joint Czech group also deputies from the new Association of Supporters of the Czech Reformation Museum in Velká Lhota near Dačice.)

After the death of the first Moderator of VERITAS Dr Vladimír Sakař in 2004, Eva Melmuková substituted him in the supreme position that is similar to chairmanship. In 2016 her son ThDr. Petr Melmuk Th.D. replaced her. The same time she was designated by the General Assembly to be a honorary member of the Administrative Board (with the right of attendance the sessions and advisory vote). Indeed, she did not miss any session, including her last on October 22nd, 2022 (and everybody, who knowed her, is 100% sure that she could not did this service in a different way than actively, thoughtfully and relentlessly, although she was by her own decision already "in retirement"). Of course, with her heritage will VERITAS live further on.

The last farewell with sister Eva was during the funeral ceremony on Saturday November 12th, 2022 at 3 o'clock pm in the Evangelic Toleration Area in Velká Lhota near Dačice - for sure at the place that she particularly loved.

the Administrative Board of VERITAS

  obituary card of Eva Melmuková (863 kB, Portable Network Graphics Format) containing Bible citation from 1st Letter of John 4:16 "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." (NKJV)


Virgin Mary Column at the Old Town Square in Prague

Johann Friedrich of Wallenstein VERITAS, Historical Society for Updating the Legacy of the Czech Reformation brings objective information about the current copy of the original Virgin Mary Column at the Old Town Square in Prague - now also in English. A short analysis of the then historical document called Wallenstein Thesis from 1661 reveals true facts about the reason and purpose of the original column (erected in 1650, pulled down on 1918-11-03) as well as the circumstances of the building its current copy (erected and sanctified in 2020). During three minutes you can learn all the essential from a presentation, or you can read the same in PDF document.

The Virgin Mary Column at the Old Town Square in Prague was built by the emperor Ferdinand III as a thank for defending of Prague in 1648 – that should have been the spiritual and political centre of Europe oriented by the Hapsburg Family and Dynasty. In this case, Virgin Mary should has represented an intolerant and coercive system prohibiting the conscience freedom. On the original column there was one of four sculptural groups of angels with crosses and swords, who was killing the heresy in human appearance, i.e. a man – heretic. Processions of thanks for the victory at the White-Mountain-Battle (1620) had been held here during 17th and 18th century.
After the Czechoslovak Republic had been established, this column was pulled down on 1918-11-03, while a crowd of people was returning from the memorial ceremony at the White-Mountain. After 30-year-long effort and with foreign support the construction of this replica was – as an imposed gift for the City of Prague – enabled through a narrow majority in voting of the Prague City Assembly.

Causa "Virgin Mary Column at the Old Town Square in Prague" in documents (presentation)
  wallenstein_thesis.odp (24 MB, Open Document Presentations Format)

Causa "Virgin Mary Column at the Old Town Square in Prague" in documents (presentation)
  wallenstein_thesis.ppt (24 MB, Microsoft® PowerPoint® Presentation Format)

Causa "Virgin Mary Column at the Old Town Square in Prague" in documents (the same content as the presentation)
  valdstejnskateze1661en.pdf (1,2 MB, Adobe® Portable Document Format)


Constitutive Session of the Administrative Board

The constitutive session of the new Administrative Board (elected on 2020-09-19 in Prague – Smíchov) was held online on 2020-10-24. During the session all officials were elected for the whole term of office 2020–2024.
Dr Petr Melmuk was elected as the Moderator of VERITAS again (he continues in this function since 2016). Miroslav Soukup Jr. was elected to be the VERITAS Secretary again (as he already has been since 2004). The experienced previous cashier Miroslav Soukup Sr. was further confirmed as cashier (in this function continually since 2011). He is not a member of the Administrative Board of VERITAS.
All procedural steps connected with the new term of office have been finished. Only the suggestion of all made changes to the Civic Association Register has to be done. The voting General Assembly authorized the Secretary for doing it.


Voting General Assembly September 19th, 2020

In a very small number the voting General Assembly of VERITAS met on Saturday September 19, 2020, at the usual place: in the lecture hall at the congregational building of the ECCB's Congregation in Prague - Smíchov. Several absenting members were connected online via computer. Technically, the connection was succesfully managed and the transmission allowed them not only watch, what it is just discussed and what was the votes' result, they even took part in the debate (including one from abroad).
We are pleased that the General Assembly has been legally realized - despite just starting anti-covid protective actions valid in Prague that time. September date of the assembly was a substitution for usual May date, when similar meetings were prohibited. The term of office of the Administrative Board VERITAS, its alternates (and equally also nominated leaders of the local branches VERITAS) this year expired. Gladly we let you know that new (slightly altered) Administrative Board has been voted. It will work in the term of office 2020-2024 in this constitution: Ladislav Dlouhý, Petr Melmuk, Věra Pešková, Miroslav Soukup Jr. and Žofie Vobrová. As its alternates are currently voted: Marta Bartušková, Jan Dlask and Zdeněk Zacpal. The constitutive session of the Administrative Board still not passed off, that is why the functions of the Moderator, the Secretary and cashier are without any changes.
Below you can see some documentary photos by Ž. Vobrová for depiction of the atmosphere during the General Assembly. You can verify that all present members were under face masks but not tipsy (this word in Czech sounds similar as "under face mask" :-)


The Text of the Lecture from the International Conference in Plzeň by Mgr. Miroslav Soukup

On January 7, 2020 VERITAS co-organized in CentralEuropean Centre for Mission Studies in Němejcova Street in Plzeň the international conference. It’s topic was “The Testimony (Including a Possibility of Martyrdom) as the Mission Work of Christians”. It was over patronage of the Net between Continents (common project of the Presbyterian Church of Korea and Historical Society VERITAS).
The Secretary of VERITAS Mgr. Miroslav Soukup presented there in English the lecture on the conference topic from the point of view of Christians from the Secret Church of the Czech Reformation in the pre-Tolerational period.
The text is now, in the times of the ordered quarantine, accessible in Czech and English language on the VERITAS website for all interested in.

The testimony as the mission work of Christians in the Secret Church of the Czech Reformation
  plzen2020_Soukup_en (161 kB, Adobe® Portable Document Format)


Online Version of the Film “Tracing the Silent People in the Land” on YouTube

In the period of the ordered quarantine we come with a suggestion of watching short film for all interested in. The film was recorded by K-video company in 2001 for the Evangelic Church of Czech Brethren — congregation in Telč.
Almost 20 years ago the film about the history of the Reformation in southern Highlands was made to order of that time union of the congregatins in Telč and in Velká Lhota near Dačice. It informs about ancestors of current Protestants living here at Dačice, Telč and Velká Lhota regions. Also dubbed German version was prepared that time. Richard David, the member of VERITAS (and the Headman of the Local Department of VERITAS in Telč and Velká Lhota), uploaded the digitized film in both languages on YouTube. During Easter 2020 English subtitles were added to both films. We hope, it will be both interesting and inspiring for VERITAS website visitors.

Stopami tichých v zemi (15 min, 2001, Czech with the possibility of English subtitles) Sledovat film na YouTube
Auf Der Spuren Der “Stillenim Lande” (15 min, 2001, German with the possibility of English subtitles) Sledovat film na YouTube


Documentary Films with Topics from the Reformation Not Only for the Quarantine Period at Home

Czech Television Czech Television already broadcast several documentary films on the topics from the Reformation and Czech Church History (free series “Czech Protestant History”). Films are created in the company VISTAFILM Ltd. of married couple Iva and Lubomír Hlavsa. For visitors of the website we have prepared a list of all these notable films as a suggestion for days of ordered quarantine at home:

Poslední útěk Jeronýma Pražského

Acted film about last months of life of Master Jerome of Prague, a Czech intellectual decorated with degrees from four European universities, excellent rhetorician and Huss’ friend, who went to Council of Constance in order to support Huss in his trial. Unlike him, Jerome Huss’ teachings and belief in Church correction through the return to Bible and Church situation in the Apostles’ period recanted under duress for the first. Then he regretted it and took back the retraction. In 1416 — less than a year after Huss — this led him to “heretic” stake, where he was burnt to death as well as Huss.

The Last Escape of Jerome od Prague (81 min, 2017, czech) Watch the film on YouTube Watch the film on Czech television iVysílání
(trailer Watch trailer of the film on YouTube The Making of… I Watch in on YouTube The Making of… II Watch it on YouTube all in czech only)

John Huss - A Journey of No Return

Acted film brings the story of Huss’ Italian jailer Robert Tallio and a prostitute Margaret. It describes historical events in Constance and Master John Huss’ last months of life.

John Huss — A Journey of No Return (90 min, 2015, czech)
Watch film on YouTube Watch film on Czech Television iVysilani (trailer Watch trailer on YouTube English version — paid download)

The rarely remembered character of the Restored Unity of Brethren (i.e. Moravian Church) is one of the most important Czech (Moravian) Christian missionaries, native from Zauchtel, David Zeisberger. Most of his life he spent in overseas countries among north-american indians. The next film talks to everybody his interesting life-story.

David Zeisberger — Apostle of the Indians (52 min, 2013, English only on YouTube)
Watch film on YouTube Watch film in Czech on Czech Television iVysilani (trailer Watch Czech trailer on YouTube)

For 400th anniversary of the last edition of Kralice Bible in one volume before the White-Mount-Battle director Lubomír Hlavsa made acted document about its historical importance. The movie is called “Under Zerotin Family’s Protection”. There spoke in couple of entries also doc. PhDr. Eva Melmuková, historian and former moderator of VERITAS.

Under Zerotin Family’s Protection (52 min, 2013, czech)
Watch film on YouTube Watch film on Czech Television iVysilani (trailer Watch trailer on YouTube)

Directorial debut of Iva Hlavsová describes almost unknown Czech exile history from the first half of 18th century. Those days there was found a town Czech Rixdorf at the periphery of Berlin (current suburb Neukölln).

Czech Rixdorf 1737 (27 min, 2012, czech) Watch film on YouTube (trailer)

In 2010 successful document “Count Zinzendorf — Power of Belief” was filmed. It is focussed on the restorer of the Unity of Brethren (i.e. Moravian Church) in Herrnhut (Saxony, Germany).

Count Zinzendorf — Power of Belief (57 min, 2010, czech) Watch film on Czech Television iVysilani (trailer Watch trailer on YouTube)



Association of Supporters of the Czech Reformation Museum in Velká Lhota near Dačice

ETAAt the beginning of 2017 the Regional Court in České Budějovice registered a new association to the Civic Association Register as item No. L 7184. Its name is “Association of Supporters of the Czech Reformation Museum” and its domicile is at Velká Lhota near Dačice No. 31 (i.e. at the so-called lower, former Lutheran parsonage), its Identification Number is 05693152.
Also several members of VERITAS became its founding members. Preservationist Mgr. Lenka Brychtová, DiS. was voted as the chairwoman of the association during the founding assembly on 2016-11-23. According to the the Regulations the main association’s aim will be establishing, operation and development of the new Czech Reformation Museum (Evangelíci v 17.–20. století v návaznosti na husity a jednotu bratrskou) in the Evangelic Toleration Area in Velká Lhota near Dačice.

(A very interesting circumstance is the fact that the Administrative Board of VERITAS was at the beginning of February also an observer during establishment of other society with similar special focus as VERITAS. It is HEREDITAS — Association for Updating the Heritage of the Silesian Protestantism.)


Support of VERITAS via GIVT.CZ

GIVT.CZAt the end of 2016 VERITAS joined among those nonprofit organizations, which you can financially support via GIVT.CZ portal. Main advantage of this form of support is chiefly the fact that you will do it completely for free (the supporting sum is advisedly deducted by an e-shop during purchasing of goods or services from its margin).
The procedure is not difficult at all. Actually, it is one more mouse-clik only. At GIVT.CZ portal you choose the nonprofit organization you want to support when shopping, and also one of the registered e-shops, which cooperate with GIVT.CZ. Then you go to the e-shop page and buy something what you need, as you have been used to. E-shop deducts from the purchased amount couple of percents from its margin, and half is paid once a quarter as a gift to the chosen nonprofit organization (the rest is for the GIVT’s overheads). E-shops are delighted for one more customer and in exchange they support different nonprofit activities with their lower margin. Aiming of the support is fully controlled by the donor, technically it is guaranteed by cookies in a web browser. Alongside, GIVT.CZ offers installation of an add-on for most used browsers that notify users each time before a shopping, if they want to support a nonprofit organization.
Link for supporting of VERITAS when purchasing at e-shops


The Documentation of the Europe Protestant Museums Conference Tabor 2015

Europe Protestant Museums Conference Tabor 2015

The documentation of Europe Protestant Museums Conference, held in Tabor between April 30th and May 3rd 2015, is currently available for download in PDF format here. The Conference was held in Master John Huss’ death anniversary year with the topic: “John Huss in Dialogue with European Reformation of 16th century”, Historical Society VERITAS arranged the conference together with Historical Society of French Protestantism and the Town Tabor. Conference languages were French, German and Czech. The documentation in resolution for website publication is here for download in Czech, French and German version (English version is not prepared). People interested in the documentation in printable version can write to VERITAS and ask for sending all materials (including photos, files with presentations presented during the conference etc.) on DVD (25 CZK/€ 1/US $1 + postage).

Documentation of the conference for download in Czech
  sbornikWEB.pdf (4,5 MB, Adobe® Portable Document Format)

Documentation of the conference for download in French
  actesWEB.pdf (10,5 MB, Adobe® Portable Document Format)

Documentation of the conference for download in German
  dokumentationWEB.pdf (4,8 MB, Adobe® Portable Document Format)


Honorary Member of the Administrative Board of VERITAS prof. Dagmar Čapková died

Dagmar ČapkováOn May 24th, 2016 the honorary member of the Administrative Board of VERITAS, sister Prof. PhDr. Dagmar Čapková, DrSc., Dr. h. c., died. She was one of founders of VERITAS and her lifetime scientific merit in branches of history, commeniology and pedagogy was awarded even by the president Klaus with Czech state distinction “Merit Medail” in 2007.

On the photo by Ž. Vobrová below, there are Prof. Čapková (on the left with french crutches) together with that time moderator of VERITAS Dr. Melmuková during the reverential assembly on June 21st, 2013, in Prague.

D. Čapková and E. Melmuková 21. 6. 2013 in Prague
Funeral card of D. Čapková


Evangelic Toleration Area in Velká Lhota has its Wander Card

Wander Card Protestant Complex in Velká Lhota

Do you already have at home this unique map?

Map Places of the Czech Reformation

  • This is an unique aid for travelling over the monumental places related to the Czech Reformation in Czechia.
  • On the folded sheet of format A2 there you can find a comprehensive map of all 36 mentioned places with its brief description.
  • In Prague there the map refers to extra 18 localities important from the view of the Czech Reformation. The scheme of its position is not missing.
  • In the introduction there is written a brief view to the history summarizing the elementary facts about the historical development of the Czech Reformation and about its place in deeper European context.
  • Added the black and white illustrations of some of the described places.
  • Synoptical multilanguage design (Czech, English, German, French) — perfect present not only for your foreign friends.
  • The map was issued by the Society VERITAS in Pardubice in 1995.
  • Convenient price: 25 CZK/€ 1/US $1 + postage
  • You can order the map at the address of VERITAS (e-mail).
  • You can have more exemplars as well.

Have you already seen the section Perspectives and Opinions?
It brings answers on some current and controversial questions of present.