The Voice of the Centre of the Czech Reformation

The Voice of the Centre of the Czech Reformation in Telč and Velká Lhota near Dačice (the Voice) has been issued since 1997 for the need and information of the members of the Society once a year. The Voice gives information about the happenings in the Centre of the Czech Reformation in Telč and Velká Lhota near Dačice during the elapsed year with a focus on the results of the Work Session VERITAS, Work Assembly of the Young Historians and information about the Monument of the Czech Reformation and the Evangelic Toleration Area. Further, it also notifies members about the annual European Protestant Museums Conferences.

On August 29, 2006 the Czech National Centre of ISSN assigned to the Voice of the Centre of the Czech Reformation the International Standard Serial Number — ISSN. The printed version of the Voice is now worldwide identifiable with ISSN 1802-1166. The on-line version of the Voice downloadable on Internet at this address in PDF format has ISSN 1802-1174.

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2/1998 238 kB Summary of the issue
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8/2003 467 kB
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19/2014–2020 730 kB Appendix: Huss And Hussitism in the Reception of the Czech Reformation (275 kB)
Karel of Lichtenstein (1.8 MB)
others are (or will be) available elsewhere on the website
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21/2022 NEW 528 kB

Summary of the Voice Issue No. 2/1998

The content of the second issue of the Voice are chiefly messages from the Seminary for Teachers and Others Concerned in History, Czech Language and Social Disciplines held in autumn 1997. At first Vladimír Sakař had his lecture The Introduction on the Nation and Patriotism (pp. 3–5). The author addicts himself there to the idea of the patriotism above all. The press makes the permanent publicity of this important phenomenon (cited H. G. Schauer in 1886, M. Kundera in 1968 and finally D. Třeštík in 1994 and 1996). The perfectly comprehensive definition of the nation cannot be given, however, it can be submitted, the “nation is in its spiritual and material substance unusually complicated organism…” (J. Jíša, Denní telegraf 1st March 1994, p. 5). The nation and patriotism are current problems (separatist's movements of Basque's Nation in Spain, Irish in Ulster, other world regions are confronted with similar efforts). The situation in former Yugoslavia that disintegrates into smaller independent states can be a transparent example. Another example of here already resolved national problem are Cherokee Indians in the U.S.A., who have reached in the historical development a special place in so called Iroquois's Confederation. Then we can mention also Jews, their national consciousness began to express after 1000 years at the end of 18th century. In Czechia the ethnicity of Romanies is the most up-to-date topic. When is the community in the history in danger it comes generally on the association of nations (e.g. under pressure of the Catholic Roman Empire the unification of the attitudes of Czech and German Hussites occured already in 1420.) However, these associations usually are not permanent (see the Czechoslovakia between the World Wars, when the historically discredited unity of the Czechoslovak nation and especially the fact that Czechs above all supported this idea, which was considered to be ethnic Czech, was too much stressed. The underestimation of the different conception of the Slovakia's development and that the opinions of so called “American Slovaks” were rather different to “Hungarian Slovaks”.)

Eva Melmuková then reported about The Historical Development of the National Consciousness and the National Question in Czech Lands (pp. 5–7). Author follows the question premised in the title of the lecture in the light of three aspects: language; territory; culture and history (the ethnic group of people without common history is not a nation, a nation rises neither when people are conscious of it nor after the proclamation of the self-entity, as well as a man does not begin to be a human as lately as he receives his identification card). She follows the development of the national question in two epochs that are divided at the end of 18th and at the beginning of 19th century, in the term when every European stopped being defined generally by his confession as it had been common till then, and he searched a new angle to file himself. That time the competence to a certain nation became the aspect to file. In the first epoch, especially, there was eminent that the Hussitism was generally the national phenomenon. The conception of the Czech Reformation is analogical to conceptions of the German or Helvetian Reformation, it is designation of a type. According to the fact that Czech Reformation was accepted by Czech nation in the majority and that the enemy crusader was mostly German, German used to be felt as an enemy. In 16th century, which is characteristic as the time of fight for the essential human rights and also the right of the liberty of conscience, Czech Lands were the asylum for people persecuted for their nonconformist thinking from other regions. In the Czech-German question there happened an interesting inversion when German became the language of friends — the Lutherans. That time there it was done much in the question of the plurality model of the national coexistence, but with an obvious delimitation that it is Czech Land with Czech language (every clerk had to be able to speak Czech). In the period after the Battle of the White Mountain occurred gradually preferring of German, which was one of the instruments to unification and mastering the land. Czech nation became a disdained minority. Great majority of the intelligence left abroad. The intelligence that remained here was allowed to reassume only in the territorial and lingual continuance, but not in historical continuance. The results of this fatal break of the continuity take effect till today. In the second epoch the past of the Czech Reformation was at first unacceptable. In Germany there is emphasized M. Luther as the representative of German thing in the idea of the integrating efforts. In Czechia there was the defensive period of the national revival, when the patriots contented themselves with double-language situation and with the equality of Czech with German. At half of 19th century began the offensive phase. It was caused by the fact that the effort to absorption of the non-German, Slavonic population in the Great-German Conception stopped the discussion in Central Europe in 1848. After the World War 1 started the moment, when the demands of Czech Germans meant the destruction of Czechoslovak State. The events finished with the transfer of Germans after the World War 2 are sad and tragic but we can say that generally Nazis caused it for both Czechs and Germans. Here is not important the nationality but the crime, which can evolve in every nation. For the life in Europe in third millennium we can be best inspired in the national questions with the impulses of the plural fundaments from 16th and the beginning of 17th century in Czech Lands.

Vladimír Sakař had also next lecture called The Patriotism of Thomas G. Masaryk (pp. 8–10). The author introduces and comments citation from Masaryk's books The Czech Question (Prague 1936) and Our Current Crisis (Prague 1936). T. G. Masaryk considers patriotism to be something absolutely native. The national wake, as he calls the period of the national revival, states by its thinkers that Czech history refers to the great epoch of the Reformation and to welcomed religious liberty. Then TGM cites the well-known František Palacký's assertion that even in case of impossibility of the spiritual recovery of the nation it is always necessary to do one's utmost to ensure remaining at least a honourable memory of it. Masaryk analyses the situation till 1845 this way: then, it was applied the line of the Land Patriotism (Czechs and Germans together fight for friendly coexistence of both nations and liberty in the land). The break happened till after the elections to the Frankfurt's Parliament. Then the division of inhabitants to Czechs and Germans began. The main reasons of the rupture were: 1. the fact that Czechs refused the conception in accordance with they should have been considered to be Czech-speaking Germans, 2. German fraction of population of Bohemia would loose its loyalty to monarchy, unless it accounts itself to be a part of German ethnic engagement. TGM did not agree to the dominance of historicism in Czech national politics. Detailed dividing among the Huss', Tabor's, Brethren's or Protestant's Reformation is useless effort according to TGM. He considers not the national but the religious aspect to be the most important in Czech history. He refuses the national aspect as the angle of valuation of both the pre– and post-White-Mountain period. These opinions are now confirmed by modern research (Krofta, Kejř and others). TGM does not want to consider certain rank of the society with its wishes (e.g. businessmen, financiers or labour rank) to be the nation. The revival process means moral, cultural and political regeneration, freedom for the part of the nation, which has been till excluded from national and cultural work. TGM claimed that the nation am I, you, he, we all together and to love the nation means a priori to love you, i.e. you, the one, who I know. Unless I could it, I also do not love my nation, at most only its the most smallest part — only myself. In the reformation's movement, which seized significant majority of nation, performed many good things, there we see the exhibition of Czech genius. Nation of Hussites and Brethren but returned back to Catholicism and from Hussitism remained only weak continuance in foreign Protestant form of Reformed Church and Lutheran Church.

On the last but none (11th) page there is printed The Letter of the Society VERITAS about so called “Virgin Mary” Column in the Old Town Square in Prague that will be at another section of the website cited as full-text.

This issue of the Voice is terminated with The Meditation on Some Results of 6th Symposium VERITAS 1997 (p. 12). It is already second analysis of the results of the symposium with main topic “The Family on the Threshold of 3rd Millennium”. Till additionally it was maintained next research in autumn 1997 among especially people from Czech, Slovak and German language region. This research fully confirmed a certain trend. The first item studies the definition of a family. Young people write generally the formulation that a family is not entirely made of people in blood-relation, but people close together above all. The second item was addicted to the expectation from the family. Respondents valued the rear guarantee and the psychic and material reliance and understanding. The third item solves the question if the family is a stay or an obstacle for own life of a person. All generations are afraid of the limitation of the personality or intolerance, in youth there is a very sensitive problem non-entertainment of a person by his family, high and very hardly performable demands, disbelief etc. In middle age there is the most valued the importance of the partner relation and its problems. Sixty-year-old and older realise also the danger in the relation with children and between children and parents. The fourth item talks about marriage. Its sense is according to the young generation faithful and communicative partner's relation, mutual sympathy and reliance. It appears also a stress on family and children, but this is not determining for the sense of the marriage. In the ripe age there is additional the understanding to marriage as to the mutual endowment. Generally, the fundament of marriage is considered to be love and faith. The official contraction of marriage is considered to be useful for middle and older generation, the youth have in fifty per cent a great question-mark, or this sense do not see. These, who agree to the official contraction from middle and older generation, claim it generally because of the law standard and possibly because of the concern of children. The young generation has both this reasons quite equal. In all generations there is a certain ratio of people who choose marriage because of their belief and respect to God's rule. The last item is concerned about the conception of Church. (Ascertained data became the base for next symposium). Rather young generation thinks that Church is generally only an official establishment or association, but also here dominate the conception of Church as a family of God's children.

Summary of the Voice Issue No. 7/2003

On the second page of this issue there is as usual at first The Information of the Centre of the Czech Reformation, it is a review what it has happened there in 2002. This review is perfected with photos form 7th Work Assembly of Young Historians.

Even next pages are also addicted to young historians. At first it is the overall Report about the 7th Year of the Work Assembly of the Young Historians 2002 (pp. 3–4) written by Miroslav Soukup instead of the collective of the leaders. The topic of the assembly was in 2002 “The Reasons and Process of the World War 2”. Young historians processed this topic as usual in three teams. One was focussed on anti-Semitism, holocaust, schoa etc., the second observed the aspect of Czech-German and the third Czech-Slovakian relations. One evening Mrs. Jančíková from Tábor arrived with very interesting talking about the life of Jews during the war. Her visit was highly evaluated by both participants and leaders. On Wednesday it happened two “combat” games for a certain “relief”. In the first the participants in roles of guerillas successfully tried to capture a little fortress guarded by a few men from SS that they disposed as well. On account of the perfectly done mission high state medals then decorated guerillas by President Dr E. Beneš. Actually, the second “combat” game happened till on Thursday, but very soon after midnight. This time young historians were awaken by a chemical alert. Their goal was to find and destroy the source of the chemical contamination using protective suits. During the way they had to oppose to couple of assaults of varied enemy weapons. In roles of “unknown known”, i.e. four persons, their identity young historians should find out, were this year introduced: Jan Želivský, Bedřich Hrozný, Jan Kollár and Galileo Galilei. A group of experienced young historians worked whole week with assistance of local natives on the reconstruction of the so called Valdez's Way between villages Valtínov and Heřmaneč. This way used formerly groups of Valdezes when going to their worship. The reconstructed trace examined the other at the end of the week in their terrain exploration. They searched written materials connected with World War 2 hidden by the way. These they have to identify. The reconstructed trace of the Valdez's Way will be in future a part of the intended educational marked path of the Valdez's and Czech Reformation.

Next pages belong to the fictional reportage from the magazine Reflex (Reflex 4/2002: Reportage written in the first line, pp. 5–6) that talks using the journalistic style about the circumstances of the capturing of the Nazi fortress guarded by SS-men at the Work Assembly of the Young Historians.

The Two Reactions of Participants to the Passed Assembly (pp. 6–7) follow. The first from Alžběta Široká's pen called A Week with Young Historians in Velká Lhota evaluates the event very positive and expresses her idea to participate also next year. A little bit different is the article About Postcards by Richard Vlasák. It is rather a short language essay in style of feuilleton, full of the belletristic fiction and written in something-archaic language. However, there is also mentioned a satisfaction with the Assembly.

Martin Fajmon lectured at the Work Assembly on the topic About the First Slovakian Republic. A record of his lecture is printed in Slovakian on pages 7–10. The lecture describes the most important events and interests from this significant epoch of Slovakian history. We learn from the lecture that this republic existed in 1939–1945. It is mentioned here a chronological division — the dividing points are Proceedings in Salzburg with Hitler in July 1940, which brought the end of the separate foreign policy of Slovakia; and the beginning of the Slovakian National Rise — August 29th 1944. A separate and large chapter is focussed on the Jewish Question. During the war over 55000 Slovakian Jews lost life (this caused Slovakian state government as well). Many of them who were not deported were active in the Slovakian National Rise.

We are coming in the content of this issue of Voice to 16th and 17th Seminary for Teachers…, held in Pardubice in autumn 2002 and in spring 2003, which was focussed on the theme Islam. The base of the Muslim belief is the book Koran. The opening article on pages 10–11 called The Koran (and the Bible) is an analysis of Koran. It talks about the historical creation and development of Koran, its structure and the main nodal points and differences when compared with Bible.

The second item: Islam (pp. 11–12) embraces from the historical development view this second greatest world religion. The “Five Pillars of Islam” are professing Allah as the only God and Muhammad as his messenger, prayer five times a day, alms for poor, fasting in month Ramadan and pilgrimage to Mecca once a life. Later, it was said an idea that so called jihad or “combat at the God's path” is the sixth pillar of the Islamic belief. The founder of Islam is Prophet Muhammad. Particular suras (chapters of Koran) were revealed to him. After his death Muslims divided to Sunni Muslims (protagonists of sunna, i.e. a file of habits of the Prophet; they accept voted caliphs; they represent about 90 % of all Muslims) and to Shiites (who prefer Muhammad's blood-relatives instead of caliphs and today they represents only 10 %).

The trinity of articles about Islam is finished by a summary of the lecture Historical Contacts of the so Called Christian Europe and World of Islam (pp. 13–14). “Christian Europe” means here the ideological, political and powerful complex since 9th century till 1804. It corresponds with the mission of Jesus Christ only very small. The “World of Islam” is a similar formation in three forms. The oldest is the Arabic Empire in times of the dynasty Umayos that reached Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. 622 AD there was destroyed the Visigoth's Empire by Arabs. Arabs (called here also Moors) moved further across Pyrenees and reached Southern France and port Narbonne. Their advance was stopped at the Battle of Poitiers in 732. Then they were subsequently driven behind Pyrenees. The second epoch happened when ruled the dynasty of Abbasids who dominated since half of 8th till half of 13th century. The capital was Baghdad, there was founded the university as well. This time there was on the Iberian Peninsula Cordovan Caliphate, independent to Baghdad, but in that times the most powerful and the trimmest state in whole Europe. That's why there was the size of liberty and toleration larger than it was imaginable anywhere else. Also Christians studied in Cordova. While Charlemagne ruled, then was started so called reconquista, i.e. the fight to “Christianize” of Spain. It was finished in 1492 when Granada was captured. Eastward in Europe there did not represent Islam Arabs but Ottoman Turks. They captured Baghdad in 1258. The Turkish Islam had another character than the Arabic. Since 1453 when they captured Tsarigrad and destroyed this way the Byzantine Empire, Ottomans were constantly a dangerous enemy for so called Christian Europe. In 1526 Czech king Lewis the Jagellon was killed at the Battle of Mohács. It was that time when the Ottoman Empire was ruled by Suleyman II, a provident statesman, the Turkey that time became the best administered empire with accent to law, organization and culture. Suleyman II sieged Vienna, too, but he could not conquer it. At Balkan there the influence of Ottoman Empire lasted till 20th century.

We continue to messages and announcements. The first inserted message is The Message about the Winter Brigade-Work in the Centre of the Czech Reformation 2002/2003 (p. 14). 14 young historians participated on this winter brigade-work, it was held already the second year. These tasks were done: work in the VERITAS Library and in the Monument of the Czech Reformation; and it was also organized a preparative session to the Work Assembly of Young Historians 2003.

The next short article (Internet Website of VERITAS in 2003, p. 15.) gives an information about the canceling of the non-authentic website and about the running of English version of the official website. The website is also printed and copied for the distribution.

Paragraph Touristic Token in the Centre of the Czech Reformation (p. 15) mentions joining of Velká Lhota near Dačice among so called Touristic Token Places, i.e. touristic targets, where you can buy a round wooden mark commemorating the visit of the place. Touristic token of the Centre of the Czech Reformation has No. 625 and its motif is the traditional symbol of the Czech Reformation: a chalice and Bible.

The members as well as non-members of VERITAS are challenged on p. 15 to give Purposed Donations for VERITAS for three concrete purposes: for Monument of the Czech Reformation, for Memorial session held annually in June 21st and for supporting of the activities of young historians. These items exhaust the budget of VERITAS very much (that is in addition encumbered by debits). That is why the Administrative Board asks for the financial support.

The Information about Entering of Contact with Abroad (pp. 15–16) brings the last informative paragraph. It is a contact with Dr Paul Vyšný from St. Andrews at Scotland, where was in August 22nd 1433 burnt to death Master Paul Craw, Czech physician and Hussite. In cooperation with Dr Vyšný VERITAS will try to support the erection of a memorial table on the place of the execution with text in both English and Czech.

The last page of this issue (16th) contains Errata of Calendarium VERITAS 2003 and Correction of a Printing Error — both is relevant to the last issue of Bulletin VERITAS No. 11/2002.