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Festival MENE TEKEL

MENE TEKEL

In the name of those who from the gallows the curses called

In the name of children, mothers, women — innocent victims

In the name of those who near the frotier were shot

In the name of those who from the prison never back returned

In the name of those who their brothers‘ slaves became and yet for Judas penny their honour did not sell.

In the name of love, life, truth and human rights, in the name of the outcast — rovers lost in strange places

In the name of those who for ages behind the borders of hell lived

In the name of all I write the biblical: MENE TEKEL!

Jiří Henzinger (a poet and a political prisoner)

(„Mene, mene, tekel, ufarsin“, words about counting, considering and punishing the evil deeds, written on the wall of a  royal palace, as the Bible says. The Prophecy of Daniele the prophet, Chapter 5, was a warning for the proud king Baltazar, the son of the almighty Nabuchodonozor, „…under the rule of whom all the people, nations and languages shivered and were scared of him. He killed anyone he wanted to, he beat anyone he wanted to, he promoted those he wanted to, and he put down those he wanted to…“)

Prepared by citizen-action public Umění bez bariér (Arts without barriers), Confederation of Political Prisoners of the CR and City Council of Prague.

1949

On 1st January 1949 the Moravian town of Zlín was renamed to Gottwaldov. On 21st June general Heliodor Píka was haltered in prison Na Borech in Pilsen. He fought for his nation in both World Wars. On 8th August the Scout leader Dagmar Skálová was sentenced by § 1 article. 1 law 231/48 Collection, for protection of the people’s democratic Republic to the penalty of hard life imprisonment. On 10th December American writer William Faulkner received Nobel Price for Liteature.

1950

On 2nd March 1950the operation of trams inČeske Budějovice was stopped. On 13th April illegal violent liquidation of monasteries and religion orders was carried out. 2376 monks were transported internment monasteries and forced labour camps. On 20th June UNESCO informed that according to the statistics there are about 45% illiterate adults on the Earth. On 12th December the composer Václav Dobiáš was awarded International Peace Price for his cantata Buduj vlast, posílíš mír (Build up your homeland and you will strengthen the peace).

1951

On 1st May 1951 Radio Independent Europe started its regular broadcast. On 3rd August seven men were executed form political reasons in the Czechoslovak Republic, by the end of the year the number reached 53.

1952

On 10th July 1952the main trialagainst six mining engineers and eleven technicians blamed for putative sabotage was started in Ostrava. Two death penalties were passed, two lifelongsentences, and other severe imprisonments. On 3rd August the Czech athlete Emil Zátopek became a triplicate winner of at the Olympic Games in Helsinki. By building houses for mining apprentices and the inhabitants of the due to coal mining liquidated villiges, town Meziboří was estabilished. The proposed names Zápotocké or Fučíkov were refused.

1953

On 29th May 1953 a New Zealander Edmund Hillary and a Nepal sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach the top of the highest mountain of the world Mount Everest. On 1st June regular broadcasting of the Czech Television started. On 11th November a group of political prisoners was bound in a bag and sunk in the artificial lake of Brno with the intention to force them to high treason.

1949 — 1989

Floods of news, thousands of people’s stories.

Scientific researches, mass entertainment.

Concrete palaces called ,houses of culture‘ are being bulit; in concrete bunkers sized 1,5 ×1,5 m and height 120 cm in the camp of Brotherhood II the imprisoned can kneel only. Even 91 days. Between 1948 — 1989 205 486 people were condemned from political reasons in Czechoslovakia. The youngest was 16, the avarage age was 25.

The most frequent reason was the a charge of high treason and espionage. A reason was found anytime. For instance according to the legal action of Regional Office of the Public Prosecution in Policka 18 citizens were senteced to longtime imprisonment. They gathered around a parsonage at the time of a house search carried out by STB and after being invited to leave the place they remained there with the intention to prevent the priest’s transportation. 248 people were executed (out of which 247 men and 1 woman).

20.000 persons were interned to the forced labour camps between the years1948 — 1953.

60.0000 persons went through support technical battalions and technical battalions in 1950 — 1954, out of which 22.000 were placed there for political reasons.

At least 282 people died when they were trying to cross the Czechoslvak frontier to Germany and Austria between 1948 — 1989.

4 500 persons died in jailhouses.

Till 1st December 2006 190 persons were prosecuted by the Bureau for documentation and investigation of crimes committed by communism in 96 criminal matters.

29 persons were legitimately condemned to imprisonment.