DESIRE BECOMES REALITY
 

The desire of many years became reality after 27 May 1996. On that day, on the earlier expressed request, in the Czech Center in Sarajevo, Ms. Branka Hrzek and Mr. Anton Mikulašek met for the first time with Mr. Martin Klepetko, Chargé d’Affaires of the Czech Republic Embassy in Sarajevo, which had just been constituted.
Mr. Klepetko was then informed about the purpose of the meeting. It was a request for fulfilling the most important condition for revival of “Česka beseda” Sarajevo, i.e. obtaining the support of the Czech Republic. Being very interested, Mr. Klepetko immediately expressed readiness of the Czech Embassy as well as his own willingness, to participate in the realization of this idea.
So, finally the connection broken long-time ago with Bohemia, the original homeland, was established, and its interest in Sarajevo Czechs, and its support encouraged and gave impetus to work on renewal of “Beseda”. Preparations for Renewal Conference progressed hurriedly. The news about it spread. Citizens of Czech origin in Sarajevo started gathering. The list of founders reached the figure of 54 names:

 
1. Bartolović-Daneš Branka
2. Daneš Vera
3. Doleček Vlatko
4. Tihi Boris
5. Krzyk Tomislav
6. Šuster Jadranka
7. Mustapić-Hrzek Mirjana
8. Mustapić Marko
9. Hrzek Ivan
10. Hrzek Ružica
11. Hrzek Branka
12. Hrvat-Hrzek Vlasta
13. Šimunić Dubravko
14. Šimunić-Storch Vlasta
15. Preininger Josip
16. Preininger Lidija
17. Rytiř Franjo
18. Alikalfić Vera
19. Latal-Danon Ljerka
20. Murko Dragutin
21. Murko Zora

22. Džeba Antonija
23. Časar Zora
24. Časar Andrea
25. Časar Marija
26. Elezović Nataša
27. Časar Mažana
28. Poje Štefica
29. Časar Bogumil
30. Časar Lidija
31. Stanojević Denis
32. Stanojević Diana
33. Stanojević Zoran
34. Hikl Miroslava
35. Hikl Aleksandar
36. Latal Zdravko
37.Krilić-Herman Štefica
38.Potočnik-Krilić Gordana
39.Mijatov-Serna Beranek Olga
40.Mijatov Ranko
41.Polomik Franjo
42.Polomik Zdenka
43.Mikulašek Anton
44.Mikulašek Milijana
45.Mikulašek Otokar
46.Mikulašek Karlo
47.Krzyk Karla

48.Stuchly Jarmila
49.Stuchly Zvjezdana
50.Stuchly Ivan
51.Stuchly Olga
52.Griner Olga
53.Griner Miroslav
54.Voska-Sinanagić Marija
 
FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE
 
In June 1996, Mr. Zdenek Uherek, Ph.D. visited Sarajevo together with his colleague from The Institute for Ethnology from Prague. On that occasion, a part of the renewal core of “Česka beseda” Sarajevo, i.e. Anton Mikulašek, Mirjana Hrzek-Mustapić, Branka Hrzek, Mažena, Tadija and Marija Časar, Angela Šedl, Jadranka Šuster, Vlasta Storch-Šimunić and Ms. Šlechta came to the beer-hall “Švejk” at Skenderija.
Pleasantly surprised by the number of those present, as they had had the information there were very few Czechs in Sarajevo, the guests from Prague received with joy the news on renewal of “Česka beseda” Sarajevo. For the needs of the Institute and for their scientific work, they took photos and audio-taped the talks and listened with surprise and approval to the good Czech language spoken by Angela Šedl and Vlasta Šimunić, who remembered well their Czech school, teachers and even poems.
Dr. Uherek immediately visited with interest the initiators of the renewal – Ivan and Ružica Hrzek and there recorded, also for the archive of his Institute, their memories of former life and work of the Czech community in Sarajevo.
Surprised by the abundance of material about local Czechs, Dr. Uherek continued visiting Sarajevo in subsequent years in order to reveal and record this “treasure” for the Prague Institute and his work.
 

RENEWAL CONFERENCE

 

The Renewal Conference took place in the premises of the elementary school “Dr. Isak Samokovlija” in Sarajevo, on 28 September 1996. The minutes specify that “The Conference was attended by 48 members – founders and the same number of guests”, majority of whom were persons of Czech origin, who joined the Association immediately or soon after the Conference.
The Presiding Committee consisted of: Franjo Polomik, Ljerka Latal-Danon and Tomislav Krzyk. Jadranka Šuster presented a paper on life and work of the Czechs in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly in Sarajevo. The following persons were elected to the Presidency: Ljerka Latal-Danon, Branka Hrzek, Jadranka Šuster, Tomislav Krzyk, Zdravko Latal, Dragutin Murko and Franjo Rytir.
Mr. Dragutin Murko was appointed the President of the Association, Ms. Ljerka Latal-Danon  (cultural, educational and informational work) and Mr. Tomislav Krzyk (organization and finances) were appointed Vice-presidents. Ms. Branka Hrzek was appointed the secretary and treasurer.
The following persons were appointed the members of the Supervisory Board: Mr. Boris Tihi, Mr. Vlatko Doleček and Ms. Vera Alikalfić.
The Court of Honour was represented by Ms. Marija Časar, Mr. Anton Mikulašek and Ms. Mirjana Hrzek-Mustapić.
The Association of Czech citizens and citizens of Czech origin of Bosnia and Herzegovina “Česka beseda” Sarajevo was registered on 18 October 1996 with the Higher Court in Sarajevo, under No. R-I-172/96.
Among other esteemed guests, Mr. Martin Klepetko, Charge d’Affairs in Sarajevo was present at the Renewal Conference on behalf of the Embassy of the Czech Republic. He pointed out that this was a solemn event and expressed his appreciation of the constitution of this Association and offered his whole-hearted support to activities of “Beseda”.
Since the new legal provisions required re-registration of the Association, it was entered into the register of Associations of citizens with the Ministry of Justice and Administration at the level of the Sarajevo Canton on 29 June 1999 as the Association of citizens of Czech origin “Česka beseda” Sarajevo under number 03-05-05-176.

 

28 September – SAINT VÁCLAV

 

The date of holding of the Renewal Conference was not chosen coincidentally.
It is the date that the Czechs remember for more than thousand years. To be precise, this date was seared in the Czech being in the year 929, when the best-loved and highly appreciated person of old Czech history – duke Václav was killed in the temple in Stará Boleslav. On that day the Czech nation lost physically their solicitous, wise and peace-loving sovereign, but since then it has been deeply attached to him in its spirit. Being the first great propagator of Christianity in the Bohemian territory, he was stated to be a saint immediately after his death. St. Václav is the name that was referred to in the most difficult days of the Czech history and inspired hope and strength in each Czech and united the whole nation. It is the name that has been always pronounced, in all generations, with infinite love and respect. St. Václav, proclaimed from time immemorial a patron, protector and defender of the Czech country and each Czech, was appealed to in distress by the following words:
St. Václav, do not allow us or the future ones to be killed!
Therefore, the day of St. Václav, 28 September, is chosen to be the day of renewal of “Česka beseda” Sarajevo so that it should be, according to the tradition, marked here too as long as there are Czechs and their descendants in this territory.

 

 

They are always with us…

Mr. Martin Klepetko, Charge d’Affairs of the just established Embassy  of the Czech Republic in BiH, in Sarajevo in 1996.

1997 – Lecture delivered by Drago Murko “The Czechs in BiH in the Middle Ages and during the Turkish reign” held at the Faculty of Arcitecture in Sarajevo, organized by Česka beseda” Sarajevo
/photo/
1998 – With his family and members of “Česka beseda” Sarajevo, at the reception marking the Statehood Day of the Czech Republic, hosted by the Czech Republic Embassy
/photo/
1999 – Electoral Conference of the Association “Česka beseda” Sarajevo
/photo/
1999 – Celebration of the Statehood Day in IMIC in Sarajevo organized by “Česka beseda” Sarajevo. Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia Jiri Kudela, Consul Václav Čadek and Charge d’Affairs of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in BiH, in Sarajevo Mr. Martin Klepetko, as well as Vladimir Chaloupka, First Secretary of the Embassy in Sarajevo were the guests at the celebration.
/photo/
2001 – Farewell party
Until arrival of the new Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the First Secretary Mr. Vladimir Chaloupka discharged the duty of the Charge d Affairs.
/photo/

2001 – Celebration of the Day of St. Václav in the Rector’s Office of the University in Sarajevo. On that occasion Mr. Vladimir Chaloupka bid farewell to the members of “Česka beseda” Sarajevo
/photo/
2001 – “MAK” Gallery – H.E. Ambassador of the Czech Republic to BiH, Alojz Buchta takes up office, and Mr. Vladimir Chaloupka leaves for a new offic
/photo/
2005 – Farewell to H.E. Ambassador of the Czech Republic to BiH, Alojz Buchta, organized in the “Verdi” restaurant. Our member Ivana Trkulja bid farewell to Mrs. and Mr. Buchta on behalf of “Česka beseda” Sarajevo.
/photo/
2005 – H.E. Ambassador to BiH, Jiri Kudela, organized a meeting with members of “Česka beseda” Sarajevo soon after taking up the post
/photo/
2005 – Celebration of St. Václav in the Residency of the Czech Republic Ambassador.
On that occasion, Mr. Jiri Kudela gave a remarkable present to “Česka beseda” Sarajevo. It is a framed document, found in the Budapest archives, dating back to the beginning of 20th century, in which “Česka beseda” Sarajevo announces its celebration of the Day of St. Václav
/photo/
2005 – Opening of the exhibition “100th Anniversary of Foundation of the Association “Česka beseda” in Sarajevo, organized by “Česka beseda” Sarajevo
/photo/
2006 – Members of “Česka beseda” Sarajevo with Associations of Czechs from the Republic of Srpska at the reception organized by the Czech Republic Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina to mark the Day of Victory over fascism.
/photo/


 

Electoral conference was held in the year 2005.

President
Jovanka Manzalović - Šalaka
Vice-president for finances
Tomislav Krzyk
Vice-president for culture
Leona Sabolek
Executive secretary
Branka Hrzek

 

 

Selection of texts is taken from the magazine “Česka beseda – 5th anniversary”
Editor-in-chief of the magazine is Branka Hrzek; translated into the Czech language by Anna and Diana Bašić
Other texts translated into the Czech language by Aleksandr Gotz
Translation into the English language made by Zorica Vaclav
Photographs are taken from the archive of the Association
Prepared for the Web-site by Jovanka Manzalović Šalaka

Web-site design: Senka Paunović and Igor Sivjakov – external associates