In the winter of 1949, when he was barely eighteen, František Zahrádka helped eleven people escape to freedom through the Šumava mountains. His life motto is: Always fight evil in any form.
The son of an Italian legionnaire, Zahrádka was born on 30th October 1930 in Děčín. During the war he lived on the South Bohemian border and when the war ended, he joined a Boy Scout troop in České Budějovice. A few years later, he actively participated in subversive Scout activities – helping people cross borders, printing forbidden materials and distributing flyers. In December 1949, Zahrádka was arrested and almost received a death sentence, but instead was imprisoned for many years.
Zahrádka served his sentence in the uranium mines, laboring in inhumane conditions to mine radioactive ore. After his release in 1962, he had nowhere to go, as both of his parents had died while he was in prison. Zahrádka remained in the uranium mines in Příbram, working as an electrician until his retirement.
In 1968, he helped create the political club K 321 in Příbram. After the revolution he co-founded the Příbram branch of the Confederation of Political Prisoners. He also helped open the Museum of the Third Resistance and War Memorial near Příbram, which is dedicated to the victims of communism. Zahrádka has received many honors for his heroic actions, including the Medal of T. G. Masaryk.
The Faithful I Remain website captures authentic and unique testimonies from witnesses of Palach’s sacrifice and presents fascinating stories from people who were inescapably affected by political trials, Soviet occupation and the subsequent “normalization”.
We invited publicly known figures to share their recollections of an historic and challenging time, resulting in a series of interviews full of intimate memories, experiences and impressions that illustrate critical turning points in the period of Communist rule.
The website was created by 2FRESH for HBO Europe s. r. o. to support the Burning Bush, a three-part drama from world-renowned Polish director Agnieszka Holland.The project was completed with assistance from the Prague City Council and Mayor of Prague MUDr. Bohuslav Svoboda.
HBO Europe's three-part drama Burning Bush, directed by world-renowned Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, premiered on the HBO film channel on 27th January 2013.
Both the most extensive and ambitious project in the history of HBO Europe, the film recalls a period of Czech modern history which had been ignored in Czech cinema until now.
The film begins with the reconstruction of the shocking act of Jan Palach, who set himself on fire on 16 January 1969 in protest against the Soviet occupation
The story follows the young lawyer who represents Jan Palach’s mother against an influential Communist official and serves to describe the transformation of the Czechoslovak society at the time – from the silent protest culminating at Palach’s burial to growing resignation and the upcoming period of “normalization.”