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(en) Czech, AFED: Anniversary of Michal Kácha [machine translation]

Date Sat, 16 May 2020 10:17:55 +0300

On May 12, we commemorate 80 years since the death of the Prague anarchist and co-founder of the Czech Anarchist Federation, Michal Kácha. ---- We wrote about Kách, for example, HERE , HERE or HERE, and today we would like to remind this important personality of the movement with a short memorial text and a few rare photographs. Above all, probably a hitherto unpublished photograph of the 62-year-old Kácha from 1936, ie a few years before his death. ---- We have also prepared for download (in PDF and versions for e-book readers and similar devices: EPUB or MOBI ) a now sold-out pocket brochure dedicated to this unforgettable figure, published by the Anarchist Federation in 2015.
The following excerpt is from the memory of journalist and novelist Emil Vachek, which was published in 1961 in the magazine Plamen (vol. 3, no. 7, pp. 62-65) under the title "Kácha, Hašek and the Others". Emil Vachek came from Hradec Králové and found himself in Prague as a seventeen-year-old enthusiastic anarchist in 1906.

Vlasta Borek led me to Michal Kách. Kacha was never alone, as all the apostles were always surrounded by people. This time, however, Antonín Boucek was with him; this "of course" has its meaning, because Boucek, a typical homeless man, orphaned after Neumann's departure for Vienna, was baked boiled in the Práce editorial office without actually helping her, because he was more a man of spoken words - and goodness - than written words. Kách's friend Marie Müllerová was also present, a woman according to whom I still imagine revolutionaries. Later, she took me, Benjamin, as a mother.

Kacha, a man rather small than of medium build, slender and graceful, disheveled red hair and equally colored beards, with small but eternally laughing eyes, later my kind protector, half older brother, half father, was, as I knew, heart and engine. his retinue. Because Kácha did not editor-in-chief: he lived in a leaf and in his co-workers, he enjoyed it richly and with love, his unfading activity pulsating in him like blood in his body. The work was created by the whole team at the time, of course, but Kácha was the one who kept the guard uninterrupted and aimed the cannons in the right places. The work itself was a magazine that had little in common with the term "magazine" common in our country. Not a magazine that is "made". The work was like a traveling pulpit, an impromptu meeting of the people, and sometimes a street where wounds were planted.

Characterizing Kácha, a personality that is extraordinarily flexible in a spiritual sense - on the outside he looked rather casual - still shattered by an idea and tenaciously executing it, is not a toy. I am almost tempted to write that he was a noble, chosen democrat. The label "selectness" actually belonged to his entire group, culminating in it only in an original and almost inaccurate way. Originally a shoemaker. and the need to fight for it, this shoemaker's apostle took a step behind us; for he feared that he would be considered an authority and a leader.

Details sometimes characterize better than long explanations. Once, when he was to sit for a press offense, they told him that he could take a single book to prison. Without embarrassment, he chose Sabatier's work on St. Francis of Assisi. He later lent it to me. She was beautiful, poetic and matter-of-fact, as the French can do. The anarchist Kácha, who was in favor of "direct action", loved a saint who recommended not only absolute poverty but also boundless humility. But the points of contact could not be overlooked. Kácha and his more famous predecessors despised property, both were rioters against the lords, Kácha cheerfully fighting, St. Francis humble; and they both promoted it, believed it more, by all means.

The last time I saw this anarchist Hans Sachs,[1]was rummaging through a bookstore in Spálená Street in the bibliophiles with the expression of a man who was happy with them, though not money, so that he could buy them. I remember his inconspicuous, almost playful performance, his organizational passion. He acted a lot and wrote little. It should be added that he had a great, sometimes immense influence on people and that he was loved by them, and surprisingly by those about whom his favorite song Karmanola[2]sang, that it must be, to hang all the townspeople! At the same time, he was unable to harm anyone. His fortnightly was of a very high standard. He worked on it with his party day and night. And when the number was done, we put the prints still smelling of printing black into the tapes, carried them to the post office and all the way from the Eagle's Nest, as it was called his apartment-editorial office in Cimburkova street in Žižkov, we threw them into the open windows of the homes of the poor. Sometimes we also wore them to meetings of the Social Democrats and national workers, and we exported them there.

They called us anarchists, we called ourselves that. What exactly was anarchism? In my eyes, it meant the right to an unfettered free life; I loved this right without peace and so quite relentlessly I believed with Rousseau that a person is extremely good, that I once, still in Hradec, persuaded a young, intelligent gendarme to join us...

[1]Hans Sachs (1494-1576) was a German poet and playwright, a trained shoemaker. He was famous for his great skill and his efforts to broaden the cultural horizon of broad readers. For a sharp anti-church satire, he was temporarily forbidden to publish.

[2]Caramel is a brisk, sarcastic and intensely revolutionary anonymous song from the time of the French Revolution. It spread in 1792 after the removal of King Louis XVI and became the anthem of the armed sansculotts. Her text describes the fate of the monarch and his wife Marie Antoinette. Napoleon Bonaparte forbade the singing of Karmanola.


1) In the perex Photograph of Michal Kácha with his signature and date December 29, 1936

2) Elisabeta (Liesl) Deutschová (born 1901, the last report about her is from 1941 in connection with the deportation to Lód)) in Kách's bookstore in the center of Prague, photo sometime from the turn of the 30s and 40s

3) Official approval of Elisabeta Deutschová as Michal Kácha's deputy in the operation of his bookshop trade on 11 May 1938

4) Attendance list from the preface of the CAF Congress in December 1912 (Kách's signature under number 16)

5)... and the Austro-Hungarian repressive color, inextricably accompanying anarchists on their path to freedom

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