Božena Komárková is an important representative of the Brno Protestant dissent. She was born on the 28th of January, 1903, in Tišnov, but her studies brought her to Brno, where she stayed until the end of her life. After graduation, she studied Philosophy, History and Geography at the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University. Professionally she worked most of her life as a secondary school teacher in several places in Moravia. After the occupation of Czechoslovakia, she joined an anti-Nazi resistance group: Obrana Národa, but in 1940 she was arrested and imprisoned until the end of the war. In 1945 she returned to Brno, where she continued her pedagogical activities. In autumn 1948, she was forced to change school because of ideologic reasons, then had to leave the profession as a teacher and became a librarian at the State Pedagogical Library, where she was released at the end of 1951. Since 1952, due to serious health problems caused by war prisoners, she had been paid as an invalidity pensioner.
In addition to her pedagogical activities, Komárková obtained a doctorate degree at the beginning of 1948. The Habilitation theses was written during the next year, and defended in 1992, in Brno. Among Komárková´s works, the most important, belonging to the ‘Sekularizovaný svět a evangelium, Původ a významný lidských práv, Lidská práva’ (‘Origin and Significance of Human Rights’), where she reflected on the development of modern society and the inalienability of human rights from a Christian point of view. This trend was also evident in its efforts to revive the theological and ecclesiological foundations of the Českobratrské církve evangelické (Evangelical Church of the Brethren), within the New Reconstruction stream. The result of these activities is a book called Zásady Českobratrské církve evangelické (Principles of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren).
Božena Komárková represents the Protestant stream of cultural opposition. Already in the early 1950s, she organised secretive seminars for members of the abolished YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association). She joined these activities after the signing of Charter 77; her apartment became one of the most important centres of the Brno dissent, which was especially Christian-oriented. She also published her texts in samizdat or in exile publishing houses.
Božena Komárková was awarded several times in her life for her dissent and intellectual work. In 1982 she received an honorary Doctorate of Theology at the University of Basel, in 1991 the Order of T. G. Masaryk, a year later the gold medal of Masaryk University, in 1993 the medal of Charles University too. She died on the 27th of January, 1997, in Brno.
Brno, Czech Republic
- Tišnov, Czech Republic
- Božena Komárková Collection at the Moravian Museum
- Czech Exile Collection at Libri Prohibiti
- Czech Samizdat Collection at Libri Prohibiti
- Jan Tesař Collection at the Moravian Museum
- Jan Trefulka Collection at the Moravian Museum
- Jiří Ruml Collection
- Samizdat Collection of Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
- Václav Havel Library
- Nečasová, Denisa
Cerman, Ivo. 2013. "Božena Komárková: odboj, disent a lidská práva." Paměť a dějiny. Revue pro studium totalitních režimů 7, No. 4: 27-39.
Vydrář, Josef, and Milena Šimsová. 1992. "Bibliografie Boženy Komárkové 1923-1992." Křesťanská revue 59, No. 4: 90-93.