PhDr. Marie Rút Křížková

PhDr. Marie Rút Křížková

(born 1936)

Passed her leaving exams in 1955 at the Pedagogic School in Liberec, in 1962 she begun a distance study at the Faculty of Philosophy in Prague in the programme Czech Language – Pedagogy. She graduated in December 1968 and in 1991 she received a doctorate in Philosophy. She worked as a teacher, tutor, editor, specialist at the Terezin Memorial and at the Central Bohemian Gallery in Prague, between 1976 – 1980 as a forest worker, since 1981 as a mail sorter. After 1989 she has been an external proof-reader for the Respekt magazine, then a lector of literature at the Jabok College of Social Pedagogy and Theology in Prague (1993-2001).

The StB (State Security) took an interest in her already in August 1968, when she repeatedly protested against the invasion and occupation by Warsaw Pact troops in the Liberec Radio. On 13th January 1977 she signed the Charter 77 with a public statement against the article Ztroskotanci a samozvanci (The Shipwrecked and Self-appointed), which was published in the Rudé právo (Red law) newspaper. From 2nd February 1983 until 6th January 1984 she has been one of the three spokespersons of the Charter 77. She cooperated with the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted and on 15th October she signed the manifesto of the Civic Freedom Movement and was active in its Christian-democratic wing. Between 1994 and 2006 she was a member and eventually the chair of the committee of the literary competition for poets under 22 years of age Ortenova Kutná Hora, where she established the “First Book” edition, which still publishes poetic debuts of awarded authors. She is also a member of the Czech Christian Academy since its establishment in 1990 and is still active in the Society of Christians and Jews, which she co-founded after the fall of the totalitarian regime.

IN the 70s and 80s she was forbidden to publish her works. In the samizdat edition Kvart by Jan Vladislav she published her study Jiří Orten, a Poet of Death and Love (1978) and in the same year the anthology Is My Homeland a Wall of Ghettoes? (co-authors Kurt Jiří Kotouč and Zdeněk Ornest), which was only printed much later in 1995 by the publisher Aventinum in a Czech, German and English version. In 1995 this book received the American National Award for the best work on holocaust in New York and the Golden Ribbon in Prague for the best book dealing with the topic of the youth.

She also received awards for her own works, namely the publication Life as a Sign – Dialogues with Josef Zvěřina (Prague, Zvon 1995 and 1996) and the book Testimony, Which Could Not Be Told (Torst 2007) in the Lidové noviny newspaper poll.

She started compiling the works of Jiří Orten as an editor during her university studies, in the years 1966-1968 she published three books of unpublished prose by Jiří Orten at the v Severočeské nakladatelství publishing house in Liberec. Between 1992 and 2002 she published seven of the nine planned books of the Jiří Orten Works at the Československý spisovatel, Mladá fronta a Paseka publishing houses.

Currently she cooperates with the Natural School Gymnasium in Prague on its project “Take Over the Terezín Baton!“

On 10th April 2012 the Ministry of Defence has awarded her the status of a participant in the anti-communist resistance and opposition.

She is the founder of the Society of Christians and Jews and actively participates in its activities.

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