Fráňa Kučera (1897-1929)

Although he worked as a mining supervisor in the Březové Hory Mines, he contributed to the bloom of Příbram cultural life as a writer and a poet. "There is a poet of the county, a poet of the Březové Hory Mines, a poet of the Brdy region," said Václav Palivec about him.

František Serafinský Václav Kučera was born on September 11, 1897 in Příbram V. / 88, which means in today's Podlesí. He grew up as the youngest member of the family together with his mother, Terezia Kučerová, and his four siblings. He had never seen his father, František Kučera, a scribe, a cottager and a miner of Březové Hory. He had died in the shaft before he was born, alike his uncles, grandfathers and others of their lineage.

Even as a child, he seemed extraordinarily bright and incisive, constantly thinking and mediating on something, so mentally mature and level-headed for his age compared to others. Yet he doesn´t remember the school at that time in a good light. In his memoires he recalls the wrong, the injustice, his suffering at school, as well as finding his comfort back at home in the cottage looking at his weary mother, which led him to his strong resolution to go on with his life and help others.

After finishing his studies at the local school at the age of 14, he started as a miner in the preparation plant of the Březové Hory Mines.

Fráňa Kučera loved nature, the close forest under Dubová hora (Oak Mountain) most of all. He was also increasingly developing an interest in literature in which he reflected his feelings about the mining environment full of noisy machines, numerous casualties and the air filled with sulphur and arsenic. At the age of 21, František was recommended to study at a two-year mining school to educate mining supervisors in Příbram by his superiors, who recognized his talents.

He was appealed by proletarian poetry and liked the verses of Czech poets Jiří Wolker and Josef Hora. He was also influenced by the strong tradition of Petr Bezruč and František Sokol-Tůma. The poets of his hometown, e.g. Toman, Sezima and Svoboda, were among his favourite writers. Kučera published his poems, short stories and epigrams for the first time in the local social-democratic magazine Naše obrana (Our Defence).

Later he became even more involved in cultural life: he set up libraries, collected graphic sheets, held theatre performances, lectured on mining traditions in the Příbram region, met young people who were of a similar mindset and subsequently formed a small literary circle. Their meetings and literary outputs influenced and developed the literary life of Příbram while motivating others. Příbram was experiencing a happy cultural period at that time.

Almost daily, the young miner was looking out for his friends impatiently from the back of his reserved table and black coffee from the Prague Cafe in Příbram, which became the site of regular meetings of the Fraňa’s group.

In 1929, Fráňa Kučera became ill. At first it seemed to be the tonsillitis, which he would recover from soon. However, the fevers did not pass, the poet withered breathing poorly and losing weight. The mining diseases, tuberculosis and rheumatism, also appeared. He was only 31 years old when he died.



SRCHOVÁ, Martina. Fráňa Kučera a literární skupina Druza. Pilsen, 2010. Diploma work. Pedagogical faulty of University of West Bohemia in Pilsen