František Alexandr Zach was born on May 1, 1807 in Olomouc, but from an early age he grew up in Brno, where his father owned an important inn U Černého orla – today it is a drugstore in Orlí Street. The family lived in Bašty, and in addition to spending his youth in Brno, Zach also went on holiday here during his service at the Military Academy in Belgrade and returned here in retirement.
But back to youth. František graduated from grammar school and law in Vienna, at that time one of the most discussed topics among students was the national issue. As Brno reminds us in the list of important personalities, he then joined the Brno City Hall for judicial practice, and subsequently for the Znojmo City Hall.
He served only briefly because an uprising broke out in Poland, which he decided to take part in. He went to fight secretly and without documents, but before he got to Krakow after the ups and downs, it was after the fight. This gesture of sympathy for the Poles stood in his place, for trying to get the national resistance to accept him back from the Habsburg authorities.
The clerk became an agent
Emigration to France, where he participates in the Polish national movement, solved it. And they remained in the resistance, even though, after five years, at the urging of her sister Amalia, she returned home. The police came to his plan to establish a secret society in support of the Slavic nations, so he set out again for France and from there in 1843 to Belgrade.
This path is crucial. He enters the secret services here and his career as an agent and later as a soldier is outlined. He returned to his homeland five years later at the Slavonic Congress, where he wrote a program in the spirit of Austroslavism, a political concept to solve the problems of the Slavs in the Austrian Empire, in the mid-19th century in Austria-Hungary widespread, especially among Czech liberals. It was first designed by Karel Havlíček Borovský. And the congregation accepted them.
He left Prague for Slovakia to take part in the fighting against the Hungarians. In this way, he gained crucial experience with combat and strategies, so when he was taken to Belgrade for convalescence, he is already clear about his measurements and is setting up here and running a military school, from which he becomes a center of resistance.
“He headed for over twenty years and trained young and well-trained personnel of Serbian army officers who were more willing to lay down their lives for the Czech general in Serbian service than for their ruler,” historian Zbyněk Miloš Duda described for the Historical Kaleidoscope.
The war deprived him of his leg
According to him, it was in the Serbian services that Zach achieved the absolute greatest diplomatic and military triumph in life, as he was fully committed to the transformation – and protection – of a backward autonomous Serbia into a modern monarchist constitutional state.
Zacha describes him as an exceptional and exceptionally educated man who moved with incredible prowess in the military, diplomatic and transport conditions of the time, enjoyed recognition and confidence in political, military and social circles, where he was accepted and awarded by virtually all European monarchs. and Prime Ministers. “Nevertheless, he remained primarily a Czech-Moravian Austrian and, above all, a faithful Slav,” he points out.
Zach did not experience a real war until the end of his military career, in 1876, when as a general he commanded even the most difficult phases of the Serbian-Turkish war. But he was wounded and his leg was amputated because of the scab. During the next Turkish war, he stayed in a military camp, but no longer participated in the command. Six years later he was retired and returned to Brno.
Despite opposition to the monarchy, the emperor appreciated him
In poor January 14, 1892. “Although he used to be a strong opponent of Austria in his youth, Emperor and King Francis Joseph I managed to be truly generous to him, not only pardoning him, accepting him into a private audience four times, and eventually honoring him, but the last honor of the supreme commander of the c. and k. Austro-Hungarian army. He left for eternity with ostentatious military honors, which were shown exclusively to the highest Austrian field marshals, lieutenants and generals, “adds historian Duda.
In Brno, it is named Zachova Street and has a memorial plaque on the house in Baštách 4. The region also awards the František Zach Award to personalities who have excelled in the field of Czech-Serbian relations.
Brňan Zdeněk Cikrdle is trying to dust off Zach’s legacy. When there was a child, the general was talked about at home. He searched for more and understood – his great-grandmother was behind free Zach. But he did not prove a family connection.
“My dad was just trying to get me interested in history,” he says, adding that Zach has enormous potential as a person of European significance and character.
“He was in contact with Palacký, Rieger, Kajetán Tyl. He was not an adventurer, but a very respected person, “explains Cikrdle, who wants to organize František’s sports events in the future using the theme of Alexander Zach.