No. I.-II.

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Contents

Plagiarism in Soudobé dějiny
A Statement from the Publishers

Articles

Otomar L. Krejča
Czech Fascism, 1938-45:
Taking Stock

Pavel Šrámek
Resolve versus Loyalty:
Views and Attitudes of the Czechoslovak Army Command, 1938

Vít Smetana
Damned Commitments:
The British, the French, and the Problem of Guaranteeing the Security of Czechoslovakia after the Munich Agreement

Petr Koura
A Nearly-forgotten Legend of the Czech Resistance: Jan Smudek and German Occupation Policy

Jan Pauer
The Integration of National Identities in the Process of European Unification

Eva Irmanová
Nationalism in Hungarian-Slovak Relations:
Conflicts, Traumas, and Points in Common in the Interpretation of Nineteenth and Twentieth-century Social History

Materials

Jan Špringl
Model Youth in the Protectorate:
The Activity of the Council for the Education of Youth, 1942-45

Discussion

Eva Hahn and Hans Henning Hahn
Peter Glotz and His Picture of History

Karel Hrubý
Opposition within the Social Democratic Party in Exile: Concerning a Book by Radomír Luža

Reviews

Robert Kvaček
A Synthesis of the History of the First Czechoslovak Republic

Adéla Gjuričová
A Productive Demolishing of Myths

Jaroslav Rokoský

The Czechoslovak National Social Party in a Trap

Jirí Knapík
Ten Insights into Literature and the Régime after February 1948

Pavel Kolář
The Subtle Shackles of Cleo:
East European Historiography after the Collapse of the Iron Curtain, between Scholarly Ethos and the Legitimization of the Rulers

Vlastimil Hála
A `Post-colonial’ View of the Habsburg Myth

Jaroslav Šebek
The Church in the Nation-States of Interwar Europe

Jitka Vondrová
Pauer’s Woefully Belated Czech Premicre

Peter Švík
What is Fascism?

Marína Zavacká
Slovak Views of Russia

Jan Ružicka
A First-rate Journal on the History of the Cold War

Documents

Stanislav Kokoška
Underground Leaflets and Chain Letters Dating from the First Months of the German Occupation

Chronicle

Jaroslav Pánek
Preparations for the 20th International Congress of Historical Sciences, Sydney, 3-9 July 2005

Mečislav Borák
The Restitution of Cultural Property of Victims of the Shoah

Petr Cajthaml and Petr Blažek
Disinformation, Lies, and Slander: The Campaign against the Opposition in Czechoslovak Television, 1968-89

Radek Slabotinský
A Seminar on Forced Labour in Germany


Statement from the Publishers
Plagiarism in Soudobé dějiny

Thanks to David Pazdera of Střelecký magazín it has been brought to the attention of the Editors of Soudobé dějiny that they inadvertently published a plagiarized article in the last number of the journal. The article, "Tendenční neutralita: Československý zbrojní průmysl a italsko-habešský konflikt", appeared in Soudobé dějiny, vol. 10 (2003), nos 1-2, pp. 9-28, having been submitted by its alleged author, Abadi Woldekiros. It turns out that Woldekiros has unscrupulously submitted an article by Juraj Chmiel "Československý zbrojársky priemysel a taliansko-etiópsky konflikt", which was first published thirteen years ago in the journal Historie a vojenství (1991/2, pp. 40-64), having for the most part merely translated it from the Slovak into Czech. When deciding whether to publish this article the Editors of Soudobé dějiny proceeded as they always do, first requesting it to be refereed by an acknowledged expert on the topic.
The publishers of Soudobé dějiny deeply regret that this flagrant act of fraud was not discovered till a year after its publication and they are now taking appropriate steps against the plagiarist. Above all, however, the publishers apologize to readers of Soudobé dějiny, to the editors of Historie a vojenství, and especially to the true author of the article, Juraj Chmiel.

Articles

Czech Fascism, 1938-45:
Taking Stock

Otomar L. Krejča

In this essay the author presents an outline of Czech Fascism not as an anomaly but as a phenomenon with an international context, as one of the key ideologies and co-determinants in the dynamic of modern history. He argues that the prerequisites for the formation of Fascist attitudes and mentalities first emerged in the closing years of the eighteenth century. This eventually led to the attempt to achieve a Fascist solution to the crisis of Modernism, which was traumatically revealed by the First World War and its attendant shock to civilization. The instability of the traditional power structures when faced with the acute threat of the radical left-wing alternative enabled Fascism to grow into a mass movement seeking to establish a totalitarian state. The élites offered the Fascists power, or a share in it, in the hope of dispelling this threat without it slipping out of their control.
The marginality of the Czech Fascists, which is clearly revealed in the sketch of its development, begs the question, the author argues, of what forces limited its spread. It seems that the internal make-up of society, the genuine plurality of the `public space’, in which the cultural-intellectual dimension managed to be continually present, was more effective than the external framework provided by the State. Not even the collapse of the ethos of the First Republic after the Munich Agreement in late September 1938 and the subsequent expansion of ultra-conservative, clerical, and pro-totalitarian tendencies offered Czech Fascists greater room for manoeuvre, though they still did attempt to take power. And for those still willing to consider the Fascists an instrument to be used for their own ends, the Fascists mainly became undesired competition. The situation in the short-lived Second Republic (from after the Munich Agreement in late September 1938 to the German invasion of mid-March 1939) made clear, however, which ideas and approaches were simply of the far right and which were purely Fascist.
As the author states, at first sight the Czech Fascists, surprisingly, had not become a true force even after the country had been occupied. As before, the German side initially offered broad support to them as a means of applying pressure, achieving German aims, and keeping a supply of secret-police informers. None the less, the true participation of home-grown Fascists in the exercise of power was made impossible not only by their clear inability to ensure that the Protectorate could be functionally taken advantage of during the war, particularly as a base for production, but also their continuing ambition to become – owing to similarity of ideology – a partner instead of a mere instrument of the Occupation authorities. Dozens of Fascist groupings (chiefly ephemeral) did emerge, which the author classifies into three currents according to their main inner tendencies and their ideological orientation to unconditional opportunistic collaboration and the attempt to attain outright power. The removal of the Fascists as an organization in the Bohemian Lands was, somewhat paradoxically, carried out by the Germans themselves in connection with the adoption of a new, entirely professional line of active collaboration that substituted the purely opportunistic adoption of Nazi claims to global power, symbolized by the concept of the New Europe, for the provincial nature and anachronistic dogmatism of Czech Fascism.
The author concludes with a brief discussion of the fate of the leading Fascists, the natural limits of the attempt to bring Czech Fascists to trial after the war, and, ultimately, some of the trends that survive to this day, into which some characteristic traits of Fascist approaches to reality have been able to transform themselves. In this context it is reasonable to consider, for example, how permanent wartime mobilization entered into the life of the individual, society, and global power politics.

Resolve versus Loyalty:
Views and Attitudes of the Czechoslovak Army Command, 1938

Pavel Šrámek

The author demonstrates how the expertly argued plans and the attitudes of the top ranks of the Czechoslovak Armed Forces, which were deeply rooted in the idea of Czechoslovak statehood, clashed with the dynamic of international and Czechoslovak internal events in 1938, and were recast under their weight. In 1938 the Army command was preparing for war with Germany. It was worried that the Wehrmacht might take Czechoslovakia by surprise and might thus prevent a mobilization of Czechoslovak troops, which would make long-term defence inconceivable. Consequently, the General Staff twice proposed extraordinary military measures in the first half of 1938 (in connection with the Anschluß in March and reports about irregular movements by the Wehrmacht in May). The army did not interfere directly in talks with the German minority. In reaction to continuing appeasement by Czech politicians, however, it began to believe that the Government had over-estimated the strength of Germany; it thus tried to make it clear to the politicians that it was ready and willing to fight.
In September 1938, with war clearly in the offing, the Army command urged the politicians to pass legislation to call up the reserves and order mobilization. The Government and President Edvard Beneš were willing, in view of Czechoslovak foreign policy, to meet these demands only in part, and it was only the temporary change in the attitudes of France and Great Britain, which enabled the mobilization order.
Immediately after the signing of the Munich Agreement, the Army attempted to mitigate the extent and consequences of the German occupation as much as possible. Through its representatives in Berlin and intervention at the Foreign Ministry, the General Staff attempted to maintain influence in some strategic areas; other military leaders wanted to reverse developments even at that price of the Army taking power. Neither position succeeded.
The disastrous Czechoslovak failure in diplomacy, which barred a military solution to the conflict and prevented the Army from proving its ability to fight, brought the military élite nothing but frustration with the democratic system and distrust of it. In the period of the Second Republic, soldiers were critical of politicians, political parties, and institutions, and thus sought to strengthen the role of the Army in the State while advocating authoritarianism.

Damned Commitments:
The British, the French, and the Problem of Guaranteeing the Security of Czechoslovakia after the Munich Agreement

Vít Smetana

The article examines one of the final chapters in the history of appeasement policy before the outbreak of the Second World War. The promise of an international guarantee of the new Czechoslovak frontier, which was contained in the Anglo-French plan of 19 September 1938 and the Annex to the Munich Agreement ten days later, reflected British and to a lesser extent French belief in the possible attainment of a new European settlement. With the passage of time and further German aggression, this turned out to be a mere illusion. The growing Czechoslovak dependence on Germany made the whole concept of a practicable guarantee increasingly hypothetical. From late January British diplomacy and military planning were concerned also with what they presumed was the impending threat of a German attack on Switzerland, the Netherlands, or even Great Britain. In such circumstances commitment towards a country that was clearly in the German orbit was considered unrealistic and an unbearable burden.
The British government, however, was bound by a parliamentary declaration made by the Minister for Co-ordination of Defence, Sir Thomas Inskip, on 4 October 1938 – namely, that the government considered the British guarantee `as being now in force’. Subsequent events in Slovakia, which were instigated from Berlin and led to Slovak separation on 14 March 1939, provided the British with an opportunity to rationalize their backing out of the promised guarantee. Foreign Office documents, however, show that the guarantee was considered a `dead letter’ well before the final break-up of Czecho-Slovakia and the German occupation of the Bohemian Lands – at the latest, by the time it became clear that both Italy and Germany had no intention of taking part in a multilateral form of the guarantee. Nevertheless, the Czechoslovak tragedy functioned as a catalyst for British (and therefore also French) foreign policy, and in a fortnight it undertook another commitment in Eastern Europe, this time to Poland, which eventually did bring Britain into war.

A Nearly-forgotten Legend of the Czech Resistance:
Jan Smudek and German Occupation Policy

Petr Koura

In this biographical article the author discusses Jan Smudek, a now somewhat obscure figure of the Czechoslovak resistance to German occupation. Smudek was born in west Bohemia on 8 September 1915, attended school in the towns of Domažlice and Pilsen, and, in 1938, began to attend a technical college in the town of Kladno. He had been active in the Junák and Sokol youth organizations, which influenced his patriotism. After the Germans occupied the rump Czecho-Slovakia, Smudek joined the resistance.
First he stole a German soldier’s pistol in Prague, and used it to kill a German sergeant, Wilhelm Kniest, during a scuffle in Kladno on 8 June 1939. On the basis of archive records the author demonstrates the extraordinary importance of this affair in the early days of the Occupation. The Germans had assumed it to be a politically-motivated killing intended to provoke an anti-German uprising. Despite their widespread repressive measures in the Kladno district, the Germans failed to apprehend the culprit. Smudek continued in the resistance near his native Domažlice. His group was in touch with the military resistance group Defence of the Nation (Obrana národa) and the left-wing `We Shall Remain Faithful’ Petition Committee (Petiční výbor Věrni zůstaneme). After these two groups were exposed, the Gestapo tried to detain Smudek in March 1940, but he wounded one of their agents and escaped into the woods. Three days later, while trying to cross the frontier, he shot and killed two German inland-revenue employees.
In reprisal, 150 people in Domažlice were taken hostage and deported to the Flossenbürg concentration camp. Smudek’s acts were also censured by the Protectorate Government. A handsome reward was offered for his capture. Among the Czech population, however, Smudek became a national hero, earning the nickname "Nepolapitelný Jan" (Elusive Jan). He eventually managed to escape to Yugoslavia by way of Hungary and Slovakia, join the Czechoslovak Army abroad, and fight with it till the end of the war. His story became the subject of a film from Soviet Georgia, Uchinari Jani (Elusive Jan, 1943), and was an inspiration for the renowned American film Casablanca (1942).
After the war Smudek stood as a Czechoslovak People’s Party candidate for the National Assembly, but was not elected. Following the Communist takeover he went into exile again. After spending most of his remaining life as a private businessman in France, he returned to his native Bohemia where he died on 17 November 1999.


The Integration of National Identities in the Process of European Unification

Jan Pauer

Not only the collapse of Communism and the subsequent increase in ethnic and national conflict, but also the processes of European integration and globalization have revived the international debate about the relationship between national identity and political order. The present article is concerned with the discussion of the term `national identity’, which is currently underway in almost all the social sciences. It considers the possibilities and limits of supranational political integration in Europe in the light of U.S., Canadian, and Swiss experience with constituting political nation-states. The transformation of the European Union from an community of shared economy and law into one with a common political system demands a strengthening of the legitimacy of a supranational régime, which has hitherto been tied to the nation-state and the public. The absence of a single democratic sovereign European entity and the growth of the shortcomings of democracy in the European Union lead to conflicting conclusions in the discussion. The principal cultural-national limits of supranational integration are emphasized on the one hand, while long-term trends weakening the exclusive character of national identity, as well as the political will to its gradual expansion by way of shared democratic and constitutional practice, are emphasized on the other.

Nationalism in Hungarian-Slovak Relations:
Conflicts, Traumas, and Points in Common in the Interpretation of Nineteenth and Twentieth-century Social History

Eva Irmanová

In this article the author presents a summary of the results of a comparative analysis of selected works of historical literature by Hungarians and Slovaks, which were published between 1918 and 1985. The analysis was oriented to controversial questions of Hungarian-Slovak social history, and also considered the ideological and political development of the two national communities. The author concludes that in interpreting and judging historical events considered key by Slovak and Hungarian societies, their political élites, and historians, there exists a clear psychological incompatibility, whose roots lie in the assumed antithetical character of the national interests of these communities and in defence of their own identities.

Materials

Model Youth in the Protectorate:
The Activity of the Council for the Education of Youth, 1942-45

Jan Špringl

The Council for the Education of Youth in Bohemia and Moravia (Kuratorium pro výchovu mládeže v Čechách a na Moravě) was a totalitarian mass organization, modelled after the Hitlerjugend and with Hitlerjugend advisers having the main say in it. It was aimed at the extra-curricular education of youth from ages ten to eighteen in a spirit conforming to Nazi ideology, the war aims of the Third Reich, and Nazi ideas about the role of the Czech nation in the "New Europe". At the initiative of the German authorities of Occupation led by Deputy Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1942) and with considerable support from some Czech collaborationist groups, the Council was founded on 28 May 1942. It officially began its work on 13 March 1943 and lasted till the end of the war and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The Protectorate Minister for Schools and Education, Emanuel Moravec (1893-1945), became its Chairman. František Teuner (1910-1978), a trained physician and founder of the youth wing of the Vlajka association, was appointed its General Officer.
In this the first ever extensive discussion of the topic, the author discusses the tasks and organization of the Council. Its main activity was indoctrination of youth under the term "intellectual education", and it also organized propagandistic sporting events and cultural competitions, work brigades, and holiday camps. Towards the end of the war it organized the recruitment of Czech youth to dig anti-tank barriers in the Protectorate and the Reich. The Council created its owr territorial administration, but was actually based on a network of previously existing clubs, particularly sports clubs. In the latter half of 1944 it set up the "special action units" ("ZZ-oddíly" or "oddíly zvláštního zasazení"), which were meant to become its moral and ideological élite, mainly to deal with the aftermath of Allied air-raids.
The Council published a number of periodicals for boys and girls as well as other magazines for propaganda and instruction. The author considers in detail the intellectual education that was intended to become the main pillar of the mental transformation of the young generation. It was based on Moravec’s ideological conception, and covered four areas – history, the Reich and its organization, culture, and the `new way of life’ – it presented the youth with historical models of Czech-German coexistence under German patronage and with examples of German heroism and perfection. The functionaries of the Council sharply criticized "tramping" (hiking and camping) and "potápkovství" ("diving", an expression taken from a move in swing dancing), which were marked by a characteristic way of dressing and a loose way of living, because they saw them as decadent survivals of earlier Czechoslovak education and a threat to their own project.
The author also discusses events related to sport and the arts, which were held under the patronage of the Council, the biggest of which was "Youth Week" in July 1944.
Lastly, he considers the attitude of Czech society towards the Council, which he describes as contradictory. He argues that behind an external conformity were concealed distrust, disgust and passive resistance, which increased as the end of the war drew close. That was manifested in the fact that in the Protectorate only half of the one million youths eligible for membership actually joined. The Council did not, according to the author, succeed in its efforts to bring Czech youth totally under its control.

Discussion

Peter Glotz and His Picture of History

Eva Hahn and Hans Henning Hahn

In his commercially successful new book, Die Vertreibung Böhmen als Lehrstück (Munich, 2003), Peter Glotz presents an idiosyncratic interpretation of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Bohemian history as the prelude to the expulsion of the Bohemian Germans after the Second World War. In their discussion of Glotz and his picture of history, the authors of the present article point out not only the historically serious errors of his interpretation, but also the problem of his interpretation in the larger context of European history, which Glotz offers his readers in his latest book and other publications. The authors also consider the clear signs of Glotz’s subjectively emotional one-sidedness. They believe this has led to, among other things, his failure to understand the central problem of coming to terms with the moral aspects of the expulsion of the Germans from Eastern Europe after the Second World War. The authors of the present analysis place Glotz’s book in the Sudeten-German patriotic tradition of historical-political literature oriented towards Großdeutschland. They believe that Glotz’s inadequate approach to Czech historiography, his stereotypically disdainful judgments of the standpoints of Czech political leaders, and his negative attitude towards the system of states that was established in central Europe after the First World War are manifestations of this tradition.

Opposition within the Social Democratic Party in Exile:
Concerning a Book by Radomír Luža

Karel Hrubý

Together with émigré friends who had left Czechoslovakia after the Communist takeover in February 1948, Radomír Luža founded an opposition "reform group" within the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party in exile. The group reproached the old Social Democratic leadership with having made concessions to the Communists after the war and with being unable to part with the political conception of the National Front. The author of the present review article, who took over the leadership of the Social Democratic Party in exile in the 1980s, reproaches Luža with having painted an idealized self-portrait in his book at the expense of a credible account of the history of the Social Democratic Party in exile and thus with having inadmissibly conflated the role of eye-witness with that of historian. He also gives a critical account of Luža’s activity in intelligence gathering and diplomacy in the 1960s and late 1980s, which aimed to achieve an `historic compromise’ with the Communists and renew the 1945 status quo in Czechoslovakia.

Reviews

A Synthesis of the History of the First Czechoslovak Republic

Robert Kvaček

Zdeněk Kárník, České země v éře první republiky (1918-1938), vol. 1: Vznik, budování a zlatá léta republiky (1918-1929); vol. 2: Československo a české země v krizi a v ohrožení (1930-1935); vol. 3: O přežití a o život (1936-1938). Prague: Libri, 2000-03; 571, 577 and 803 pp.

This is a highly favourable review of Zdeněk Kárník’s three-volume history of the Bohemian Lands in the First Republic, 1918-38. The reviewer praises the author’s wide-ranging knowledge of the topic, his balanced and well-conceived approach, and his awareness of the various aspects of the history, in which, in addition to the main focus on politics, the author has left considerable space for a consideration of areas such as economics, technology, relations amongst the various nationalities of the country, and way of life.

A Productive Demolishing of Myths

Adéla Gjuričová

Jiří Suk, Labyrintem revoluce: Aktéři, zápletky a křižovatky jedné politické krize (od listopadu 1989 do června 1990). Prague: Prostor, 2003. 508 pp. Photographs, chronology of events, index of names.

The book under review, which won its author the Magnesia litera Prize in 2003, presents a detailed analysis of the changes in Civic Forum strategies for taking power and an exploration of régime-change in Czechoslovakia in 1989/90. The reviewer praises Suk’s work with primary sources, his theoretically informed and open-minded approach that avoids the pitfalls of historical determinism, his debunking of oft-repeated legends concerning the events and actors, and his uncommonly good writing style.

The Czechoslovak National Social Party in a Trap

Jaroslav Rokoský

Jiří Kocian, Československá strana národně socialistická v letech 1945-1948: Organizace, program, politika. Brno: Doplněk, 2002, 262 pp.

Veteran historian Jiří Kocian has, according to the reviewer, produced a high-quality piece of work that displays extraordinary familiarity with the sources and presents the first comprehensive treatment of the topic of the Czechoslovak National Social Party. While it does fill in glaring gaps in our knowledge, the work fails to explain the problematic sides of the past, the most important of which probably is the role that this party played in forming and maintaining the National Front, a system that paved the way to the Communist takeover. The reviewer also feels that Kocian is too benevolent in his judgment of this party.

Ten Insights into Literature and the Régime after February 1948

Jiří Knapík

Michal Bauer, Ideologie a paměť: Literatura a instituce na přelomu 40. a 50. let 20. století. Jinočany: H&H, 2003, 359 pp.

In ten thematically-related chapters the author examines the literary events and, in particular, the changes in the institutional basis of Czech literature in the early years following the Communist takeover in February 1948. The reviewer emphasizes Bauer’s detailed use of archive records and the contemporaneous press, but argues that his excessively limited range of sources (Bauer has ignored records of institutions responsible for arts and culture policy at the time) has resulted in the wobbly interpretational basis of Bauer’s overall cultural-political framework and his imprecise or incomplete account of some events. On the other hand, he sees the strong points of the author’s approach chiefly in his account of three broadly-based propaganda campaigns in the arts – `Operation Jirásek’, `The Fučík Badge’, and `Working-class Writers’.

The Subtle Shackles of Cleo:
East European Historiography after the Collapse of the Iron Curtain, between Scholarly Ethos and the Legitimization of the Rulers

Pavel Kolář

Alojz Ivanišević, Andreas Kappeler, Walter Lukan, and Arnold Suppan (eds), Klio ohne Fesseln? Historiographie im östlichen Europa nach dem Zusammenbruch des Kommunismus. Frankfurt on Main: Peter Lang, 2002, 548 pp.

The volume under review comprises critical self-reflections of East European historians comparing their academic communities with `standard’ Western scholarship, as well as commentaries on them by their West European colleagues. It constitutes the first attempt at an overall assessment of the development of historiography in eastern and central Europe after the disintegration of the Soviet bloc. On the basis of these articles and commentaries, the reviewer attempts an overall comparison of the development of institutions concerned with history, theoretical and methodological discourse, and the relationship between politics and historiography in the post-Communist half of Europe.

A `Post-colonial’ View of the Habsburg Myth

Vlastimil Hála

Johannes Feichtinger, Ursula Prutsch, and Moritz Czáky (eds), Habsburg postcolonial: Machtstrukturen und kollektives Gedächtnis. Innsbruck: Studien, 2003, 343 pp.

The reviewer first considers the term `postcolonial’ studies, which has become established to describe a wide range of approaches used in the interpretation of the histories of countries with `colonial’ pasts. The contributors to the volume take these approaches in their historical examination of the countries of Austria-Hungary. They operate, however, with the terms `internal colonialism’, `cultural hegemony of the centre’ and `suppression of the other’, in an attempt to do away the idealized picture of Austria (or Austria-Hungary), which is embodied in the `Habsburg Myth’. The tenability of `postcolonial’ views, the reviewer argues, is not always demonstrated, yet the volume as whole contributes much.

The Church in the Nation-States of Interwar Europe

Jaroslav Šebek

Hans-Christian Maner and Martin Schulze Wessel (eds), Religion im Nationalstaat zwischen den Weltkriegen 1918-1939: Polen – Tschechoslowakei – Ungarn – Rumänien (Forschungen zur Geschichte und Kultur der östlichen Mitteleuropa, vol. 16). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2002, 220 pp.

In three thematic blocks this volume explores denominational disputes during the formation of the successor states of Austria-Hungary and the relations between Church and State, or society and religion, in each of these countries in the interwar period. All the contributions, the reviewer says, point to the close link between political developments and shifts in the sphere of religion and the Church, as well as, in some cases, its symbiosis with the growing far right. In addition to the conflict between the universal institution of the Churches and the new ethnic boundaries, the clear national identification of the Churches was no exception either.

Pauer’s Woefully Belated Czech Premiere

Jitka Vondrová

Jan Pauer, Praha 1968: Vpád Varšavské smlouvy. Pozadí – plánování – provedení. Trans. from the German by Milada Kouřimská and Milan Kouřimský. Prague: Argo, 2004, 358 pp.

The chief shortcoming of the book under review is that it reflects what experts knew about the Warsaw Pact intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968 back when it was first published, in German, in 1993. Since that time Pauer has not brought the story up to date, although a great many documents and articles have been published since then. Some of the conclusions presented in the work under review are badly in need of revision. One of the strong points of this volume, according to the reviewer, is the analysis of attitudes of the leaders in the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact states, as well as the detailed description of the first days of the August occupation. On the other hand, Pauer almost entirely neglects Czechoslovak internal political developments.

What is Fascism?

Peter Švík

Noël O’Sullivan, Fašismus. Trans. by Tamara Váňová and Ivo Lukáš. Brno: Centrum pro studium demokracie a kultury, 2002, 222 pp.

The reviewer of the Czech translation of Noël O’Sullivan’s Fascism (first published in 1983) is impressed by the author’s non-ideological, logically consistent theory of Fascism. That, argues the reviewer, has enabled the author to trace the roots of Fascism, surprisingly, back even to the `emancipating’ ideas that have been forming Western civilization since the French Revolution. The chief feature of Fascism, he believes, is the `activist style of politics’.

Slovak Views of Russia

Marína Zavacká

Dagmar Čierna-Lantayová, Pohľady na východ: Postoje k Rusku v slovenskej politike 1934-1944. Bratislava: Veda, 2002, 265 pp.

On the basis of contemporaneous press reports and diplomatic records the author, according to the reviewer, gives a skilful account of the changes in the way Soviet Russia was perceived by the Slovak élite in the ten years from just before the Soviet-Czechoslovak mutual assistance pact of 1935, through the German-Soviet Pact of 1939, to the state of war between the Slovak State and the USSR from 1939 to 1945. The reviewer points out the radical changes in the opinions of some politicians and intellectuals, and recommends the book as a sensitive probe into the history of modern Slovak political thought and mentality.

A First-rate Journal on the History of the Cold War

Jan Růžička

Journal of Cold War Studies (JCWS)

The author provides a profile of this American journal devoted to the history of the Cold War. Since it was launched in 1999, he writes, the journal has gained a considerable international reputation. He discusses some of the single-topic numbers of the journal (including the end of the Cold War, the break-up of the Soviet Union, and arts and culture during the Cold War), the particularly interesting articles, and the important discussions found in its pages, especially, he feels, the one about the foreign policy of Charles de Gaulle.

Documents

Underground Leaflets and Chain Letters Dating from the First Months of the German Occupation

Stanislav Kokoška

This volume contains ten underground leaflets (including two satirical poems), which were disseminated in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia from March to July 1939. In the introduction the Editor puts the leaflet activity into the context of resistance to the Occupation as well as the security measures of the German authorities and the Protectorate Government.

Chronicle

Preparations for the 20th International Congress of Historical Sciences, Sydney, 3-9 July 2005

Jaroslav Pánek

The International Congress of Historical Sciences is organized every five years by the International Committee of Historical Sciences. In this report the author discusses its work and the upcoming congress in Sydney, Australia, and attaches a list of the three big topics planned for discussion (`Humankind and Nature in History’, `Myth and History’, `War, Peace, Society, and International Order in History’), the twenty-six specialized topics, and twenty round-table discussions. Further information on the Congress can be obtained by going to their website at www.cishsydney2005.org or
http://faculty.edfac.usyd.edu.au/projects/ische/index.php?p=cish.

The Restitution of Cultural Property of Victims of the Shoah

Mečislav Borák

A conference called `The Lost Heritage of Cultural Assets: Documentation, Identification, Restitution, and Repatriation of Cultural Assets of Victims of the Second World War’ was held in the Museum of Decorative Arts, Brno, in November 2003. It was organized by the Centre for the Documentation of Property Transfers of the Cultural Assets of Victims of the Second World War, which is part of the Institute of Contemporary History, Prague. The author of the current report describes the work of the Centre and the proceedings of the conference.
In connection with the extensive international initiative for the restitution of Nazi-confiscated artwork to their original owners or owners’ heirs, which was developed in the 1990s and which the Czech Republic took part in, the Centre was established at the initiative of a government commission. Its activity consists primarily in the gathering, analysis, and synthesis of information for the needs of state institutions and NGOs, and also for tracking down missing art. Additional information about the Centre is available on their website: www.centrum.usd.cas.cz.
The Brno conference was attended by representatives of state institutions and NGOs from a number of countries, as well as by historians, lawyers, politicians, representatives of Jewish communities, auction houses, civil servants, archivists, art historians, and journalists. The author of the report gives brief summaries of all the papers given there and of the most important comments during the discussions, which were heard in the following four panels. The first panel was concerned with research methods and approaches to work, as well as a comparison of research in various countries. The second panel discussed restitution procedures in individual countries. The third examined international collaboration in tracking down works of art, and discussed means of communication and information exchange amongst the individual centres. The fourth panel was concerned with procedures for restitution, individual cases, and other means of communication.

Disinformation, Lies, and Slander:
The Campaign against the Opposition in Czechoslovak Television, 1968-89

Petr Cajthaml and Petr Blažek

The authors report on a lecture series about the use of television as a medium of disinformation in public campaigns against opponents of the Communist régime. A series of lectures was held in the Institute of Czech History at Charles University, Prague, in the summer of 2004, to gether with the projection of documentary films made for television.

A Seminar on Forced Labour in Germany

Radek Slabotinský

The author reports on a seminar of historians from the Czech Republic, Germany, and Slovakia, which was held in the Central State Archives, Prague, in April 2004. The seminar, the proceedings of which are soon to be published, was linked with an exhibition on forced labour for the Third Reich, which was also held in the Archives.


 


Demokratická revoluce 1989 Československo 1968.cz Němečtí odpůrci nacismu v Československu výzkumný projekt KSČ a bolševismus Disappeared Science

Obrazové aktuality




European Remembrance Symposium in Prague (9-11 April 2014): Europe between War and Peace 1914–2004

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