Research Group on the History of Minorities
The research group deals with the historical development and the present situation of variously defined minority communities (ethnic, national, language, religious, etc.) in Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. It studies problems concerning minority populations and the relationship of the majority of society with minorities in the period between 1938 and 1989 in all-European political, social and cultural contexts. It analyses the situation of both the original historical minorities and newly developing minorities in the Czech lands; it describes and analyses the processes and events connected with the status of minority communities (forced and voluntary migrations, the restriction of minority rights after the Second World War, their gradual emancipation in the 1960s, and their status during the so-called Normalisation and after 1989); it documents the anti-Semitism, intolerance and xenophobia towards minorities in Czechoslovakian and Czech society.
Furthermore, the department’s research focuses on the question of changes in the state’s attitude towards minority groups. This question is important for understanding the gradual social and political changes in Czechoslovakia during the twentieth century. The research also takes into account the changes in minorities’ status in neighbouring countries and in the Soviet Union, which was the vital source for the political treatment of minorities after 1945.
The research group cooperates with research institutions and universities with interests in similar research areas, both in the Czech Republic and elsewhere, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe (Slovakia, Latvia, Poland, Russia and Ukraine)