How Socialism became meaningful: Individual (re)interpretations of ideology and their impact on the stability of socialist rule in Czechoslovakia after 1953

The great hopes, many Czechs and Slovaks had pinned on the socialist system in 1948, only a few years later already had been disappointed deeply. Social, economic and not to forget political crises had made people aware of the weaknesses of Socialism and called into question its legitimacy massively. Nonetheless, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia could succeed in stabilizing its rule over the course of the fifties.

This lecture wants to shed light on this phenomenon, which at first sight appears quite paradoxically. With analysing written appeals and complaints to various party and state institutions it explores, how individuals tried to render their lives meaningful by harnessing parts of socialist ideology and how the negotiation of these interpretations with the regime could stabilize socialist rule in the 1950s. Besides developments like the Currency Reform of 1953 and the Secret Speech of Nikita Khrushcev in 1956, which questioned socialist rule in its entirety, the lecture will address also the importance of ‘non-politic’ topics like individual leisure activities.

S přednáškou vystoupí: Sebastian Lambertz (Universität zu Köln), s komentářem: Matěj Spurný (ÚSD AV ČR)

Seminář k soudobým dějinám

27. června 2018 v 16 hodin, studovna ÚSD, Vlašská 9, Praha 1

Tematické weby