Historický ústav akademie věd České republiky, v. v. i.

roč. 21, 2013, č. 2



Nábožensko-filozofické kořeny sociálního myšlení a jeho přijetí v české společnosti
[The religious and philosophical roots of social thinking and its reflection in Czech society]
s. 1–29

Andrej TÓTH
Druhé parlamentní volby v poválečném Maďarsku v roce 1922 – usměrnění volebního práva ve prospěch Bethlenovy vládní Jednotné strany
[Second parliamentary election in postwar Hungary in 1922 – adaptation of the electoral law in favor of Bethlen’s ruling United Party]
s. 31–80

Vystěhovalectví z Československa do Austrálie v podmínkách světové hospodářské krize (1929–1932)
[Emigration from Czechoslovakia to Australia under the conditions of Great Depression (1929–1932)]
s. 81–100

Foreign Office, britské vyslanectví v Praze a sudetoněmecká otázka v roce 1937
[The Foreign Office, the British Legation in Prague, and the Sudetengerman question in 1937]
s. 101–130

Валентина В. МАРЬИНА
«Народная демократия»: рождение, развитие и реализация идеи (1935–1948 гг.)
[“People’s democracy”: the emergence, evolution and implementation of the idea (1935–1948)]
s. 131–161

Židovská emigrace z druhé republiky (říjen 1938 – březen 1939)
[Jewish emigration from the Second Czechoslovak Republic (October 1938 – March 1939)]
s. 163–183

Jaroslav MILLER
Divadelní aktivity českého exilu v Austrálii, 1948–1989
[Theatrical performances of Czech exiles in Australia, 1948–1989]
s. 185–203


Jindřich DEJMEK
Dokumenty o aktivitách československých velvyslanců ve Francii a v Itálii v době sovětské invaze do ČSSR v srpnu 1968 (Nové prameny k mezinárodním aspektům srpna 1968 – II)
[Documents on the activities of Czechoslovak ambassadors to France and Italy following the Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia in August 1968 (New sources to the international aspects of the invasion in August 1968 – II)]
s. 223–238


Odborná konferencia „M. R. Štefánik a čs. zahraničné vojsko (légie)“
[Scientific conference “M.R. Štefánik and the Czechoslovak foreign army (legions)”]
(Ferdinand Vrábel)
s. 233–235


The religious and philosophical roots of social thinking and its reflection in Czech society

Since the ancient times relevant ideas and efforts have been observed in the spiritual field that are related to what has been known since the Enlightenment Era as philosophy of history and that are closely linked to the democratization efforts and the social progress in western civilization. As to the Czech milieu, both external and internal spiritual factors intertwined here. The relevant religious and philosophical concepts are unevenly interconnected in the history of western civilization. T.G. Masaryk saw a permanent solution to the social pr
oblems in an uninterrupted process of remedying and improving work, in solving the problems in compliance with the major needs of the whole society and not to the detriment of minorities. That means striving for justice and equality, or rather eliminating major social inequalities and raising the general level of society in all important fields of human existence. Democracy could provide, as Masaryk believed, a higher level of these values than other systems. With its principle of justice, equality, universal right to good education and to quality culture, with its respect for the needs and possibilities of the community and its stress laid on moral values both in politics and economy, it totally differed from the political and economic liberalism with its individualism and specific concept of rights that rather atomized society instead of uniting it, with its concept of unlimited competition and freedom destroying those who were weaker, and its concept of government preferring the interests of entrepreneurs and corporations to those of the working people and lower classes. Totally unacceptable for Masaryk was also the collectivist communism that totally denied the rights of the individual. The idea of “welfare state” (socially decent state) spreading in the West as of the 1950s and originating in the democratic struggle with communism was a successful culmination of the social efforts in the previous two centuries. Following the fall of communism the concept was abandoned in favor of profits of globalizing corporations and in the interest of private profit of individuals. That is why it is necessary to go back to the historical roots of social thinking, to social experience and to the sources of the concept of democracy that the social ideas grew from, and to learn how to efficiently protect and enforce their legitimacy in specific conditions and contexts. This is a highly demanding, yet unavoidable challenge to historians.
Keywords: History, philosophy, social thinking, welfare state, Czech Lands

Andrej TÓTH
Second parliamentary election in postwar Hungary in 1922 – adaptation of the electoral law in favor of Bethlen’s ruling United Party

Count István Bethlen, author of the final internal consolidation of postwar Hungary, professed the democratic civic parliamentarism but he favored its political regulation so that the share of the individual social groups in the political administration of the country could be directed. He subordinated to that principle also the new adaptation of the right to vote from autumn 1919 that was standardized only at the level of a government decree, and therefore it was expected that it would be regulated in form of a law in the course of the two years (1920–1922) of term of office of the first National Assembly. But that was not in Bethlen’s interest because he expected its noticeable curtailment from the adaptation of the right to vote. The Prime Minister’s aim was to enforce the new adaptation of the right to vote, completely in compliance with his idea, only at the level of a government decree again, so that he did not have to seek consensus among parties in the National Assembly. Bethlen succeeded in achieving that aim and the second postwar Parliamentary election, taking place in May and June 1922, could be based on the right to vote passed only in form of a government decree again. The right to vote reduced markedly the number of legitimate voters. The new adaptation of the right to vote from March 1922 introduced the education census again and increased the minimum age of women for getting the right to vote from the original 24 to 30 years. But the most essential step back consisted in the re-introduction of the public way of voting in most electoral districts, affecting up to 74% of legitimate voters. Therefore the number of legitimate voters from 1920, amounting to 3 133 094, dropped to 2 381 598 in 1922, which constituted a decrease by 24 %.
Keywords: History, 20th century, politics, Hungary, parliamentary elections

Emigration from Czechoslovakia to Australia under the conditions of Great Depression (1929–1932)

Most of the Czechs and Slovaks living in Australia during the existence of the First Czechoslovak Republic immigrated into that continent after the First World War. They were mostly doing manual work.
The study offers an insight into the life of first Czech and Slovak immigrants in Australia during the First Czechoslovak Republic and concentrates primarily on the period from the late 1920s to the early 1930s when their life was strongly affected by the international Great Depression. After the hard beginnings in the new milieu most of the Czechoslovak immigrants could eventually make a good career there. Many of them started working in agriculture, mostly in private land-cultivating business. Their conditions of life in Australia were very hard and it became soon clear that they had not reckoned with so harsh conditions before leaving for Australia. The worst period of time for them was the turn of the 1920s as many of them lost their jobs. Many emigrants returned back to Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak Foreign Office tried to monitor the general living conditions in the countries where Czechs and Slovaks lived. The Office paid special attention to the social and economic conditions in Australia in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. Detailed information on the situation in Australia was sent to Czechoslovakia.  Starting from the end of the 1920s emigration was not recommended.  The bad situation started to improve in the latter half of the 1930s.
Keywords: History, 20th century, Australia, Czechoslovakia, emigration, Great Depression

The Foreign Office, the British Legation in Prague, and the Sudetengerman question in 1937

The views of Great Britain and its Foreign Office concerning the relation between the Czech and the German ethnic population in Czechoslovakia were rather optimistic after World War I and in the 1920s and 1930s. In the latter half of 1930s, however, there was a change consisting in a shift from the positive toward a rather hesitant attitude to the existence of Czechoslovakia. The perception of the Sudetengerman question by the Foreign Office largely depended on the reports sent from the British Legation in Prague to London, namely the information provided by the envoy, Sir Basil Newton, whose predecessor Charles Bentick had stayed in Prague for a short time only, and by Secretary Robert Hadow. While the first one’s attitude was more objective than that of Joseph Addison in 1936, although he, too, came to the conclusion during the year 1937 that the way to solve the Czech-German problem must consist in meeting the requirements of the German minority to the detriment of Czechoslovakia, Hadow continued informing in an unobjective way about Prague’s approach to the SdP.
During the year 1937 a major change occurred in the Legation’s as well as the Foreign Office’s views of the Sudetengerman problem. In the preceding period of time, they suggested an agreement between the Czechoslovak government and the whole German minority, and expected that Prague would make concessions to them. In 1937, however, their view of Czech-German cooperation changed. Both the British Legation in Prague and the Foreign Office in London started believing that the primary solution to that problem must be an agreement between the Czechoslovak government and the Sudetengerman Party; London also tried to make its partners in Paris share that position.
The year 1937 was also the year of Konrad Henlein’s finally rejecting the possibility of Czechoslovakia’s further existence, which the SdP leader emonstrated in his Report for the Fuhrer and Reichskanzler on the actual questions of German policy in the Czechoslovak Republic, where he declared that a further coexistence of Czechs and Germans in one state was impossible. Contrary to this position, Henlein continued assuring British politicians about his intention to achieve an agreement with President Beneš and with other Czechoslovak politicians. And with this position he entered the year 1938 while London was increasing its pressure on Prague to come to an agreement with the SdP.
Keywords: History, 20th century, Great Britain, Foreign Office, Sudetengermans, Czechoslovakia, year 1937

Valentina V. MARYINA
“People’s democracy”: the emergence, evolution and implementation of the idea (1935–1948)

The emergence and evolution of the concept of “people’s democracy” as a transitional system between “capitalism” and “socialism” is discussed. The idea originated from discussions in the leadership of the Communist International during the 1920s and 1930s, particularly from those that were taking place after the Nazis had come to power in 1933. As a result, a fundamental change occurred in the attitude to and the development of the “People’s Front” concept. A turning-point was the VII Congress of the Communist International held in 1935 that defined people’s democracy as a transitional system of antifascist state. The attempts made during the civil war in Spain and in the policy of communist parties in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia to implement the People’s Front concept in practice are then explained. The policy of people’s democracy became a very important element of the Soviet imperialist policy at the final stage of World War II, in 1944–1945. It was used, on the one hand, to create a broad grouping of resistance forces, from Communists to nationally and democratically oriented parts of bourgeoisie, and, on the other hand, as a tool to facilitate the access of Communists to political and government power in the countries of Central and Southeastern Europe after the war. In the postwar period a further differentiation within the system of people’s democracy took place. The Communists and their allies started strongly opposing the democratic and civic streams. The whole political and social development eventually culminated in the takeover of all power by the Communists both in a peaceful “constitutional” way or by force and in the creation of people’s democratic (Communist) regimes and a “Soviet sphere of power” in Eastern Europe, with only Yugoslavia staying out. Thus, the concept of people’s democracy was a political tool of the Communist movement and of the Soviet expansive policy leading to the Cold War between the Communist East and the democratic West.
Keywords: History, 20th century, politics, Communist movement, People’s Front, people’s democracy, Soviet Union, Central and Southeastern Europe

Jewish emigration from the Second Czechoslovak Republic (October 1938 – March 1939)

The emigration of Jews from the Czechoslovak Republic and from other countries facing immediate danger on the part of Nazi Germany was increasingly difficult as most of the European countries restricted their immigration. The situation aggravated even more after the Munich Agreement signed in 1938 due to the quantitative increase of potential émigrés. Fleeing the country’s border areas was the first step toward emigration for many Jews. Due to the social climate in what is known as the Second Czechoslovak Republic, increased Czech nationalism, anti-Semitism, threat to the country by Nazi Germany, and impossibility for many Jewish refugees to start work here emigration appeared to be the only solution to their situation. With the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia and the creation of the Protectorate in March 1939 the internal and external conditions of emigration for Jews worsened dramatically.
Keywords: History, 20th century, Czechoslovakia, Jews, anti-Semitism, Nazism, emigration

Jaroslav MILLER
Theatrical performances of Czech exiles in Australia, 1948–1989

The Czechs and Slovaks who immigrated into Australia after the Second World War in several exile waves created several autonomous centers of Czechoslovak community in exile. At the turn of the 1940s Czech and Slovak organizations emerged in large Australian cities with common aims, namely – in addition to their strong anti-Communist orientation – their interest in preserving the Czech and Slovak language and culture. The study goes into the history of their amateur theatrical activities in Australia from 1948 to 1989, namely in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, and Perth. Theater played an important role in their life in exile because of social, linguistic and patriotic reasons. The literary and artistic orientation of particular theatrical groups and their evolution from the early 1950s to 1980s are analyzed. The analysis includes also the discussions on the character of theatrical work between the post-February and the post-August waves of immigrants where the traditional patriotic view of theater was confronted with the new and modern forms of theatrical art. In spite of the atomization of cultural and political activities in the huge country rather close cooperation between the particular theatrical groups developed. The only continuously existing ensemble in Australia was the Czech Amateur Theater in Melbourne existing since the beginning of 1950s, whereas in other Australian cities the amateur theatrical activities exhibited a high rate of discontinuity. The theaters ceased slowly to exist at the turn of the 1970s; the last amateur performances took place in Perth, Western Australia, in the mid-1980s.
Keywords: History, 20th century, Czechoslovak exile 1948–1989, Australia, culture, theatricals

Jindřich DEJMEK
[Documents on the activities of Czechoslovak ambassadors to France and Italy following the Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia in August 1968 (New sources to the international aspects of the invasion in August 1968 – II)]

Several documents published in the present study offer new views of the activities of two Czechoslovak embassies after 21 August 1968, namely those in Paris and Rome, and describe also some details of the attitude of the French and Italian governments to the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact armies. The first couple of documents are related to the positions of Vilém Pithart, Czechoslovak Ambassador to Paris. This important diplomat of the 1950s and 1960s (prior to his arrival in Paris he had been Foreign Office General Secretary and a Deputy Foreign Minister) initiated a dynamical rise of contacts between Prague and Paris which culminated with the visit of Prime Minister J. Lenárt to France in 1967. After the Soviet invasion in August 1968 (which he personally witnessed while being in Czechoslovakia at that time) he immediately returned to his office, strongly condemned the invasion and tried to make both the French official circles and the French Communist Party officials support the legal Czechoslovak government. As a result of his positions he was dismissed from the diplomatic service early in 1970. Two other documents illustrate the situation at the Czechoslovak Embassy to Rome. Ambassador Vladimír Ludvík (1914–2002), also an experienced diplomat, who had worked in the Foreign Office West European Department and served also as Czechoslovak envoy to Belgium, also transmitted the protests of the legal government in Prague after 21 August, 1968. Soon, however, he tried to restore contacts with diplomats of the aggressor countries and actually he fully supported what is referred to as a policy of “normalization”. The documents published in the study also illustrate the rather hesitant reaction of French and Italian government circles to the invasion, and also the differentiated positions of the large Communist parties in the two countries. Also the positions of some other persons are mentioned that played later an important role in the “post-August” emigration, such as A. J. Liehm and Jiří Pelikán.
Keywords: History, 20th century, Prague Spring, military invasion of Czechoslovakia of August 1968, diplomacy, Gaullist France, Communist parties of France and Italy