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

MODERNÍ DĚJINY
roč. 26, 2018, č. 2



OBSAH • CONTENT


STUDIE • STUDIES

Marie L. NEUDORFLOVÁ
Masarykův přnos ke znalosti národní historie jako konstitutivní hodnoty pro rozvoj demokracie
[Masaryk’s contribution to knowledge of national history as a constituent value for the progress of democracy]
s. 1 – 25 

Jaromír SOBOTKA
Metodologie analýzy politického mýtu na příkladu Karla Marxe v sociálně demokratickém prostředí
[Methodology for analysing political myth using the example of Karl Marx within a social democratic context]
s. 27–43 

Anna JONÁKOVÁ
Působení mladočeského poslance Ervína Špindlera na říšské radě v letech 1890–1901
[Young Czech Deputy Ervín Špindler at the Austrian Imperial Council in 1890–1901]
s. 45–74 

Marek ŠMÍD
Vatikán a revoluce v Rusku v letech 1917–1918
[The Vatican and the Revolution in Russia at years 1917–1918]
s. 75–92 

Petr PROKŠ
Počátky zahraniční politiky samostatného Československa v letech 1918–1919
[The Beginnings of the Foreign Policy of independent Czechoslovakia in years 1918–1919]
s. 93–142 

Vojtěch KESSLER
Češi a Němci v roce jedna. Úvahy nad postoji a možnostmi Němců v českých zemích mezi 28. říjnem 1918 a 4. březnem 1919
[Czechs and Germans in Year One. Reflections on the Attitudes and Possibilities of the Germans in the Czech lands between 28 October 1918 and 4 March 1919 ]
s. 143– 64 

David MAJTENYI
Ladislav Holdoš: interbrigadista ze Španělska jako „buržoazní nacionalista“ v procesu s Gustávem Husákem
[Ladislav Holdoš: Inter-brigadier from Spain as a "bourgeois nationalist" in the process with Gustáv Husák]
s. 165–207 

Zdeněk DOSKOČIL
Ladislav Novomeský v osidlech Státní bezpečnosti (1951–1954)
[Ladislav Novomeský in the Snare of the Secret State Police (1951–1954)]
s. 209–250 


MATERIÁLY • MATERIALS

Jan ZUMR
Organizační struktura exekutivního a kontrarozvědného oddělení pražského Gestapa
[The organisational Structure of the executive and counterintelligence Division of the Gestapo in Prague]
s. 251–290


KRONIKY • CHRONICLES

PhDr. Jan Gebhart, DSc. (5. února 1945 – 29. června 2018)
s. 291 – 301 


RECENZE •  REVIEWS

Jan SVOBODA, Masarykův realismus a filosofie pozitivismu, Praha, Filosofia 2017, 319 s.
ISBN 978-80-7007-484-8
(Marie L. Neudorflová)
s. 297–301 

Martin JINDRA, Sáhnout si do ran tohoto světa. Perzekuce a rezistence Církve československé (husitské) v letech 1938–1945, Praha ÚSTR – CČSH, 2017, 704 s. ISBN 978-80-87912-80-5, ÚSTR; 978-80-7000-141-7, CČSH.
(Vojtěch Vlček)
s. 303–307

Karel KAPLAN, Únor 1948. Komentované dokumenty, Praha, Epocha 2018, 464 s.
ISBN 978-80-7557-116-8
(Martin Dolejský)
s. 310–311 

Andrija ČOLAK, Agonija Jugoslavije, Beograd, Laguna 2017, 549 s.
ISBN 978-86-521-2486-2
(Michal Janíčko)
s. 311–315


SUMMARY

Marie L. Neudorflová
Masaryk’s contribution to knowledge of national history as a constituent value for the progress of democracy

This essay essentially looks at the relationship between the level of the Czech nation’s self-knowledge, in particular in terms of history, and the development of democracy. It takes a critical look at a number of current approaches to history related to the general liberal and conservative reluctance to take an objectively comprehensive approach to history, including national history, the knowledge of which can make a significant contribution to national cohesion and thus to the conditions for democratic understanding. In contrast, the prevailing focus on the private, on minorities, on controversial figures, on alternative historical interpretations, the lack of distinction between the important and the unimportant in terms of the public benefit of perceiving history, atomises and distorts history, undermining the enlightened basis for investigating history and degrading historiography as a science. Like education in general, knowledge of history should be beneficial to society, in particular at a cultural and political level. Within this essay, these phenomena are related to the similar situation at the end of the 19th century when the academic approach to history was dominated by positivism which, although a great achievement compared to past approaches, was captive to the principal of, “facts speak for themselves”, which gave little space for the important contexts, causes and consequences of phenomena. The situation was made worse by the fact that young academics who tried to go beyond these limits came up against various forms of resistance from those in power. In the mid-1890s, T G Masaryk stepped forward with a thorough criticism of the situation, in particular of positivism, and he demonstrated some success in emboldening young historians to focus on little-known and suppressed Czech history, specifically reformation and Czech National Revival. In this, Masaryk found continuity of valuable and strong humanitarian aspects focused against unaccountable power to the greater moral and cultural level of the majority of people and to freedom. The essay looks at Masaryk’s arguments in favour of linking these ideals both with religious aspects and with the national identity as a valuable achievement of history, important in terms of human and democratic progress. His concept of “the philosophy of Czech history” is to some extent presented in the context of the principal disputes between his proponents and detractors, who never grasped its importance for the self-knowledge and self-confidence of the Czech nation, for its conscious and positive focus. The issues and concepts Masaryk focused on, not just in The Czech Question, are of lasting value for the existence and sophistication of the Czech nation.


Jaromír Sobotka
Methodology for analysing political myth using the example of Karl Marx within a social democratic context

Social democratic parties set up in the second half of the 19th century in Europe represented the phenomenon of a unique particularly Marxist ideology and their own “mythology” with the great promise of freeing the working class through socialist revolution. Researching socialist political myths can help better reveal the structure and strategy of social democratic movements and their successor organisations (e.g. communist parties) within the Central European region. The article presents its methodologically laid out research into the myth of the “father of socialism” Karl Marx within the largest socialist parties in Cisleithania; Austrian, Czech, Polish and Slovenian. The proposed method involves identifying the position and function of the myth within the overall discourse in social democratic organisations using praxeological squares and defining the question in relation to key terms linked to the construction of identity and strategy. It also analyses and reconstructs images of Karl Marx which were produced within official party bodies, as well as images which the myth took on amongst ordinary party members and sympathisers. An integral part of the proposed method is a chronological analysis of the development and transformation of the myth and uncovering its possible internal and external causes depending on assumed political and economic changes. The final part involves a comparison of different selected social democratic organisations, revealing similarities and differences, and identifying the possible reasons for these.


Anna Jonáková
Young Czech Deputy Ervín Špindler at the Austrian Imperial Council in 1890–1901

The Imperial Council was the highest goal Czech politicians could achieve at the end of the 19th century in Austria-Hungary. Ervín Špindler was attracted to the vision of a political career. When he was elected deputy to the Vienna parliament in 1890, he considered it an honour and the culmination of over twenty years working for the benefit of the Czech nation. His importance never entirely reached that of the leading Young Czech politicians, of whom mention must be made of Eduard Grégr and Josef Kaizl, amongst others. As a member of the National Liberal Party, however, his preserved correspondence provides valuable testimony to his actions within Czech and Austrian politics. They document developments from his victory in elections to the Imperial Council House of Deputies in 1891, through the Nymburk Resolution and the so-called Šromota Affair to the gradual decline in the party’s influence during the first decade of the 20th century. The rather unusual status of the Národní listy editorial board, the party’s central newspaper, did not escape his notice either and he was sharply critical of them from the 1890s. Špindler’s perspective on other deputies and government members, alongside his depiction of the events he discusses are naturally subjective, but this takes nothing away from their value in gaining insight into the Young Czech Party and its operations within the Austrian parliamentary system at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. 


Marek Šmíd
The Vatican and the Revolution in Russia at years 1917 1918

The submitted study looks at events in Russia during the period of the end of the First World War, when far-reaching changes took place in the country which had a lasting impact on the history of the country. Over the course of 1917, Russia experienced two revolutions: first the revolution in March overthrew the Tsarist regime and established an eight-month provisional government. The subsequent revolution in November toppled the provisional government and established a Bolshevik dictatorship. The far-reaching political and religious changes in the country attracted the attention of the Holy See, which followed events in Russia with extraordinary interest. The picture of conditions represented an incomplete mosaic of testimony which led from initial accommodation to a fairly quick sobering up, especially after the young Bolshevik regime separated the Church from the state and began opposing the relatively liberal religious situation in the country with exceptional brutality. In contrast to other studies which have looked at Russia’s ecclesiastical situation in the period prior to 1917 or subsequent to 1922, this study analyses a fairly short, yet dramatic, period when the foundations of later Vatican diplomacy towards Russia were laid (establishment of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the seeking for dialogue with Russian representatives, efforts at religious intervention in the situation in the country, etc.). The study is based on material within the Vatican Secret Archives in Rome which are confronted with numerous books of mainly Czech, English and Italian provenance which map the Russian religious environment in particular.


Petr Prokš
The Beginnings of the Foreign Policy of independent Czechoslovakia in years 1918–1919

The Habsburg Empire collapsed as the First World War came to an end. Czechoslovakia was one of its successor states, arising thanks to the activity of the domestic and foreign resistance to Austria-Hungary. After its establishment, Czechoslovakia immediately had to deal with problems in relations with its neighbours, Poland, Germany, Austria and Hungary, in regard to mutual borders and transport and economic relations. Although Czechoslovakia was initially pragmatic in co-operating with Italy, but gradually relations deteriorated due to Prague’s focus on an alliance with France, Yugoslavia and Romania, which later culminated in formation of the Little Entente. Its foreign policy was fundamentally directed by the political grouping of “the Castle”, headed by President T. G. Masaryk who was focused on the democratic West, in particular France. In contrast, the first Prime Minister  K. Kramář advocated positioning the country towards the East, and Slavic Russia in particular. The principles for foreign policy of Czechoslovakia were elucidated by Foreign Minister E. Beneš on 30 September 1919 in the National Assembly as follows: 1) To continue co-operation with the Allies, in particular France. 2) To endeavour to build up good and loyal relations with neighbouring Poland, Austria and Hungary. 3) Friendly co-operation with Yugoslavia and Romania. 4) To clarify relations with Germany, but steadfastly prevent any attempt at restoring Pan-German policies. 5) To co-operate in the speedy restoration of the Russian nation and state in order to build a great, democratic, confederate Russia which can promote a friendly and Slavic democratic policy towards Czechoslovakia. 6) Europe remains divided in relation to Germany, and Czechoslovakia’s domestic and foreign policies must be prepared for all eventualities. As such its domestic and foreign policy must proceed hand in hand so that it can be properly defended in the event of danger. A battle-ready army, good foreign service and co-operation of individual ministries, especially for co-operation in foreign, trade and financial matters, must be quickly built up. As such, Prague was anticipating further difficult struggles to secure for independence, prosperity and security of Czechoslovakia.


Vojtěch Kessler
Czechs and Germans in Year One. Reflections on the Attitudes and Possibilities of the Germans in the Czech lands between 28 October 1918 and 4 March 1919

One of the most debated topics in Czech history in the post-Velvet Revolution period is the so-called Sudeten German issue.  A nagging sense of debt towards a region which was not discussed, researched or written about, at least in official circles, led in the 1990s in particular to the issue being looked at extensively. Somewhat of a complication is the overlapping of this narrowly defined area of historiography, and its impingement into areas of sociology, ethnology, legal science, politology and in particular politics, including at the highest level. Information distorted by the media from annual meetings of the Sudetendeutsche Landschmannschaft regularly provoked various “returns of the Sudeten question”. This study focuses on the key half-year as defined beginning with the declaration of an independent Czechoslovak state on 28 October 1918 and ending on 4 March 1919. It was on this date that a wave of demonstrations and strikes took place in the occupied border region to an extent that was never to be seen again during the whole of the First Republic. This date, forgotten in Czech history, holds a fundamental place in the memories of the Sudeten German population, and it is still commemorated today, if in the empty form of a political instrument. The paper focuses only on those phenomena which directly or indirectly led to violent conflict between the German border-region population and the Czechoslovak armed forces. This study should be considered a reflection on the opportunities and attitudes of players at the time, as a kind of introduction to the issue rather than as an exhaustive description of the economic, political, social and other processes taking place over the period looked at. That fateful day of 4 March 1919 de facto ended what from a Czech perspective were irredentist attempts at disintegration of  he Czech lands, and what from a German perspective were endeavours at fulfilment of the right to self-determination, while the decision of the Versaille arbitrators of 10 September 1919 marked their end de jure. The confused and ill-prepared Sudeten German politicians made a whole range of errors after the coup, and their actions were neither constructive nor utilitarian. Their policies were reduced to mere conspiracies, accusations and calls for unity.  Nevertheless it was an actively pursued and ideologically and mentally constructed path. Although it can be objectively claimed that the Germans in the Czech lands did not have any real opportunity for Austro-German, German Reich or even “provincial” elections, we cannot overlook their desires and activities. This would impoverish us of the complex context of the history we self-confidently call “our history”.


David Majtenyi
Ladislav Holdoš: Inter-brigadier from Spain as a "bourgeois nationalist" in the process with Gustáv Husák

Ladislav Holdoš was born on 14 May in Ružomberok, the town located in northern Slovakia. After graduating from business school, he worked as a bank clerk. He completed military service in the 10th Artillery Regiment in Lučenec in 1933–1935. When the Spanish Civil War had broken out, he as a member of the Communist Party decided to voluntarily enlist and help the Republican Party in its fight against the Nationalist insurgency, arriving to Spain at the turn of October and November 1936. He experienced his first fighting baptism of fire at the Madrid front during the red battle in the University City (Ciudad Universitaria). Afterwards he was transferred to the Machine Gun Company of the Ernst Thälmann Battalion, and he was injured. In March 1938, he was appointed a leader of the Anti-aircraft Battery Klement Gottwald in the rank of Captain. After the fall of the Republic, he was interned in the refugee camp Boghari near Oran in Algeria, and later in Gurs in southern France. On January 1940, he enlisted the Czechoslovak Army restored on the French soil. With respect to his military qualification and previous war experience he was assigned to the Fourth Battery of the Artillery Regiment 1 which was part of the First Czechoslovak Division in France. Following its collapse he stayed in the free zone in France and joined the French Resistance Movement, namely within its wing Main d´Oeuvre Immigré (MOI) which was dominated by French communists. The Vichy regime police forces captured him in February 1943. He was held prisoner in several prisons and camps: La Santé, Poissy, Melun, Châlons-sur-Marne, Compiégne, and later he was even transferred to the infamous Buchenwald camp. He returned to Czechoslovakia in August 1945. He became a member of the National Assembly and later also member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Slovakia, and was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. In 1948–1951, he was the General Secretary of the Central Action Committee of the National Front in Slovakia, and the Representative (povereník) for religious affairs in 1950–1951. The downfall of his stellar career arrived on 2 February 1951 when he was arrested. In the end, he was sentenced on the basis of a false accusation in the trial with so called Slovak bourgeois nationalists, which took place on 21–24 April 1954 in Bratislava, for 13 years of imprisonment for alleged treason, sabotage and espionage. Holdoš was released in 1957 however he was fully rehabilitated only in 1963. In 1969 he was appointed the ambassador in Cuba. Nevertheless he lost this post in connection with vetting in the party for as a supporter of the Reformist wing he was expelled from the party. Afterwards he lived under a constant surveillance of the State Security. He died in Bratislava on 9 September 1988.


Zdeněk Doskočil
Ladislav Novomeský in the Snare of the Secret State Police (1951–1954)

This study looks at the life story of poet and Communist Party of Slovakia official, Ladislav Novomeský between 1951 and 1954 when he was systematically investigated in secret police prison. The reason for his political persecution was a fabricated charge of what was termed Slovak bourgeois nationalism, as a result of which he was first stripped of his political function in spring 1950, and then arrested in February 1951 alongside Vladimír Clementis, Gustáv Husák and other functionaries. The study maps in detail the forms of physical and mental pressure Novomeský was initially placed under in custody in order that he accept the trumped-up charges and make the required “confession”. It endeavours to clarify the reasons why the sensitive and deeply intellectual Novomeský was unable to resist the deliberate manipulation of secret police officers for long, who purposefully took advantage of his inner communist convictions, and to explain why he then began to co-operate with investigators. Once the poet was resigned to his defence, the investigators somewhat eased his prison regime, and allowed him to write verses in his cell for over a year, although they later deliberately destroyed these. In November 1952, they forced the broken Novomeský to testify against Clementis in the so-called “anti-state conspiracy centred around Rudolf Slanský trial” (the Slánsky show trial), shortly after which Clementis was sentenced to death and executed. The poet was psychologically traumatised as a result for the rest of his life. After another round of interrogation, Novomeský was included in a trial of a five-member group of Slovak bourgeois nationalists headed by Husák, which was held following a number of delays in April 1954. Preparations for the trial were complicated by changes in the political situation (the deaths of Stalin and Gottwald), Husák’s resistance to the investigation and the inability of secret police members to produce a credible indictment, whose premiss the study analyses extensively. During the final phase of investigations, Novomeský no longer put up any resistance to the secret police officers. He appeared at the court in line with the plan drawn up.  He incriminated himself and Husák. He was sentenced to the most lenient possible sentence for treason and sabotage – ten years’ imprisonment. Communist Party leaders had agreed on the punishment in advance, taking account of the poet’s submissive behaviour during investigation. Judicial and prison authorities were also instructed to release Novomeský unconditionally once half his sentence had been served (including three years on remand).


Jan Zumr
The organisational Structure of the executive and counterintelligence Division of the Gestapo in Prague

The objective of this study is to ascertain the form of the two most important divisions of the Prague Gestapo, the executive and counterintelligence divisions, which later merged into one division and which played a key role in combating local resistance. These were able to be reconstructed through the discovery of previously unused original organisational plans held in the Security Services Archives. These documents demonstrate how incomplete our previous knowledge of the organisational structure of (not just) the Prague Gestapo has been. The study also attempts to point out the reasons why this was the case. The article is divided chronologically into three large chapters structured according to the large reorganisations of the executive division. Each chapter gives the form of the executive and counterintelligence divisions at the time, along with an analysis of them. Also analysed are the reasons why the particular organisational changes occurred. Although the Gestapo operated within the Protectorate for just six years, both the named divisions underwent numerous changes. The executive division underwent two large reorganisations, and counterintelligence underwent at least four. There were also a number of additional smaller structural changes. The head of individual (controlling) Gestapo offices had a certain amount of freedom in how specifically their internal structure was organised. As such, from the second half of the Second World War, the form of the Prague Gestapo differed significantly from that in Brno, and other offices. Changes in the organisation of the Prague office were an outcome of endeavours to adapt its form of internal structure to that of the RSHA (regardless of whether these were from their own initiative or on the orders of Berlin headquarters), and an outcome of endeavours to combat local resistance as effectively as possible while saving as much manpower as possible. Due to these constant reorganisations, it was not easy after the war for captured officials to give a clear description of the actual form of the Prague office’s internal structure, and this is apparent to me, since I too found it complicated and difficult to remember. For these reasons, the article also includes a kind of “converter” which shows how the names for different reports changed.