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

MODERNÍ DĚJINY
roč. 27, 2019, č. 1



OBSAH • CONTENT


STUDIE • STUDIES

Dušan ŠKVARNA
České symbolické javy v slovenskom kultúrnom prostredí a ich funkcie v 19. storočí
[Czech symbolic phenomena in the Slovak cultural environment and their functions in the 19th century]
s. 1–21

Pavel KLADIWA
Obecné školy a jejich učitelé jako základní kultivační faktor rurálního prostředí. (Valašsko v posledním půlstoletí před první světovou válkou)
[Municipal Schools and their Teachers as a Core Cultivating Factor in the Rural Environment (Moravian Wallachia during the half century prior to the First World War)]
s. 23–48

Blanka ZUBÁKOVÁ
Židé v meziválečném Polsku a odkazy jejich bojkotu jako obrany před antisemitismem. Hospodářské, kulturní a společenské odezvy
[Jews in Interwar Poland and Legacies of their Boycott as Protection against Antisemitism. Economic, cultural and society-wide responses]
s. 49–77 

WANG LI
The Impact of the October Revolution on China: three generations and beyond
[Dopad Říjnové revoluce na vedení Komunistické strany Číny: Přes tři generace]
s. 79–102

Martin DOLEJSKÝ
Opozice v meziválečné KSČ v letech 1925–1929
[Opposition within the Interwar KSČ between 1925 and 1929]
s. 103–122

Bohumil MELICHAR
Komunisté v Praze. O příčinách volební úspěšnosti meziválečné KSČ
[The Communists in Prague. The causes of interwar KSČ’s electoral success]
s. 123–146

Jindřich DEJMEK
Komunistický převrat v Československu 1948 v kontextu akcelerující studené války v Evropě
[The 1948 Communist Coup in Czechoslovakia in the Context of an Accelerating Cold War in Europe]
s. 147–167

Zlatica ZUDOVÁ-LEŠKOVÁ
Medzi politickým taktizovaním, kompromisom a prevratom. Jedinečné poučenie z dejín Slovenska od jesene 1947 do zimy 1948
[Amid political tactics, compromise and revolution.Unique lessons from the history of Slovakia, from the spring of 1947 to the winter of 1948]
s. 169–185

Milan BÁRTA
Lidové milice mezi komunistickou stranou a Sborem národní bezpečnosti 1948–1953
[People’s Militias between the Communist Party and the National Security Corps 1948–1953]
s. 187–199

Jan SLAVÍČEK
Únor 1948 jako předpoklad deformací spotřebního družstevnictví v letech 1948–1953
[The February 1948 Communist Coup and the Deformation of Consumer Co-operatives in 1948–1953]
s. 201–216

Eva IRMANOVÁ
Československo a revoluce v Maďarsku v roce 1956
[Czechoslovakia and the Revolution in Hungary in 1956]
s. 217–277

Tomáš RENNER
Koncept „formované společnosti“ Ludwiga Erhardta a jeho kritici
[Ludwig Erhard’s “formed society” concept and its critics]
s. 279–304

Michael DURČÁK
Kapitalismus fáze nula: Semináře Václava Klause jako součást myšlenkového světa pozdního socialismu
[Capitalism Phase Zero. Václav Klaus’s seminars as part of the thoughts of late socialism]
s. 305–355


MATERIÁLY •  MATERIALS

Paweł FIKTUS
Two letters of Alexander Dubček and Oldřich Černík from June 1989 Addressed to the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party and the Government of the Polish People’s Republic
[Dva dopisy Alexandra Dubčeka a Oldřicha Černíka z června 1989 adresované Ústřednímu výboru Polské sjednocené dělnické strany a vládě Polské lidové republiky]
s. 357–375


KRONIKA • CHRONICLE

Martin BOŠTÍK
Polistopadové osudy Nejedlého sochy v Litomyšli aneb Cesta k výstavě “Já jsem… Zdeněk Nejedlý. Příběh tragédie jednoho moderního intelektuála“
[The Fate of  Nejedlý's Statue in Litomyšl after of November 1989 or The Way to the Exhibition “I am… Zdeněk Nejedlý. The Story of  Tragedy one Modern Intellectual“]
s. 379–387


RECENZE  • REVIEWS

Martina NIEDHAMMER, Jen pro peníze? Pražské židovské elity v 19. století – skupinová biografie, Praha, Lidové noviny 2016, 259 s.
ISBN 978-80-7422-512-3.
(Kateřina Tvrdá)
s. 385–387
 
František KUTNAR. Děkuji životu. Vzpomínky a zápisy českého historika. Hana Kábová (ed.), Praha, Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR, v.v.i., Nakladatelství Lidové noviny, 2017, 223 s. ISBN 978-80-7422-432-4
(Marie L. Neudorflová)
s. 388–390

Gustav NOVOTNÝ, Zahraniční studijní cesty českých lesních odborníků v první polovině 20. století, Praha, Historický ústav, 2016, 152 s.
ISBN 978-80-7286-290-0 
(Ondřej Horák)
s. 391 

Timothy SNYDER, Černá zem, Praha – Litomyšl, Paseka; Praha, Prostor, 2015, 399 s.
ISBN 978-80-7432-655-4 (Paseka), ISBN 978-80-7260-322-0 (Prostor).
(Viktor Janák)
s. 392–395

Hubert WOLF, Konkláve. Tajemství papežské volby, Praha, Prostor, 2018, z němčiny přeložila Daniela Petříčková, 256 s. ISBN 978-80-7260-385-5
(Marek Šmíd)
s. 395–396 

Jiří PETRÁŠ – Libor SVOBODA (eds.), Československo v letech 1954–1962, Praha, Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů; České Budějovice, Jihočeské muzeum v Českých Budějovicích, 2015. 651 s.
ISBN 978-80-87912-24-9; ISBN 978-80-87311-57-8.
(Michael Durčák)
s. 396–398


SUMMARY

Dušan Škvarna
Czech symbolic phenomena in the Slovak cultural environment and their functions in the 19th century

The content and the meaning of Czech symbolic phenomena was not uniform in the Slovak environment. The participation of Slavs (i.e. Czechs and Slovaks) in creation of a civilisation was demonstrated by means of these phenomena and they were chiefly considered a counterbalance to Hungarian or German symbols. During the national conflicts and struggles at the time, which were restricted by the prejudice and biases against the other side (positive Slavs, negative Hungarians and Germans), these phenomena were chiefly intended to reinforce the self-respect and self-confidence of Slovak intellectuals. The Czechoslovak dimension of these symbols played a similar defensive role. However, it was only acknowledged by representatives of Czechoslovak National Unity, which is why it was only marginal in the Slovak cultural environment. These were most often presented in Slovakia as Czech symbols, typical for Czechs, who were respected and helped cultivate Slovak identity, and their creators and supporters also created a system of their own Slovak symbols. On the basis of period information, we can summarise that during the long 19th century Czech-Slovak relations and communication were quite intensive. During this time there was a persisting Czech dimension in the Slovak identity and vice versa, a Slovak dimension in Czech identity. On the other hand Slovak-Czech communication demonstrated clear limits under the impact of diverse historic, legal and contemporary political and ideological factors. It was not as intensive as intra-Slovak communication by far. And this also applies to presentation of Czech symbolic phenomena in the Slovak environment. These only appeared in limited forms, chiefly in correspondence, literature and journalism, they were only presented in public space exceptionally and, in comparison to domestic symbols, the intensity with which they were presented, emphasised and manifested, was only marginal. The feeling of and need for Czechoslovak closeness and unity was not nearly so intensive that it overcame the feeling of being different and the will to cultivate one’s own national identity in the Slavic nations.


Pavel Kladiwa
Municipal Schools and their Teachers as a Core Cultivating Factor in the Rural Environment (Moravian Wallachia during the half century prior to the First World War)

This analysis of the development of municipal schools in the Vsetín and Valašské Meziříčí districts shows the state’s great efforts in ensuring literacy amongst the population, and securing it with the knowledge necessary to improve the quality of life in this region with its difficult socioeconomic conditions. It demonstrates an improving situation (expansion of the network of schools, improvements in their facilities, improving school attendance), as well as teachers’ and state authorities’ difficult struggle with alcoholism, the refusal of some parents to involve their children, and in some villages the still inappropriate condition of school buildings and classroom facilities, as well as what would today be considered a very high rate of excused and non-excused absenteeism. Absence was mainly a result of parents’ negative relationship to education and children having to work, as well as sometimes poor school accessibility (and at the start of the period investigated, also their lack of capacity) and pupils’ insufficient outer wear and boots during winter. The archive materials demonstrate the expected marked engagement of teachers in clubs and social and political life, something generally the result of their education and perspective, which marked them out against the local population. It shows that conflicts between teachers and parents, and sometimes even members of municipal councils, were if not frequent, certainly not rare. This negative relationship to teachers was the result of their disciplinary role – they forced parents to make their children attend school, and demanded discipline from the children. It should be said that it would be misleading to think it was merely parental ignorance responsible for anyone not sending children to school. In very poor areas, older children in particular were part of the workforce and they were very important in helping at the family farm, often bringing extra income to the family budget. As such, parents might consider school a factor which directly worsened the family’s economic situation (and in a manner they were right to do so). Overall less common, but still not entirely unusual were teachers’ conflict with local representatives of the Catholic Church. These mainly occurred where the teacher rejected their traditionally inferior position in regard to priests, or where they were “progressive” in outlook (i.e. anti-clerical).


Blanka Zubáková
Jews in Interwar Poland and Legacies of their Boycott as Protection against Antisemitism. Economic, cultural and society-wide responses

During the interwar period, Poland experienced an unprecedented period of development at an economic, but also cultural and political level. In all these areas, the Jewish minority played an important role. Like elsewhere in Europe, expressions of anti-Semitism were manifest from the second half of the 19th century, and these grew with Jews’ emancipation and their successful involvement in politics, business, science and culture. Anti-Jewish sentiment and attacks against the Jewish population in Germany forced Jewish communities and associations in Europe to respond, and Poland was no exception. Shortly after the Polish delegation at the 1932 World Jewish Conference in Geneva, a precursor to the World Jewish Congress, proposed an economic boycott of Germany, the proposal became a global act, and the economic boycott of Nazi Germany became one of the weapons in the fight against the Nazi regime’s anti-Semitism. Jewish deputies in Poland’s Sejm subsequently called for the boycott on 15 March 1933 and were one of the first who attempted to acquire clear political support in this matter even beyond Jewish circles. The boycott in Poland was set in motion by the Central Boycotts Committee with support from local Jewish communities, various organisations and also trade unions. Over time, the boycott, originally supported by the government, became an obstacle in improving diplomatic relations with Germany. These relations were settled following signature of the German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact and the boycott endeavours were clearly and deliberately suppressed. In June 1935, the Central Boycotts Committee had to close down. From this time, the boycott in Poland was moved to a non-official level, typified by isolated outrage rather than a systematic act. The holding of the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin in 1935 had an interesting impact on the boycott of Germany at a global level, but it should be noted that Polish influence was not particularly strong here, illustrated by the tendency of Polish Jews at the time to retreat from their boycott endeavours, instead having to focus more and more on their own defence.


Wang Li
The impact of the October Revolution on CPC leadership: Three generations and beyond

Although the Soviet Union dissolved 27 years ago, the October Revolution of Russia, which led to the foundation of the Soviet Union, remains memorable in parts of the world. Politically and ideologically, China is one of the key countries that still appeals to the spirit of the October Revolution on official occasions. The underlying question is: why has such a violent and controversial event affected three generations of Chinese leadership, or to put it bluntly what are the tenets of the October Revolution that Chinese Communists have firmly found to be inspirational and operational? To answer this question, it is necessary to explore the historical scenario wherein the Chinese adopted the Communist ideology from Russia, and have since continued to hold it as a rationale in their struggle for power, prosperity and prestige on the global stage, rather than returning to the Sino-centric world. First, it is Russia (either Czarist Russia or the Soviet Union or contemporary Russia) that has been the largest neighbor of China over the past century, when China was both impotent and backward in a social-technological sense. Because of this, any vicissitudes inside or related to Russia are bound to affect China politically, strategically, socially and ideologically. Second, when the Leninist doctrines were introduced into China, the Chinese were desperately seeking to understand why the Western democratic powers – the United States and Britain – had failed to defend their legitimate claims over sovereign rights lost during World War I. On the contrary, the Soviet regime quickly agreed to endorse Chinese demands, albeit rhetorically. Third, the October Revolution offered theories that legitimized China’s struggle for independence and equality through the use of force and diplomacy. Finally, the concept of a worldwide revolution aiming to liberate the “working peoples all over the world” rightly fits the Chinese notion of “all peoples are under heaven”. One of the key founders of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) was Mao Zedong, who was committed to a new order wherein “peace would then reign over the entire world according to equality, equity and justice.” Since then, China has aspired to play its appropriate role in world affairs alongside other great powers. To achieve that end, Mao’s generation, also called the founding generation, and later its successors, have held faith in a strong disciplined “vanguard” party to take the lead in their historical mission. Nevertheless, the question remains as to how long this legacy of the October Revolution will continue in China, if we consider what has happened in contemporary Russia. The article argues that challenges are to arise after the current leadership headed by Xi Jinping leaves their positions, for it becomes imperative for the ruling elite in Beijing to hold a grand vision, as well as the courage to “objectively and responsibly” regard the October Revolution and its long-term impact on China in the new century.


Martin Dolejský
Opposition within the Interwar KSČ between 1925 and 1929

The submitted study looks at the previously little investigated issue of opposition groups and trends within the interwar KSČ. Marxist historiography often tended to provide simplified explanations for these groups, whom they termed “liquidators”. The study is limited in time to the period between 1925, when deputy Josef Bubník was expelled, appealing to the membership base, and 1929 when Bolshevisation was completed at the party’s Fifth Congress and those with different opinions were expelled from KSČ. On the basis of documents in archives and periodicals, the crisis, and the opinions of opponents and their critics are monitored chronologically. This includes the mentioned expulsion of Josef Bubník in 1925, the opposition termed the “Jílek Group” which began to be criticised in the second half of 1928, the opposition linked to trades unions whose leading representative was Josef Hais, and finally the group of “Trotskyists” operating in Brno. These groups were not united.  They did not come together, at least partially, until 1929. The report notes that opponents were neither career-driven nor opportunists, as they were termed by KSČ leaders, but rather people who were opposed to the principles of Bolshevisation. Thus it was an ideological issue. This study can also provide inspiration for more detailed investigation of different opposition trends or figures.


Bohumil Melichar
The Communists in Prague. The causes of interwar KSČ’s electoral success

The issue of support for the interwar communist movement has long been distorted by ideological agendas of various types inserting themselves into historiographic debate. An extreme Marxist position perceiving the working class as the key player in history to a certain extent considered adherence to KSČ as a revolutionary avant-garde for an unexpressed axiom. In contrast, the post-Velvet Revolution condemnation of political extremes challenging the democratic nature of the Republic at the time remaining in the background of narratives on the investigated period was the result of marginalisation of the causes of an authentic affiliation for a large number of citizens with the radical left as represented by KSČ. The submitted investigation of the strategies of communist activists exploited at the local level of the Prague outskirts endeavours to reveal the mechanism for reaching out to potential sympathisers recruited from the population, their conviction that communist agitators play the role of people’s tribunes and the subsequent mobilisation of these supporters to ensure active involvement in demonstrations and other subversive events. It is the symbolic path to the streets and radical declarations of support for the revolutionary programme which appear critical. The map in this journey was KSČ’s ideological and political agenda, held together by the promise of change bringing social inequality to an end. It should be stressed that its beginning can be traced back to opportunities for the communist movement to secure immediate, if partial, change in the lives of its sympathisers, and not what was to some extent an abstract promise of achieving socialism through a revolutionary path, something often mentioned in regard to the communist movement. A clearly more important aspect at the beginning of the process of political activation of the population of Prague’s outskirts was the opportunity for shopping cheaply in co-operative stores, securing leisure activities and the option for social advancement. It was the trust built up ly through personal contact between communist activists and the population of the outskirts which allowed KSČ to fill the centre of Prague with people willing to clash with the establishment when required.      


Jindřich Dejmek
The 1948 Communist Coup in Czechoslovakia in the Context of an Accelerating Cold War in Europe

The foreign policy of the post-war Third Czechoslovak Republic, based on a consensus of the democratic parties and the communists was established on the idea that co-operation between the Western powers and the USSR would continue. This was to have provided the restored state both with sufficient guarantees in the event of new aggression from Germany, something perhaps generally anticipated at that time, and also to secure the survival of the limited post-war democracy, at least within the National Front. As soon as the first serious conflicts began to occur between Moscow and the West, in particular Washington and London, in 1948, the first serious flaws in the concept became apparent, and these grew significantly following after the gradual change in Anglo-Saxon policy towards the German issue. While Prague (like Moscow and Warsaw) considered the agreements made at Potsdam Conference regarding Germany to be permanent (although it meant definitive resignation to the possible rectification of borders in Silesia), a statement made by the USA’s Secretary of State Byrnes in September 1946 cast doubt on this idea. Another important milestone was the crisis over acceptance or rejection of the offer that a Czechoslovak delegation take part in the arranged conference on the next so-called Marshall Plan in early July 1947. Although the Gottwald government’s original decision to take part had not been unconditional, their withdrawal, forced on them by Moscow, further significantly weakened Czechoslovakia’s standing with the West. Other circumstances were also responsible – the collapse of negotiations on a new alliance with France, the acceleration of communist offensive policy managed from Moscow (and its centralisation through Cominform) from autumn 1947, etc. While the “Western” pillar of the notional “bridge” concept weakened, the “Eastern” pillar strengthened including at a trading and political level. This was subsequently expressed in international aspects of the communist coup in early 1948. While the USSR’s sending of its Deputy Foreign Minister, V Zorin, was a clear signal of its interest in the KSČ’s victory, the West did not respond similarly, rather supporting (somewhat belatedly) the Czechoslovak democrats only through words on radio broadcasts. The KSČ’s easy victory in February 1948 did nevertheless trigger a number of diplomatic and other acts from the West in other conflicts with communists, such as during the elections in Italy and the accelerated signature of Western Union’s Treaty of Brussels, and it also facilitated the initial round of discussions on the establishment of NATO.


Zlatica Zudová-Lešková
Amid political tactics, compromise and revolution. Unique lessons from the history of Slovakia, from the spring of 1947 to the winter of 1948

The Slovak National Revolution (SNR) remains a unique element of the European anti-Nazi and anti-Fascist resistance during the period of the Second World War. It is indisputable that, despite persisting a-historic speculation, this was the result of long-standing domestic resistance against the signatory of the military Slovak Republic and its protectorate, generally supported by the Czechoslovak government in exile in London, led by its top political and military leaders. The armed revolution clearly brought Slovakia back into Czechoslovakia and also made it a member of the anti-Hitler Allies. Over the course of sixty days (from 29 August to the 28 October 1944) its political power was consolidated into two main political subjects – the Communist Party of Slovakia and the Democratic Party, whereas the third key subject representing resistance groups of a Czechoslovak nature, either remained outside the conglomerate of the central political bodies – the Slovak National council – or was absorbed by the parties. The qualitative political disproportion between both parties was a natural result of not just disputes, but also animosity and unscrupulous attacks, whereas the foreign policy orientation towards the Soviet Union and the Marxist-Leninist ideology and the related standpoint of the democratic powers towards Czechoslovakia (and Slovakia), played a key role in their war-time and post-war relations, despite the declared democracy and parity. These foundations and the loss of the parliamentary elections on the 26 May 1946 forced the Slovak communists to carry out militant and even criminal activities, which led to a political crisis in Slovakia in the spring of 1947. This was essentially the model for the political crisis in Czechoslovakia in February 1948, which was won by the communists who then governed for a long 41 years.


Milan Bárta
People’s Militias between the Communist Party and the National Security Corps 1948-1953

After the end of the Second World War, the communists in Czechoslovakia defended the creation and existence of Factory militias, whose official task was to protect businesses and factories from sabotage and possible external attacks. Their real task, however, was to support the nationalisation projects underway and to create armed civilian groups supporting communist policies. This was clearly shown in February 1948 when the militias became an important element in the communists’ coercive policy, serving to intimidate political opponents and their supporters. Once the Communist Party had taken absolute power, there was a rapid expansion of the militias, now called People’s Militias. They were quickly and significantly expanded in number, although this did lead to some problems, such as a lack of capable commanders, equipment and arms, etc. From their genesis, the militias were closely connected to the police apparatus, essentially fulfilling the role of an assistant body and reserve force for the National Security Corps. They were heavily and actively involved in cementing the communist regime, getting rid of private entrepreneurs, persecuting the clergy, etc. The People’s Militia had been set up and operated purely on the basis of a KSČ decision, and their establishment had no basis in law at the time. A lack of clarity in issues regarding management and securing facilities for the militias between the National Security Corps and the Communist Party resulted in a number of problems, contributing to personnel and organisational instability. As such, during the first half of the 1950s the militias were separated from the security apparatus and fully transferred to the management of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which ran them until 1989.


Jan Slavíček
The February 1948 Communist Coup and the Deformation of Consumer Co-operatives in 1948–1953

This study describes the transformations in consumer co-operatives in the years following the communist coup in 1948. It analyses these transformations through the traditional operation of consumer co-operatives. These had been a well-established economic player in Czechoslovakia, or the Czech lands, since at least the early 20th century. On this basis, the study comes to the following conclusions: 1. The fundamental changes in system and personnel seen in 1948-1953 were a complete departure from the traditions of consumer co-operatives; 2. These changes also in fact prevented the standard operation of co-operatives, making them essentially a mere tool of the state-managed distribution system; 3. Even without the communist coup, the consumer co-operative movement would still have moved towards greater concentration and would have been part of an economy strongly regulated and partially managed by the state; 4. At the same time, however, its connection to the Stalinist model centrally planned economy would not have occurred, and nor would its very poor restructuring in 1953–1956, which led to massive losses for consumer co-operatives.


Eva Irmanová
Czechoslovakia and the Revolution in Hungary in 1956

The XXth Congress of the Soviet communists in February 1956 because a catalyser for the new social movement in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The different responses by the Hungarian and Czechoslovak societies signalled fundamental differences in further developments in Czechoslovakia and in Hungary. In Hungary, there was a strong social movement towards democratising the regime, restoring independence and national identity, and ending subordination to Moscow. In contrast, Czechoslovakia was part of the most conservative and most dogmatic wing of the Soviet bloc. The Czechoslovak leadership considered all democratic movements in Hungary to be hostile, and even before the uprising had broken out, they considered the steps taken by the Hungarian party to be erroneous and dangerous. The events in Hungary following 23 October only further entrenched them in believing their position to be the right one. The news of the outbreak of the people’s revolution in Budapest focused against the Stalinist regime in Hungary terrified Czechoslovakia’s political representatives. They feared a mass expansion of the democratic movement into Czechoslovakia, as well as the response of their Hungarian minority. As such, they undertook all possible measures in order to prevent the outbreak of any kind of dissent within the territory of the Czechoslovak Republic. The response of the military regime in Czechoslovakia to the Hungarian Uprising was the second largest action of armed forces after the intervention of the Soviet Army used to protect the totalitarian system within the countries of the Soviet bloc during the first wave of crises between 1953 and 1957. Although Czechoslovak troops, like other elements of the Czechoslovak armed forces, were not directly involved in suppressing the uprising, by taking up defensive positions at the Slovakia-Hungary border, to some extent they supported and facilitated the intervention by the Soviet forces. The Soviet leadership attributed great importance to the events in Hungary from the beginning; between 23 October and 4 November, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee met almost continuously. There was no doubt that they could not allow Hungary to leave the group of Soviet countries under any circumstances. Although the revolutionary events in Hungary in autumn 1956 did not trigger any mass expressions of sympathy within Czechoslovakia, they had an undoubted impact on further developments there. First of all, the Czechoslovak communist leadership exploited the Hungarian Revolution and its subsequent defeat to consolidate its own power and political unity on a conservative basis, thus putting a brake on de-Stalinisation in Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia used the events in Hungary to clearly demonstrate that their policies were the right ones, rejecting any kind of liberalist tendencies and condemning the “erroneous understanding” of the outcomes of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s XXth Congress.


Tomáš Renner
Ludwig Erhard’s “formed society” concept and its critics

The author of this text examines the concept of a “formed society” in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s. Using history of thought methodology, he presents two social concepts in the post-war Federal Republic of Germany. The idea of a “formed society” began in the intellectual circles of Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard. Its spiritual roots can be found in the experience of the economic and political downfall of the Weimar Republic and the apolcalyptic Second World War that followed. The author follows its development as a concept related to the idea of the “social market economy” and in regard to thoughts on “ordoliberalism” and clarifies its individual points as presented by Ludwig Erhard at CDU congresses and to the public in the media. The idea of the “formed society” as a government concept was criticised both by ideological opponents in West German society and in East Germany, and also by representatives of the state and media. The idea of a “long march through institutions” was formulated by student leaders of the protest movements at the end of the 1960s when no Marxist revolution occurred in Western Europe. The author demonstrates that its players were partially successful in achieving the objectives they had set out for themselves, but also notes the limits of West German society, which prevented them from entirely implementing their ideas for social transformation. The divided Europe of the Cold War era is considered the most significant obstacle for their realisation. Although both concepts lost their appeal as the Federal Republic of Germany continued to develop, they still remain an important intellectual contribution to the modernisation process of post-war West German society.


Michael Durčák
Capitalism Phase Zero. Václav Klaus’s seminars as part of the thoughts of late socialism

The destruction of the communist system in Czechoslovakia stood on at least two pillars: 1) the moral delegitimisation of the governing Communist Party with the assistance of dissent, which preferred the assertion of civil and human rights; 2) the destruction of the prevailing economic system, something which became the objective of Václav Klaus and other participants in seminars during the 1980s which took place a number of years prior to the events of November 1989. The core group behind these seminars partially comprised young economists who had worked in the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences’ Economics Institute under Ota Šik. However, they were not his successors, but rather fundamental opponents who, led by Václav Klaus, were fundamentally convinced that the socialist economy could never be reformed. Thus, these seminars were a platform for criticism of the prevailing economic system to the extent possible within the regime at the time. They involved maximum application of theoretical findings acquired in practice under socialism. Paradoxically, the investigated seminars, which published proceedings using bank money backed by the local branch of the Science and Technology Company, served as thorough preparation for this task. It is the funding and “coverage” of the entire events from the highest posts in a key financial institution of the state which gives it no comparable equivalent due to the critical tone and format of the seminars during the period of socialism. Klaus furthered and developed his critical perspective on the central planning system for years through study, debate, meetings, arguments, reading and editing writings. He communicated his new findings to his colleagues at the seminars. After 1990, he was able to fully exploit the transfer of intellectual capital. All this was possible thanks to a combination of a number of factors: 1) Klaus had a network of contacts available to him of like-minded economists from the 1960s and the period he operated within the CAS’s Economics Institute. He maintained contact with them even after leaving the Academy and invited many of them to the seminars, and worked with them even after the revolution. 2) The large library of CAS’s Economics Institute and “moonlighting” with magazines, meant he had a large amount of Western literature available to him which he could study. 3) The Czechoslovak State Bank was also of great importance, as a respected financial institution providing Klaus cover, premises and funds for holding his seminars. Altogether, these facts allowed Klaus to generate a large amount of intellectual capital which he diligently circulated amongst a small group of acquaintances who were catapulted to the highest levels of Czech politics subsequent to 1990.


Paweł Fiktus
Two letters of Alexander Dubček and Oldřich Černík from June 1989 addressed to the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party and the government of the Polish People’s Republic 

In June 1989, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia Alexander Dubček and Prime Minister of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic Oldřich Černik, who held office during the Prague Spring of 1968 sent two open letters to the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party and the government of the Polish People’s Republic. It was dated 8 June 1989 in Bratislava and 12 June 1989 in Prague. In the first letter, they state that they are sending an open letter to the leadership of the communist and workers’ parties of the five countries of the Warsaw Pact who took part in Czechoslovakia’s occupation in August 1968, and also to the leadership of a number of other communist parties. In the second letter, they defend the reform process in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and KSČ’s democratic reform Action Programme, which was designed to remove administrative and bureaucratic methods of management and prevent the further stagnation of socialist society. They strongly criticise the five states of the Warsaw Pact’s occupation of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 and the subsequent normalisation, which severely endangered the domestic and international authority of socialism. They reject the neo-Stalinist Brezhnev Doctrine and promote the right of every nation and state to choose their own path of development. They demand of the leadership of the five communist parties of the Warsaw Pact and the normalisation KSČ that they draw the corresponding political conclusions from these negative experiences during a time of renewed attempts at reforming socialism.