Archive | Czech Republic

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Transitional Justice at 20

Posted on 28 August 2009 by admin

Over the years the lustration process has grown more intractable as it has become an instrument of political maneuver and manipulation.

By Risto Karajkov

When the Czechoslovak law on lustration was adopted back in October 1991, its scope was limited both in terms of its aims and its time frame. The law did not aim to serve justice, or deal with the past – those notions only came later – but to prevent the possibility of a communist coup by preventing “elements” from the former regime from infiltrating the new government. As such, it was designed to have a limited duration of 10 years. Continue reading …

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End of Innocence

Posted on 27 March 2009 by admin

Stock-taking is in order on the 10th anniversary of Europe’s coming of age.


Ten years ago, it felt like the end of an era, and not just because serious commentators were warning that the Y2K bug would knock us all back to the age of vacuum tubes, if not quill pens.

The year 1999 brought a major consolidation of the democratic gains of 1989-1990 in Central and Eastern Europe and a smooth and fateful change of power in Russia, and saw a consortium of European states make war against one of their own for the first time since the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.  Continue reading …

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The Coming Catharsis

Posted on 20 February 2009 by admin

kunderaTwo decades after the end of communism, Czech historians and society are only now beginning to “come to terms with the past.”

By Aviezer Tucker

Until recently, Czech historians tended to avoid politically thorny issues about the recent past. There were scattered efforts to examine suppressed memories, but overall the reformed communists of the generation of 1968 would not confront embarrassing questions about the past, in effect about their youth. As in West Germany during the ’60s, once a new generation of historians came of age, though, they began to ask the questions that their parents’ generation avoided. The current debate over the Czech past is largely conducted among historians in their 30s who could not have participated in the totalitarian project and for whom communism is a childhood memory. Continue reading …

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