In this volume, the authoress presents an unknown report by the historian Vaclav Kral (1926-1983). Entitled 'Information on the State of Czechoslovak Historiography', it was first delivered at the Soviet Embassy, Prague, 21 August 1969. Vondrova discovered the document in the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History. In it, Kral assesses Czechoslovak contemporary history and 'exposes' an interest group, which he portrays as a 'terrorist gang', amongst the historians. With 'reactionary elements' at the core of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (the reformists) the group allegedly sought to return historiography to bourgeois, Masarykian ideology. Kral calls Milan Hubl and Jan Kren the leaders of the group, which included Vilem Precan, Milan Otahal, Karel Bartosek, and Vaclav Kural. He also points to the Institute of History of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, the Party University, the Department of Contemporary History in the Institute of History at the Academy of Sciences, and the Czech Historical Society as the centres of 'counter-revolution in historiography'. He concludes with proposals to reorganize institutions of historical research, and to ban about 140 historians. The authoress puts the document into the context of the radical-left wing Czechoslovak Communist politics after August 1968, Czechoslovak historiography, and Kral's career. A dogmatist, Kral began as an historian in the 1950s, and in 1962 became head of the Czechoslovak-Soviet Institute. In the 1960s, the ideological models he used, however, came under criticism, and he was isolated when leading historians sought to have historiography restored as a critical discipline free from direct dependence on politics. He was given another chance after the Soviet-led intervention, becoming involved in the far-left wing of the Party. A direct instrument of Soviet influence, this wing put forward demands for the condemnation of the 'Prague Spring', for the dismissal of its supporters, and pro-Soviet positions. In his report, Kral settles accounts with his critics, and, soon after writing it, himself carried out the purges in the Czechoslovak-Soviet Institute and the Historical Institute. In the 'Normalization' period he shored up his position, becoming Chairman of the Academic Board of the Academy and Head of the History Department, Charles University, and was made a professor.
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