Anatomie komunismu: Skutečný příběh jedné rodiny
[Anatomy of Communism: A True Story of One Family]
hardcover, 456 pp., 1. edition
published: november 2022
recommended price: 490 czk
This book follows the story of three people in the turbulent 20th century: the life of my mother, my father and me, whose life was affected by their fate. We were all significantly impacted by communism as an ideology as well as a political practice.
The unifying axis is the story of my mother, a pre-war communist, first imprisoned by the Nazis, and later and for much longer by her own comrades, whose rehabilitation only took place a week after the end of Antonín Novotný as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in January 1968. I drew from the rich family archive, the party archives, archives of the Corrections Force, the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Services Archive. I used many historical publications, documents and mother’s literary works with autobiographical features, and employed my own experiences and memories.
The book uses a modern historiographical approach called the “ego-histoire.” It does not intend to make definite judgments, but it will definitely inspire further questions and possible answers. Not only questions concerning the causes, nature, players and consequences of political persecutions in the 1950s and 1960s in former Czechoslovakia. There were other situations, when the fates of individuals and their families were, are and will be confronted with the mechanism of impersonal historical gears, which can hardly be influenced, and which Franz Kafka anticipated in his novel The Trial, forty years before my mother was sentenced by her comrades in a real trial in the early 1950s.
This book is not only and entirely a biographical report of a life story of three people. It is an authentic, richly documented report, based on previously unpublished findings, documenting how an uncritical belief in communism formed life and family relationships in Czechoslovakia of the second half of the 20th century, when it was put into practice.