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Charta 77 očima vězňů v československých vězeňských zařízeních
Charter 77 as seen by czech prisoners

Author(s): Tomáš Bursík
Subject(s): History
Published by: Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů

Summary/Abstract: The essay deals with the reactions of Czech prisoners to the Declaration of Charter 77 and to the steps taken by the official Communist powers towards the signatories of Charter 77. The imprisoned men and women were not a unified group. They were a very diverse sample of political prisoners as well as those punished for criminal offences and other crimes. Some of them were imprisoned repeatedly. The essay is based on the authentic resources and knowledge of some of the characteristics of general relationships. The archive materials mostly comprise the documents of the former Interior Security Section (later Department). They are the monthly collected reports of the former SNV (prison administration) Department which were sent to the Minister of Justice of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party on a regular basis. The publication of the Declaration of Charter 77 abroad and the subsequent reaction of the Communist establishment provoked a strong reaction among the prisoners in the first weeks of 1977. Some of them compared it to the events of 1968 and gave vivid commentaries on the standpoints and opinions of celebrities and popular characters. Especially with the political prisoners, a strong interest in the development around Charter 77 is apparent. A special reaction was seen with the prisoners in the Class III prison in Valdice. They began perceiving themselves as further victims of the Communist regime, and tried to attribute their crimes as political. They tried to carry out various events supporting Charter 77 while still in prison. As time passed the interest Charter 77 among the imprisoned waned, with the exception being the political prisoners, especially those in the Plzeň-Bory prison.

  • Issue Year: I/2007
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 42-49
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Czech
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