Ladislav Mňačko’s struggle against the communist regime Cover Image
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Ladislav Mňačko v boji s komunistickou mocou
Ladislav Mňačko’s struggle against the communist regime

Author(s): Jozef Leikert
Subject(s): History
Published by: Historický ústav SAV
Keywords: Czechoslovakia; Ladislav Mňačko; Kultúrny život; communist regime

Summary/Abstract: Only a few Slovak writers and publicists have remained engraved in the minds of their readers, friends and contemporaries so directly and in such dramatic contrasts as Ladislav Mňačko. It is not surprising that he was one of the most famous Slovak writers and journalists of the 20th century. Nonetheless, not enough attention has been devoted to him from either the historical or literary points of view. Ladislav Mňačko ought to be judged in a wider context with respect to the specific historical time period in which he lived and created. The works “Death’s name is Engelchen”, “This is what power feels like”, “Belated reportages” and “Where the dust roads end” made him famous. He commenced his literary career as a journalist, first he worked as an editor in Rudé právo in Prague, Pravda in Bratislava and twice he was editor-in-chief of the legendary Kultúrny život in Bratislava. He was born at Valašské Klobouky in Moravia, but grew up at Martin, in Slovakia. He was brought up in a proletarian colony, which marked him for life and he became a passionate communist before later changing into one of the greatest critics and opponents of the socialist society. He was feared by the top party officials who he continually criticized. In 1967 he emigrated to Israel, and Czecho-Slovakia stripped him of his state citizenship, took away all his degrees and honours and excluded him from the Writers’ Association. Even though he was rehabilitated later and received satisfaction, in 1968 he emigrated and settled in nearby Austria to protest against the entry of the allied armies into Czecho-Slovakia. Following November 1989 he did not hesitate for long and returned home to Slovakia, because even then, despite his age and experience, he was not indifferent to anything in our society. The restless journalist was awakened and there was no area influencing society, politics and the morals of citizens he would not touch. In his articles there were erudition, life experience joined with life-long dreams and wishes and one could sense the heart of a person who was searching for truth all his life when reading them. The article deals with the activities of Ladislav Mňačko in his struggle against the communist regime especially in the time period when he became the editor-in-chief of the most prestigious Slovak newspaper Kultúrny život for the second time and when his books “Belated reportages” and “This is what power feels like” were published in the West and had a significant response not only in his native Czechoslovakia.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 315-333
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Slovak