The party historian in the whirlwind of the party history - Pavel Reiman and his career in the Communist party of Czechoslovakia Cover Image

Stranický historik ve víru stranických dějin Pavel Reiman a jeho kariéra v KSČ
The party historian in the whirlwind of the party history - Pavel Reiman and his career in the Communist party of Czechoslovakia

Author(s): David Kovařík
Subject(s): Political history, Social history, Recent History (1900 till today), Interwar Period (1920 - 1939), WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), Post-War period (1950 - 1989), History of Communism
Published by: Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů
Keywords: Czechoslovakia; 20th century; postwar period; communist party; Pavel Reiman; historian; intellectuals;
Summary/Abstract: The study analyses the life story of a top member of the KSČ Pavel Reiman in the almost half century long party career. It describes the time from his admission to communist organisation at the beginning of the 1920s till his exclusion from party in the time of first normalization purges in KSČ at the beginning of normalization. Reiman belonged to educated group and intelligence of the communist party – that influenced also the course of his career in politics and party, mainly in the section for culture in the secretariat of KSČ. Later he worked in the Institute of KSČ history, where he took part in creating the official party historiography. In the beginning of his party career Reiman exhibited allegiance to Bolshevik and Stalinist stream, but at the beginning of the 1950s, when the Stalinist era culminated, he was pushed away from position of power, which led at first to his inclination to the reform communism and eventually his final break up with communism. The study also analyses an important social and national factor, which influenced the whole Reiman’s party career. Reiman rose from German speaking Jewish intelligence. It had a deep impact on Reiman’s life, particularly in turbulent times from 1930s till 1950s. He involved himself in problems of nationhood, in German and Jewish question. As a German party member he had to put up with deviation of the party from an international conception to nationalization and to reduction of the influence of the German members. At the beginning of the fifties he had to face the antisemitism in KSČ as a member of a Jewish descent. He was also dragged as a witness into fabricated “anti-jewish” political process. Before the Second World War he managed to get into a conflict with the party leadership over ideology issues (case Fried, Guttmann’s affair), and after the war he came to grips with the Czechoslovak writers with his almost fanatical approach to the “purification” of the Czech literature. The study takes notice also of the role of Pavel Reiman as a party historian, author of two monographs about KSČ history, literary scholar and Germanist, who for instance helped to organize the Kafka conference in 1963.

  • Page Range: 90-112
  • Page Count: 23
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Language: Czech