KVĚTA KOŘALKOVÁ, May 30, 1930 - December 24, 2008
The historic work of Květa Kořalková was influenced by her family origin in a workers' environment in Northern Bohemia. Experiences from her childhood in a family of an often-unemployed worker where the basic livelihood was provided by her mother, a factory worker, are projected - along with in-depth excerpts from archival and printed sources - in her first book Hnutí nezaměstnaných v Československu v letech 1929-1933 [Movement of Unemployed in Czechoslovakia in the Years 1929 to 1933] (Prague: Práce 1962). After the end of her university studies in 1954 she took active part as an assistant in the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in Prague in research of the way of life and public activities of miners in Northwestern Bohemia. Her lectures on the social and political development of Central European countries of the Soviet bloc after World War II, included in the program of the Faculty in the fall semester of 1956, earned unexpected relevance as a consequence of the political shake-up in Poland (May 1956) and in Hungary (October 1956), so many times more students than were enrolled attended her lectures.
This experience led the evaluating committee of the Faculty at the beginning of 1958 to the conclusion that although Květa Kořalková was professionally first-rate, politically she was not suitable for lectures to students. Therefore she involuntarily left the Philosophical Faculty and continued her work as a research assistant at the Institute for International Politics and Economics in Prague. The result was mainly her 80-page internationally recognized study Vytváření systému dvoustranných spojeneckých smluv mezi evropskými socialistickými zeměmi (1943-1949) [Creation of a System of Bilateral Allied Agreements among European Socialist Lands 1943-1949] (Prague: Rozpravy ČSAV 1966), based mainly on materials of the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of articles in journals and yearbooks.
In March 1970 Květa Kořalková, together with the majority of the employees of the Institute for International Politics and Economics, was dismissed from her job. She did not find employment in the field of history and, until her retirement in the autumn of 1987, she earned her living as a clerk in the hair-dressing communal enterprise. She tried from then on to work on social historical research in cooperation with the Institute for Ethnography and Folklore Studies of the Academy of Sciences and with professional associations. She put together the history of the professional association in which she was employed under the title Třicet let Odborového svazu pracovníků místního hospodářství [Thirty Years of the Professional Association of Workers of the Local Economy] (Prague 1977); three years later she was the chief compiler of the historical survey Třicet let místního hospodářství [Thirty Years of Local Economy] (Prague: Práce 1980), even if she could not be credited as the author. She paid a lot of attention to the mass movements of the population after 1945, mainly the re-emigration of Czech emigrants, but only after 1989 could she publish the results of her research, which had remained in manuscript form, in the study "Czechoslovak and Polish re-emigration after World War II. An attempt at ascertaining identical and different characteristics" (Slezský sborník 88, 1990). In cooperation with her husband in the years 1993-1995 she participated in extensive research on the way of life and public activities of Czech miners in Rhineland and Westphalia (yearbook Češi v cizině 10, 1998). Through twenty years of collaboration with the Hussite Museum in Tábor, she published a number of serious articles in the yearbooks Táborský archiv and Husitský Tábor, e.g., about demonstrations in Tábor 1938-1939 or changes of religious circumstances and activities of all churches in the region after 1918.