The Palouš Family as One of the Centers of Czech Dissident Culture
Czech dissident culture is already an often-studied phenomenon, yet there are gaps that still need to be filled. One of them is focusing not only on well-known dissidents, but also on their family members, who often played important roles in keeping the dissident culture inside the family alive. This point of view, along with the focus on well-known dissidents are both represented in my bachelor’s thesis titled The Palouš Family as One of the Centers of Czech Dissident Culture – Oral History, written in 2011 at the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University in Prague. I focused on family of Radim Palouš, Czech philosopher and educator, former rector of Charles University, and tried to discover how (or whether) his family members were involved in dissident activities. By using the method of oral history, I spoke to Radim Palouš (born 1924), his wife Anna Paloušová (born 1925) and their sons Martin Palouš (born 1950) and Jan Palouš (born 1949). Unfortunately the interview with Jan Palouš couldn’t be used in the end. The result of analysis was imaginary division of the family into two lines: the 1st line being Radim Palouš – Martin Palouš as those who were publicly active dissidents, and therefore persecuted directly, and the 2nd line being Anna Paloušová – Jan Palouš, who were not so active in public, but who were important as „mediators“. The main aim was to show the importance of both mentioned lines and their interconnection.
Czech dissident culture; family; oral history