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Václav Havel Library Notebooks 2011/2: Václav Černý - The Development and Crimes of Pan-Slavism

April 1, 2011


If Vokolek’s poems were a direct artistic response to the Communist Putsch – Václav Černý’s book was an intellectual one.

At the beginning of the communist era, at a time of general rejoicing for the unity with the Slavic Soviet Union, the author describes the historical roots of Pan-Slavism - from German Romanticism through the Czech Revival up to Pan-Russism - and its use by Soviet as well as Czechoslovakian Communists.

Černý’s work is a documentary about the hidden resistance of the Czech spirit - however, the book is absolutely topical today: the massively increasing Russian presence in the Czech Republic at the beginning of the 21st century requires an understanding of why so many Russians may sincerely believe that the Czech lands are part of their sphere - and why the Czech politicians' talk about friendship with Russia is so dangerous for the Czech national interest.

The Development and Crimes of Pan-Slavism should become a required reading for every Czech teacher and journalist.


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