Liška, Mihola and MacDonagh Pajerová will be on the board of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism


Update: 01.12.2022 16:45

Prague – Today, the Senate re-elected its initiator and former vice-chairman of the upper chamber for the ODS, Jiří Liška, to the Council of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR), and newly the historian Jiří Mihola, who was a member of parliament and vice-chairman of the KDU-ČSL. Monika MacDonagh Pajerová, a former diplomat and former student leader from 1989, won the third vacant seat in the council only in the second election round. The senators gave her priority over the historian Petr Blažek and the vice-chairman of the Czech Archive Society David Valůšek.

In the first round of secret elections, Liška received 45 out of 69 votes of senators, Mihola 40 votes, announced the chairman of the senate election commission Jan Tecl (ODS). 32 senators voted for MacDonagh Pajerova in the first round, 29 members of the upper parliamentary chamber voted for Blažek. In the second round, Blažek received only 18 votes and his opponent 43 votes. Valůšek was eliminated in the first round when he received only 21 votes.

In his candidate’s speech, Liška reminded, among other things, that communist and social democratic deputies tried to prevent the establishment of the institute, which in recent years was going through a crisis and lost its headquarters. According to Liška, the activity of the institute was marked by the creeping relativization of the communist past, which the former senator wants to change. He also asked his colleagues for help in obtaining a new seat.

Five years ago, the Institute had to move out of a building in Prague 3, the unsuccessful reconstruction and conservation of which cost around 60 million crowns. According to the chairman of his council, Eduard Stehlík, he would like to move into, for example, the Petschk Palace, which was the torture chamber of the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police, during the Second World War. The building in Politických vězňů Street in the center of Prague is now used by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Attempts to relativize recent history were also pointed out by Mihola, who is now the head of the history department of the Faculty of Education at Masaryk University in Brno. He would therefore like to strengthen the educational and educational activities of the institute. MacDonagh Pajerová, former spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and cultural attache in Paris, who now teaches at New York University’s Prague center, has a similar intention. She would like to spread awareness of modern history in the regions.

Blažek, who works at ÚSTR part-time, but mainly works at the Museum of Memory of the XX. century and was repeatedly elected by the Senate to the commission for the evaluation of participants in the anti-communist regime, he would like to contribute to the institute gaining a reputation and an appropriate headquarters. He also stated that, if elected to the council, he would give up his employment at ÚSTR.

ÚSTR was established in 2008 with the aim of investigating communist and Nazi totalitarianism. It focuses on the anti-democratic activities of the former security forces of the state as well as on the circumstances of the change from a democratic regime to an authoritarian one. In addition to research, he is also involved in making documents available. The council of the institute has a total of seven members. Four are nominated by civil associations, two members are elected by the Senate on the proposal of the House of Representatives and one on the proposal of the President of the Republic.


Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.

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