Karel Škrábek Papers

Biographical / Historical Note

Born in the neighbourhood of Plzen 1919, died 2002; started studying law, then sociology, philosophy and forensic medicine, at the University of Prague in 1939, until its closure on November 17; active member of the student society Vyšehrad and one of the organizers of the student demonstrations of November 1939; escaped deportation to Sachsenhausen, active in the resistance; after the Second World War he started building a collection of books and other documents on modern history, in particular the Weimar Republic, Soviet Union, COMINTERN, Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (Komunistická Strana Československa KSČ) and later the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War; between 1945 and 1948 he took part in the student debates against communist cells; lectured at the so-called Workers' Academy which was linked to the Social Democratic Party; after the communist coup in 1948 excluded from the philosophical faculty; became active in the social democratic resistance against the communist regime; threatened by arrest he fled Czechoslovakia and lived in France and the United States; after his return in 1961 he was imprisoned for anti-socialist activities abroad; released in 1966, he had to earn his living as a manual labourer and was kept under strict surveillance; chairman of the Confederation of Political Prisoners of the Czech Republic (Konfederace Politických Vězňů České Republiky KPV) founded in 1968; in touch with members of Charta 77, but did not sign to protect his collections.


Books and periodicals collected by Škrábek are transferred to the library of the IISH; posters, photographs and some other visual materials are transferred tot the Sound and Vision Department; the content of the boxes No.115 and 120 are kept in the original order.


Correspondence; personal documents; typescripts; documents concerning the Czech Social Democratic Party (Česká Strana Sociálně Demokratická ČSSD); the Confederation of Political Prisoners of the Czech Republic (Konfederace Politických Vězňů České Republiky KPV, formerly K-231), rehabilitation cases, cases concerning restitution of confiscated land; photocopies of Naše Cesta, edited by Škrábek (under the pen name Karel Sova) and other young social democrats in exile; documents collected by Škrábek concerning the Spanish Civil War, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), notebooks with extracts by J.J. Šmíd and others, the Third Resistance, The Prague Spring, Jaroslav Hošek and Jan Slavík; press clippings concerning the political development in Czechoslovakia after November 1989; leaflets, clippings, photocopies and photos of articles and other documentation (1911-) 1916-2002.

Processing Information

Inventory made by Hank Geerts and Marja Musson in 2006; accrual 2017 by Bouwe Hijma.