Suicides at the Peak of Unemployment in Czechoslovakia During the Great Depression

Pages 19-24
Keywords Czechoslovakia, Lidove noviny, Pravo lidu, suicide, unemploement, depression, economy
Citation LYSONĚK, Tomáš . Suicides at the Peak of Unemployment in Czechoslovakia During the Great Depression. Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum. Prague: National Museum, 2012, 57(4), 19-24. ISSN 0036-5351. Also available from:
Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum | 2012/57/4

The Great depression in the first years of 1930s brought a significant increase in the unemployment rate in Czechoslovakia. At its
peak, over 0,9 million people were searching for a job. Along with the economical problems came a rapid increase in the number of suicides that had started off at the end of 19th century. High suicide rate, 2,5 times higher than it is today, entailed a society-wide problem as one of side effects of the bad economical situation. This paper intends to answer the question whether the media of that period reflected the extremely high suicide rates or if the press ignored this phenomenon and did not correlate the suicides with the high unemployment rate. This paper analyzes the Lidove noviny and Pravo lidu dailies in the first four months of the 1933 as the time period of the highest unemployment rate. It provides detailed analysis of the suicides’ occupations, the means they chose to commit suicide and the reasons that led them to this desperate act.

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