„Slovník“ aneb Vídeňský učitel v roli pašeráka exilové literatury

Pages 41–54
DOI 10.37520/cnm.2019.006
Keywords Czechoslovak exile, smuggling of literature, opposition, Jiří Pelikán, Vilém Prečan, Helmut Bachmann, Jana Stárková, Jiřina Šiklová, Adolf Müller, Josef Jelínek
Citation HANÁKOVÁ, Jitka. „Slovník“ aneb Vídeňský učitel v roli pašeráka exilové literatury. Journal of the National Museum. History Series. Prague: National Museum, 2019, 188(3-4), 41–54. DOI: https://doi.org/10.37520/cnm.2019.006. ISSN 1214-0627. Also available from: https://publikace.nm.cz/en/periodicals/jotnmhs/188-3-4/slovnik-aneb-vidensky-ucitel-v-roli-paseraka-exilove-literatury
Journal of the National Museum. History Series | 2019/188/3-4

The arrival of the occupying armies in August 1968 and the subsequent normalisation purges resulted in an unusually large wave of emigration. The regime responded to this by closing state borders in October 1969. The great number of refugees brought new stimuli to activities in exile, such as establishment of new exile periodicals and publishing houses, which contributed to preserving independent Czech literature. Some of the books produced by publishing houses in exile were always intended for readers in Czechoslovakia, where they were transported using various smuggling routes. A new smuggling channel was created in 1983 – the so-called Austrian route – by agreement between Jiří Pelikán and Vilém Prečan. They used the code word “dictionary” for this route when communicating with each other. The “dictionary” was a large passenger car, which Jiří Pelikán authorised Adolf Müller to purchase and which was modified by experts from the American secret service who created a secret compartment for transporting books and periodicals in the luggage space. Vilém Prečan and Josef Jelínek then came up with a way to fill the compartment. Young teacher Helmut Bachmann, took receipt of the car from V. Prečan in Vienna. He was talked into collaborating by Jana Stárková. Bachmann drove the car to Czechoslovakia as a tourist roughly once every three months and Jiřina Šiklová organised receipt of the consignments in Prague. The compartment was created so cleverly that the Czechoslovak border control forces were unable to find it, even after thoroughly inspecting the car for forty minutes, something that occurred in March 1984. This transport channel, financed by Jiří Pelikán, was used from the summer of 1983 until the end of 1987, when the car was taken out of operation.

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