The article deals with the reception of the thought of the main authors of the Frankfurt School in the Czech intellectual context. The author also attempts to respond to the question of why there was heightened interest, at a given time, in a certain author of the Frankfurt School, or in a certain work. In the thirties a group of young leftist historians who published the collection 'Dejiny a pritomnost' (History and the Present) discovered the Frankfurt School. In texts that were published by the Institute for Social Research they primarily sought inspiration for the methodology of historical science. In the view of these Czech historians, historical science should embody, in its basic methodological principles, socio-emancipatory thinking. In the sixties the interest of nondogmatic Czech Marxists centred above all on the work of Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, in which it was possible to find helpful stimulus for the development of an anthropological problematic and thus to question the governing ideology which considered all the problems of man to be solved by the institution of a supposedly Socialist order. Interest in the work of Marcuse was further aided by the significant relations between his thinking and the theoretical concepts of the Czech inter-war avant-garde (especially surrealism), which was still very much alive in the thought of the Czech social and art studies (Robert Kalivoda, Vratislav Effenberger). The seventies then brought what was, generally speaking, only a crude ideological critique of the Frankfurt School as one of the sources of so-called Marxist revisionism of the sixties. The process of socio-political 'normalisation' required the suppression of all thinking which might cause subversion and thus might damage the re-instated Marxist-Leninist ideology and the new regime of occupation in general.