Prameny, pramenná kritika a soudobé dějiny. (Odpověď Kateřině Volné)
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Primary Sources, Source Critique and Contemporary History (Response to Kateřina Volná)
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This discussion contribution highlights the issues of the importance of a critique of archival primary sources and the necessity to uphold established rules of oral research for the period of contemporary post-war history. The author responds here to a book on professors and students of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague in the years of the so-called “normalisation”, i.e. the period of personnel purges following the Soviet military occupation of Czechoslovakia until the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The author points out that the archival materials originating from the activities of either the organs of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia or Communist state security services cannot be used as a reliable illustration of events at that time unless a strict critique and contextual placement are applied. In addition, oral historical research has to work with eye-witness accounts bearing in mind their complexity and not to adopt merely a selective methodology.
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