POST BELLUM is a nongovernmental and non-profit agency founded in 2001.
In 2001, a group of Czech journalists and historians, who had been hitherto meeting at various press conferences or annual commemorative acts, founded the non-profit organization POST BELLUM (from Latin “after the war”). They were led by their conviction that witnesses of historic events need to have an opportunity to tell their stories in detail and in their entirety. Their memories bear precious testimony not only about modern history, but about the character of the Czech nation as well. If their memories are not preserved for the present-day and future generations, the society will hardly be able to cope with its history of totalitarianism. Our aim is to form a collection of interviews as extensive as possible – a collection of authentic personal stories and testimonies.
The journalists began visiting the witnesses in their free time in 2000 and since then they have been building a collection of memories, photographs, diaries and various texts which tell of the fates of people from the era of WWII and the communist totalitarianism. Today, the Post Bellum collection counts hundreds of witnesses whose testimonies have been compiled.
This collection of memories from representatives of the Czech nation is being built by a group of reporters of the former Czech section of the BBC, Czech Radio, and graduates of humanities at Charles University in Prague. We record the testimonies of the witnesses in several sessions. We let them talk in a way they wish to do so, we do not conduct traditional journalistic interviews.
We usually meet a particular witness at least two times. During the second visit, we show him/her relevant archival documents and we talk in greater detail about some episodes from his or her life. In this project, we also supplement the witnesses’ memories with photographic and textural documentation (trying to describe what the witness talked about in a brief and concise way). In special cases, the witnesses’ narratives are recorded using video equipment as well.
We classify the witnesses into several thematic groups – witnesses’ categories: Czechoslovak veterans from WWII, Czech and German anti-fascists from the WWII era, former prisoners of concentration camps, participants in military missions during the communist regime in the then-Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, participants in military missions after 1989, political prisoners 1948 – 1989 in the CzSR, officials of the authorities in power between 1948 – 1989, members of dissent during the normalization era and Charter 77 signatories, important personages of political, cultural and academic life from1948 to date. Very soon after its foundation, Post Bellum found a partner – Czech Radio, which provided the technical equipment and which keeps the copy of the collection in its archives. Since 2006, this collection has served as the basis for a series of radio documentaries Stories of the 20th Century, which are broadcast by radiostation Plus and Radiožurnál. The documentaries can be listened to on radiostation Plus every Sunday at 8:10 p.m. Repeats are broadcast on Radiožurnál every Saturday at 9:05 p.m. The documentaries can be followed on-line, or they can be downloaded from the website: http://www.rozhlas.cz/plus/portal/. Apart from exhibition, publications, and radio documentaries, Post Bellum now wants to make this collection accessible on the internet so that any user can easily and quickly retrieve not only the witnesses’ biographic data, but also information on the topics these people testify about.
We broadcast the radio documentary series Stories of the 20th Century and we build the Memory of the Nation database.
We are interested in memories of WWII war veterans, holocaust survivors, people from the local resistance movement, we would like to hear from political prisoners of the communist regime, representatives of the dissent, present-day war veterans, but also from those who became part of the repressive authorities of totalitarian regimes – State Security, KGB and others. Talk to us! We will listen to you.
We also kindly ask you for financial support. We are a non-profit organization which needs your help. Thank you!
address: Na Hřebenkách 82/2909, 150 00 Praha 5
IČO: 26548526 DIČ: CZ26548526
registered with the Ministry of Interior under file n. KS/I-1/48684/01-R, on November 29, 2001
tel.: +420 604636768 , +420221552197 , e-mail: email@example.com
account number: 51-1707230277/0100