Centre for the Study of the Cold War and its Consequences (Institute for Contemporary History, Prague)

Centre for the Study of the Cold War
and its Consequences of the
Institute for Contemporary History
Ústav pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR. v.v.i.
Vlašská 9
118 40 Praha 1
Czech Republic

Dr. Vít Smetana
Tel. +420 257 286 374

Opening Hours:
Monday 11 am - 4:30 pm
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Closed on Wednesdays



The Institute for Contemporary History (Ústav pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR - USD) is one of the research establishments of the Czech Academy of Sciences. It carries out research into Czech and Czechoslovak history since 1938 in an international context. In 2013, it established the Centre for the Study of the Cold War and its Consequences. Its main goal has been focused on insufficiently explored aspects of modern global conflicts, pre-eminently World War II and the Cold War. The primary objective of the Centre is to integrate and enhance existing research into the role played by Czechoslovakia in the bi-polar conflict. The Centre specializes in Cold War history and also focuses on problems of the post–bipolar world to bridge the gap between research into the period and that of current international affairs.

Cold War Interests: 

The researchers of the Centre have examined global conflicts after 1945 along two main lines. The research project into global conflicts and Czechoslovakia's position in the world between 1938 and 1989 focused primarily on issues concerning the World War II exile and the Second Resistance, the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945, Czechoslovakia's shifting position in the 1938 to 1989 time frame, as well as in the international Communist movement during the Cold War. Set in the context of social history, the second project examined the impact global conflicts had on the population of the Czech Lands and dealt, in particular, with the part played by industrial workers between 1938 and 1948, ethnic and social changes in the border regions of Czechoslovakia immediately after the war, including the fate of the surviving Jewish population, and, in general, the formation of a new society in these areas.

| Recent significant publications:

BORTLOVÁ, Hana: Československo a Kuba v letech 1959–1962 [Czechoslovakia and Cuba in the Years 1959–1962] (Prague 2011). The first work based on archival research describing Czech-Cuban political and economic relations in the years 1959–1962. In addition to archival documents and contemporary press, the work also draws on interviews with witnesses and opens up an entire spectrum of relevant topics, including Soviet influence on Czechoslovak and Latin American politics.

KRAMER, Mark – SMETANA, Vit et al.: Imposing, Maintaining and Tearing Open the Iron Curtain. The Cold War and East-Central Europe, 1945–1989 (Lanham 2014). The collective monograph brings together papers of leading experts in the field. It deals with the interpretation of the origin, evolution and the end of the Cold War as reflected by recently accessed archival documents. Indeed, revelatory findings about the Cold War in Europe are presented in the book. Parts of the texts were in a different form presented at a conference organized on the part of the applicant by Vit Smetana in Prague November 2009.

TŮMA, Oldrich – PROZUMENSHCHIKOV, Mikhail – SOARES, John – KRAMER, Mark – HERSHBERG, James G. (eds.): The (Inter-Communist) Cold War on Ice. Soviet-Czechoslovak Ice Hockey Politics, 1967-1969 (Washington 2014). This is the result of an international publishing project related to long-term cooperation with the Cold War International History Project (Woodrow Wilson Center). It was co-edited by O. Tuma, who also contributed to the monograph with a study mapping the dynamics of moods of Czechoslovak society.

VILÍMEK, Tomáš: Solidarita napříč hranicemi. Opozice v ČSSR a NDR po roce 1968 [Solidarity Across Borders. Opposition in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the GDR after 1968] (Prague 2010). This is the first systematic comparative work dealing with opposition activities in Czechoslovakia and East Germany after 1968 makes use of interviews, and materials of the opposition and state security provenance. In addition to the analysis of the development in the two countries, it likewise described in detail varied forms of mutual reflection and cooperation between representatives of the dissent. The book likewise provides until then unpublished documents.

| Recent long-term projects based on international cooperation:

"A Transnational Approach to Resistance in Europe, 1936-48": The project exists since the autumn of 2015, in cooperation with several other European research centers under the leadership of Professor Robert Gilde of Oxford University. The grant-project is awarded by the Leverhulme Trust.

"Das Ende einer Epoche. Der Kreml und Osteuropa 1989": The project was conducted in cooperation with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Kriegsfolgen-Forschung Graz in the years 2011–2014.

"Regime and Society in Eastern Europe (1956-1989), From Extended Reproduction's Social and Political Change": The project takes place between 2011 and 2016 as a result of a grant from the European Research Council (ERC).