ČSDS Foundation (1995─1998)

The Foundation was established on 26 April 1995 with the aim of “creating conditions enabling it to continue the work of the former exile community” at home. The statute of the Foundation further defined its role as “primarily to direct and run the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre (hereafter ČSDS) that would be responsible for the collections for representatives from home and abroad” and “would provide comprehensive support for the research, educational and publication activity of the ČSDS”. The founders were Karel Schwarzenberg and Vilém Prečan for the association in Scheinfeld and Václav Kasík and Jiří Oberfalzer for the Patriae Foundation. On 15 December 1998 the ČSDS Foundation changed itself into a public beneficiary society. During its existence of just under four years it achieved the following:

  1. In cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the ČSDS organised three seminars in 1997─98:
    • The Past and the Legacy of Charter 77 (April 1997)
    • The Work of Jan Vladislav in the Context of Post-War Czech Poetry (January 1998)
    • The Year 1968 in the Historical Memory of Czech Society (November 1998)
  2. A share in the preparation of the IV─VI Schwarzenbeg Meetings (1995 to 1997)
  3. The publication of the book Umíněnost jako osud. Jan Vladislav pětasedmdesátiletý (Commitment as a Fate; Jan Vladislav at 75); prepared for publication by František Kautman and Vilém Prečan in cooperation with Milan Drápal, Prague 1998.
  4. The preparation in 1998 of the project Czechoslovak Political and Cultural Exile 1948─1989, which received a grant from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic for the years 1999─2001.
  5. The commencement of work on the international project East European Revolution 1989, whose main part was realised in 1999.
  6. The preparation of the concept: Yearbooks of the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre.
  7. The most significant acquisitions of the collections of these years include a major book donation from the estate of Vilém Brzorád with a substantial part of the archive of the exiled Social Democrats.