Vilém Prečan

Vilém Prečan, a Czech historian, was a prominent voice in the call for the restitution of historical truth in Czechoslovakia. In the 1960s his position at the Institute of History of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences put him at the center of many of the era’s controversies. In 1968 he coedited a collection of materials about the Soviet invasion and the nonviolent popular resistance to it; this volume achieved world renown as The Czech Black Book. He was purged from the Academy in 1970 and emigrated to West Germany in 1976. He was the executive director of the Documentation Center for the Promotion of Independent Czechoslovak Literature, which was founded in the Federal Republic of Germany in March 1986. The Center serves as an archive for Czechoslovak samizdat books and journals, and seeks to make these materials available as widely as possible in both their original languages and translated form.