"Czechoslovak Political Prisoners: Life Stories of 5 Male and 5 Female Victims of Stalinism" is a 2016 book by Czech writers Tomáš Bouška and Klára Pinerová, detailing the life and ordeal of ten distinguished political prisoners from the former Central European state Czechoslovakia, published by the Brno-based publisher Knihovnicka.
The book introduces ten victims of Stalinism in Europe who became political prisoners in their own country. The life stories of these ten forced labourers in communist prisons and uranium camps behind the Iron Curtain in 1950s when captivity for political reasons was a daily routine and almost normalized, challenge the reader to get out of his or her comfort zone and relate to the difficulties they faced for their opinion and beliefs.
Iron Curtain is a term used during the Cold War to identify the boundary between the states that were members of the Warsaw Pact and those that were not and later on went to form the NATO alliance. The border was between East Germany and West Germany, between Czechoslovakia and Austria and between Hungary and Austria. The term mainly represents efforts made by the Soviet Union to block itself and its satellite states from open and close contact with the "West" and its allies.
The narratives included in the book were recorded in 2007 and 2008 using the method of oral history interview. The book is offered in two editions. The first edition was co-financed by the European Union within the programme "Europe for Citizens" and the second edition was published by a non-profit organization called Političti Věnzi, established by the authors in 2010.
The ten political prisoners whose stories are detailed in the book are Jindřiška Havrlantová, Julie Hrušková, Květoslava Moavečková, Drahomíra Stuchliková, Hana Truncová, Augustin Bubník, Zdeněk Kovarik, Jozef Kycka, Jan Pospíšil and Hubert Procházka,
The book includes interviews with the ten individuals, the map and photos of the main prisons and penal labour camps in the former Czechoslovakia in 1950s, a letter Julie Hrušková had secretly sent to the then UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold in 1958, a suit for pardon of Drahomíra Stuchliková dated 1959 and some other documents.
The authors are two Czech scholars who put an extensive amount of work into publishing the book. Tomáš Bouška has a Ph.D. in political science from the Charles University and is the founding member of the Czech Oral History Association and a programme coordinator at the Prague office of the Heinrich Boll Foundation. Klára Pinerová holds a Ph.D. at Charles University's Institute for Economic and Social History and was a member of the research project Communist Party of Czechoslovakia at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University. The book has a dedicated online portal which can be accessed at www.politicalprisoners.eu