Moravian Museum > Museum departments > Department of the History of Antitotalitarian Culture

Department of the History of Antitotalitarian Culture

Hudcova 76
612 00 Brno
phone: +420 515 910 420 

Postal address:

Zelný trh 6

659 37 Brno

Head of the department:

Mgr. Demeter Malaťák, M.A.
phone: +420 515 910 420

Staff members:

  • Mgr. Petra Pichlová - curator
    phone: +420 515 910 427, e-mail:
  • Mgr. Jan Krejčí - curator
    phone: +420 515 910 426, e-mail:
  • Mgr. Marta Mrázová - curator (parental leave)


The foundation of the Department of History of Antitotalitarian Culture was preceded by long-time negotiations with the writer and opponent of the communist regime Pavel Kohout. The first part of his manuscripts entered the collections of the Moravian Museum in 2010. At his initiative the curators found a way of obtaining archival material connected to further personalities famous for their antitotalitarian activities in the 1970s and 1980s. At the end of the year 2010 they obtained e.g. a valuable collection of documents from the writer and after November 1989 policymaker Jiří Gruša. Later, again thanks to Pavel Kohout, the Moravian Museum became the holder of the original of the Declaration of Charter 77. Pavel Rychetský donated to the museum the Books of Charter 77 that enlarged the collection.

Two years later, in 2012, a collaboration with Jiří Müller was started, one of the prominent representatives of the Brno branch of the student movement in the late 1960s, a dissident, signatory  to the Charter 77 and organizer of the so-called Underground University. It was him who secured the acquisition of documents by the historians Jan Tesař and Jaromír Procházka, philosopher Božena Komárková, sociologist Miloslav Petrusek, linguist Milan Jelínek or archival materials of the Oxford Jan Hus Educational Foundation. Acquisitions from Jan Trefulka and Milan Uhde have followed.

All these documents were acquired under the leadership of the literary historian PhDr. Zdeněk Drahoš, head of the Department of History of Literature. Progressively, the department staff started to affront the problem that some holdings have only partly to do with literature, others not at all. Historically oriented writings, those from the field of sociology, philosophy, politology or linguistics were interconnected by the antitotalitarian position of their authors. Thus, an important decision was made - the foundation of an independent department with the name Centre for Cultural-Political History of the 20th century that was established on 1 April 2015. In the next year the building housing this department was named the "Jiří Gruša House". The last big change occurred on 1 July 2018 when the department was renamed after longer negotiations with the testators of the holdings; it is now called Department of History of Antitotalitarian Culture.

The collection of the Department of History of Antitotalitarian Culture keeps being enlarged thanks to the staff´s activities. Existing holdings are continuously complemented, new ones appear, e.g. documents from František Kressa or Anna Šabatová sen. The work of the department staff focusses first of all on professional processing of these holdings, their gradual registration, digitization and making them available to researchers.

Parallely, curators pay attention to the work with the large public. They take part in the preparation of new temporary and permanent exhibitions in the Jiří Gruša House as well as in other premises of the Moravian Museum. They provide visitors with guided tours in existing exhibitions. Talks with important personalities from the field of antitotalitarian activities and presentation of their new publications are also very popular with the public.