A Moravian Village Diary

This diary, written by our son-in-law's great-aunt, gives a graphic account of what it was like to live in the south Moravian countryside during the first three-quarters of the twentieth century. It outlines the known history of her family and village down to 1942, based on archival material, family tradition, local record books, her grandmother's memories, and her own personal experience, and then gives a first-hand account of what happened subsequently: the latter part of the Second World War, the liberation battle of 1945, the post-war reconstruction during 1946-47, the disastrous harvest of 1947, the Communist take-over in 1948, the collectivization of agriculture, the brief political thaw of 1968, and the subsequent Soviet-led invasion and repression. She had no more than a village school education, and few such people keep diaries extending over more than thirty years. She therefore writes from a viewpoint which is very sparsely represented in the literature, and what she has to say will help to round out the picture for all who are interested in the history of twentieth-century Europe.

This translation into English may be downloaded for perusal or printing without charge, and copies already printed and bound may be had from ourselves as long as stocks last (e-mail Sue or John, and please put "Moravian diary" in the subject line). The copies which were formerly available from The Czech Centre, London, are now exhausted.

We are happy that anything in the diary be quoted and indeed have produced it in the belief that what it contains it is worth quotation, but we ask anyone quoting from it to do so fairly and with proper acknowledgement. We have no rights in respect of the manuscript, which remains the property of the Rychlík family in Moravia, but we are willing to forward enquiries from Czech-speaking readers.

For links to the PDF files, see below. The composite file contains the complete diary, the sketch maps being placed between pages 6 and 7, and occupies 7.2MB. "Front papers" and "Appendices" include scans of pages from the manuscript, and average 2.6MB each; other files contain text only, and are relatively short.

Composite file

Front papers (title page, publishers' preface, list of contents, acknowledgements)

Sketch maps

Translator's introduction

Chapter 1 (1645-1774-1918)

Chapter 2 (1919-1937)

Chapter 3 (1938-1944)

Chapter 4 (1945)

Chapter 5 (1946-1947)

Chapter 6 (1948)

Chapter 7 (1949-1950)

Chapter 8 (1951-1953)

Chapter 9 (1954-1957)

Chapter 10 (1958-1963)

Chapter 11 (1964-1967)

Chapter 12 (1968)

Chapter 13 (1969-1974)

Translator's postscript

Appendices