In the period before the Velvet Revolution (1945-89), the extent to which literature was under the control of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia oscillated. The most significant liberation of this control was in the 1960’s. However, in 1968, before any profound changes could take place, the Warsaw Pact army invaded Czechoslovakia and the Czech and Slovak Ministry of Education stayed under the control of the Communist Party until 1989. These two institutions are of the primary interest for analysis of the curricula, as they were and still are directly responsible for the editing of curricula for grammar schools. The period before the Velvet Revolution was an era of censorship and ever-present suppression of human rights. Only those books which were considered ‘useful’ for communist ideologies could make it through the censorship and therefore into the grammar school curricula. Literature as such was notably different in comparison to the following decades. The ‘system’ divided it into the official/’good’ and unofficial/’bad’ literature, with the official books promoting the best way for a society to function. (The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ division did not necessarily have to be the same for the reader.) The unofficial books could only exist in the form of samizdat or they were published in exile. However, it needs to be stressed that this ‘bad’ literature was by no means insignificant. Tomas Vrba from the New York University in Prague, in his interview for the Czech national radio, states that towards the end of communism (1980’s) there were around 200 official and 600 unofficial writers in the Czech Republic.

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