Where to begin

Where to begin

Each district town will have two or three buildings connected with the history of the social democratic and workers‘ movement from the decades before the First World War. They will be the local People’s or Workers‘ House, or a pub or restaurant room where the Social Democrats met. The room will often be in a pub outside the town centre, over the river or in a forest park. This was because there was more police supervision in town centres, and because workers tended to live on the outskirts of towns, near the factories.

The Social Democrats in your town probably also published a newspaper, and this would have had its office somewhere. It might have been in the People’s House, but it might not have been. It is also worth knowing that People’s Houses were founded not only by the Social Democrats, but also by the People’s Party. Not every People’s House commemorates the social democratic movement.

There was probably also a branch of the social democrat Cooperatives Wholesale Company in your town. This would have published annual reports, and probably also had advertisements in the local press giving its address.

A Social Democrat was probably elected to your town council during the First or Second republic, or even became mayor. You will then perhaps be able to find out where he lived, or where he was or is buried.

The periodicals catalogue for the Czech Republic offers dozens of social democrat magazines with both national and regional reach: Budujeme (We are Building) and Český Cheb for post-war Western Bohemia, Hlasy ze severu (Voices from the North) and Obzor českého východu (Horizon of the Czech East) for northern and eastern Bohemia before the First World War, Západočeský posel lidu (North West Bohemian People’s Herald) from the nineteenth century. All these magazines had their offices somewhere, and on their pages you can find invitations to party meetings and public events with an address given.

If social democrat associations existed in a town, you may find traces of them in the local archives. A good place to start a search is frequently the town’s information magazine, which often has a history column, or websites created by those interested in architecture (an example is the internet Encyclopedia of Rokycany).

Valuable aid may be provided by the thesis and dissertation work of university students. A number of these are now available on the website Theses, for example, but also, on an individual basis, on the website of Masaryk University in Brno (here) and Charles University in Prague (here).

We very much welcome your help in gathering information, whether you send it using the form on this page or by email to historie[o]masarykovaakademie.cz. In order to create an entry on the website lidovedomy.cz we need at least one photograph of the place in question (although you may send two or three), a title indicating the historical significance of the place for the social democrat and workers’ movement, and a description of between three and ten sentences in length.

Vložte místo