On 24 March 2016, AAU celebrated the launch of Czechoslovak Diplomacy and the Gulag. Deportation of Czechoslovak Citizens to the USSR and the Negotiation for their Repatriation, 1945-1953 by Milada Polišenská.

Published by Central European University Press in Budapest and New York in late 2015, this monograph – the result of many years of research – focuses mainly on the diplomatic and political aspects of the deportation of Czechoslovak citizens by the Soviet Army after it entered Czechoslovak territory in 1945. The Czechoslovak authorities repeatedly requested a halt to the deportations and demanded that the deported Czechoslovaks should be returned, but without immediate effect.

The author explains the steps taken by the Czechoslovak Government in the repatriation agenda from 1945 to 1953 and reconstructs the negotiations with the Soviets. Thoroughly documented with archival material, statistics and the personal stories of survivors interviewed by the author, the book tries to answer the question of why and how the Soviet Union deported part of the civilian population of Czechoslovakia, even though it had been an allied country for much of the war.

The book launch panelists were William Eddleston, Chair of the Department of History at AAU (moderator); Barbara Day, who translated the book into English; Nora Vörös for Central European University Press, and the author. The event attracted a large audience, including the Ambassador of Estonia to the Czech Republic, H.E. Sten Schwede, experts from the Institute of International Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, historians, political scientists, AAU faculty and staff, colleagues and friends, and many other interested people.  After the book presentation and the questions and answer session, the celebration continued in the Café des Taxis in the AAU courtyard.

Publication date: April 20, 2016