Amendment to the Law on Czech Citizenship

Czech Collection of LawsFinally, the new piece of legislation correcting the 2013 law on Czech Citizenship (Act No. 186/2013 Coll.) has been approved, signed by the Czech President on August 12, 2019, and published as Act No. 207/2019 Coll. on August 22, 2019. It comes into effect on September 6, 2019.

SVU NEWS No.1/2019 reported about this draft on page 16. The credit for this legislative initiative goes to the Czech Senate’s Commission on Compatriots Living Abroad, then under chairmanship of Tomáš Grulich. Co-incidentally, the Commission officialised this proposal on July 11, 2018, on the same day the Senate hosted SVU’s concert in Wallenstein Garden (see also SVU NEWS No. 3/2018).

Observers remember well the famous legislative change of 2013. While the concerned public celebrated introduction of dual citizenship right, many people regretted that the original government draft was deformed by the deputies in February 2013, crossing out the children and grandchildren from the provision for citizenship by declaration. This deformation of law caused problems in families, where children born before the decisive date for dual citizenship right had legally unequal status with their luckier siblings. The children of our people who escaped from Sovietized Czechoslovakia after February 1948 were discriminated by this law, too.

The amendment brings a simple correction by introducing a new paragraph 3 into Article 31, which reads as follows:
“(3) A person whose at least one parent or grandparent is or was former citizen pursuant to Article 31(1), may acquire citizenship of the Czech Republic by means of declaration, if he/she is not citizen of the Slovak Republic on the date of such declaration.“.

The official document from the Collection of Laws (Sbírka zákonů) can be downloaded (PDF) here.

A link to the consolidated Act No. 186/2013 Coll. reflecting this Amendment No. 207/2019 Coll. is here.

Czechoslovakia: Portrait of a Tragedy (1968 Documentary)

Czechoslovakia: Portrait of a Tragedy
Rudolf Vilem Perina, František Tomášek, James McDonald

The new SVU has succeeded again. After private screening at the 2018 SVU World Congress in Prague and the world premiere in Los Angeles, this unique U.S. documentary was broadcasted by Czech Television on August 20, 2019 in a prime time.

The late U.S. Ambassador Rudolf Perina, distinguished member of the SVU, took part in the 1968 film making and its preservation 50 years later. The credit for this film preservation goes to Kate Dollenmayer, Wende Museum, National Film Preservation Foundation and the U.S. Congress. The credit for connecting Czech Television with Wende Museum goes to Georges Eichler.

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Thomas Murphy: Czechoslovakia Behind the Curtain

Thomas MurphyNew member of the SVU, native of Washington DC, an American historian living in Europe for two decades, with a teaching experience at University of Maryland, University of Illinois, and Slovakia’s Prešov University. Thomas has also worked as aid to a number of U.S. legislators, as research staff at the Library of Congress and at the American Bar Foundation. He lives and writes in Belgium and Italy.
His second book Czechoslovakia Behind the Curtain – Life, Work and Culture in the Communist Era, was just recently published.

Czechoslovakia Behind the CurtainDuring the Cold War, the West–especially in the popular media–tended to view communism as a monolithic phenomenon, with little variation throughout the Eastern Bloc. Yet culture and geography contributed to social diversity among and within communist systems. Drawing on interviews with approximately 100 Czechs and Slovaks, the author provides new perspective on day-to-day life in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Their recollections paint a more complex picture of the life on the other side of the Iron Curtain, from the Sputnik era reforms of the early 1960s, through the tumult of the 1968 Prague Spring and subsequent Soviet invasion, to the Velvet Revolution, the collapse of the Communist regime and the formation of Democratic Czechoslovakia in 1989. McFarland & Co., August 2018.
Paperback at Amazon.com
E-book formats also available at online stores like FNAC.com