Historical Overview

by Miloslav Rechcigl

The impetus for organizing the Society came from Dr. Jaroslav Nemec of the National Library of Medicine, who became its first secretary-general. The idea began to take shape in the fall of 1956, when a Study Section (“Studijni odbor”) under the chairmanship of Dr. Vaclav Mostecky, was established in the Washington, DC Chapter of the Czechoslovak National Council of America. In the fall of 1957, the Study Section sent a questionnaire to thirty-five leading Czechoslovak scholars in the United States and Western Europe, concerning the possibility of organizing an Academy or Society of Czechoslovak Arts and Sciences. The response was affirmative and in fact so enthusiastic that the Study Section immediately went ahead with the recruitment of members.

By June 1958 there were already 200 members, who elected an Organizing Council (“Pripravny vybor”) as their tentative representatives. Professor Vaclav Hlavaty of Indiana University was elected President, and Vratislav Busek, former Professor of Charles University, and Rafael Kubelik, the world-renowned conductor, Vice-presidents. Dr. Jaroslav Nemec was subsequently elected Secretary-General, Oldrich Cerny, Treasurer, and Ivan Herben, Press Secretary. Almost all of the organizational and administrative work during these early stages of development rested on the shoulders of Dr. Nemec. His task was made considerably easier by the enthusiastic support, energetic work, and ready counsel he received from Professor Hlavaty and Ivan Herben.

The original Study Section in Washington, DC later became the Washington Chapter of the Society, under the chairmanship of Dr. Ladislav Feierabend. This Chapter, with its novel and extensive activities, has become a model for other local chapters of the Society which were soon established throughout the United States and Canada.

In the fall of 1959 the Society began to publish its regular news bulletin, Zpravy SVU, under the editorship of Ivan Herben. At the same time, Professor Rudolf Sturm of Skidmore College succeeded Dr. Nemec as Secretary-General.

At the first General Assembly (“Valne shromazdeni”), which took place in New York City on April 16, 1960, the members approved the Society’s by-laws, according to which the Society became an independent organization. Professor Hlavaty was elected President, Professor Vratislav Busek, Rafael Kubelik, and Dr. Felix Mikula (former aide to the Archbishop of Prague Josef Beran), Vice-presidents, and Dr. Nemec, Secretary-general.

In 1961, the organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York as a non-profit cultural organization and it assumed the name: Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in America, Inc. Although the Society maintains its headquarters in the United States, it is an international organization. The original concept of the society of Czech and Slovak intelligentsia abroad has changed into that of an organization open to all scholars, regardless of national background, who are genuinely interested in the advancement of Czechoslovak scholarship.

The First World Congress

The reputation of the Society was firmly established after its successful First World Congress, held April 20-22, 1962 in Washington, DC, and attended by more than 200 scholars, scientists, and artists from all over the world. There were some sixty papers read at these meetings, their subject ranging from linguistics to sociology and science. The program was arranged by Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., of the National Institutes of Health, while Mr. Jaroslav Drabek, Jr., of Washington, DC, was in charge of local arrangements.

Prof. Rene Wellek’s Presidency (1962-64)

The General Assembly, which met in Washington on the occasion of the First World Congress, elected Professor Rene Wellek of Yale University as the Society’s new President and Professor Rudolf Sturm as Secretary-General. Prof. Vratislav Busek, Rafael Kubelik and Dr. Felix Mikula remained Vice-presidents. In addition to the post of Press Secretary, held by Ivan Herben, the Assembly created a new position, Chairman of the Publication Committee, to which they elected Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr.

A year later, on the occasion of Prof. Wellek’s birthday, the Society sponsored the publication of his Essays on Czech Literature, and had it published by Mouton and Co. (The Hague, The Netherlands). The book was presented to the author by the Society at the General Assembly Meeting in Toronto, Ont., in the fall of 1963.

Another milestone in the history of the Society was the appearance of its periodical, Promeny (Metamorphoses), which began publication in January 1964, under the editorship of Dr. Ladislav Radimsky. In this quarterly journal articles, primarily in the fields of literature, philosophy and the arts were published.

The Second World Congress

The Society held its Second World Congress on September 1l-l3, 1964, on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. About 120 papers were presented by scholars — invited guests as well as members of the Society — from all over the United States, Canada, South America, Australia and Western Europe. The papers covered most major fields of intellectual endeavor, including history, literature and linguistics, music and fine arts, social sciences, and the biological and physical sciences.

A special feature of the program was a symposium “Czechoslovakia and its Neighbors: Nationalism vs. Federalism,” in which many distinguished scholars of different national background debated the issues which led to nationalistic conflicts in East-Central Europe. Another symposium was organized to evaluate the era of the first Czechoslovak Republic. Finally, the situation in present Czechoslovakia, i.e., the cultural, social, economic, political, and international aspects, was examined during three separate sessions. Another feature of the Congress was a Czechoslovak Literary Evening, to which the leading contemporary Czech and Slovak writers and poets living abroad were invited to read from their works. There were two exhibits at the Congress, one featuring Czechoslovak fine arts and the other books on Czechoslovakia, as well as books and music by Czechoslovak authors and composers abroad.

Prof. Wellek’s Second Term (1964-66)

At the General Assembly meeting held during the Congress, Prof. Rene Wellek was re-elected President and Rudolf Sturm, Secretary-General; Rafael Kubelik, Professor Josef Korbel (University of Denver), and Professor Victor S. Mamatey (then at Florida State University, later at the University of Georgia) were elected Vice-presidents.

At about this time, Mouton and Co. published the Proceedings of the Society’s First Congress, The Czechoslovak Contribution to World Culture, edited by Dr. Rechcigl. It was the Society’s first publication to result from the combined efforts of many of its members. The book was also unique in another respect: it was the first major publication in English concerning Czechoslovak culture. That the book fulfilled its goal is apparent from the words of its reviewers: ” . . .magnificently produced book . . . gives information about the most important cultural achievements of the Czechoslovak nation.. .” (International P. E. N. Bulletin of Selected Books), or . . .this volume achieves its goal: it shows that both the Czechs and Slovaks have given a remarkable impetus to the progress of Euro-American civilization by playing the important, difficult part of mediators between the Slavic and the so-called Western world” (Books Abroad). At the beginning of 1965 the Society opened its new office at 381 Park Avenue So., New York, NY 10016. The office became a meeting place for the Society’s members and for other scholars and intellectuals, including visitors from Czechoslovakia. It was a place where scholars could obtain information and find useful books and periodicals. The office served also as the circulation headquarters for the Society’s publications, and as its library and archives.

The Third World Congress

A total of one hundred and thirty-eight papers were presented at the Society’s Third Biannual World Congress held at Columbia University, New York City, September 2-4, 1966. Scientists and scholars from sixty-five universities in the United States, from eight Canadian and eight European universities, as well as from one university each in Australia and Central America participated in the lecturers and symposia. Similarly to the earlier congresses. the purpose of the Third Congress had been to present a balanced program of general and scholarly interest designed to document and highlight current research on Czechoslovakia, as well as contributions of Czechs and Slovaks throughout the Western world in such domains as natural and social science, the arts and literature.

In addition to the regular sessions organized according to various disciplines, the program included several symposia, one entitled “The Czechs and the Reformation,” the second, “Poland and Czechoslovakia” (organized in cooperation with the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America), the third “CSSR – The New Economic Model,” and the fourth, “Czechoslovakia 1945-l948.”

A special feature of the program was a panel discussion on scientific research and the organization of science in present-day Czechoslovakia, under the chairmanship of Professor V. Hlavaty of Indiana University and Dr. M. Rechcigl, Jr. of the National Institutes of Health. Among the panelists were former scientific workers and associates of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, including Drs. F. Chytil, V. Fried, E. Sipos, etc., and Prof. V. Slamecka of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Dr. R. Urban of the Johann-Gottfried-Herder-lnstitut.

Those attending the Congress were also able to view two exhibits, one featuring reproductions of documents, publications and engravings of 17th century Czech and Slovak exile writers and artists in Western Europe who had been forced to leave their native land due to religious persecution, such as Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius), Wenceslav Hollar, and others. The other exhibit displayed Czechoslovak postage stamps from 1918 to 1948.

In honor of the seventieth birthday of Prof. Vaclav Hlavaty, Indiana University Press published a Society-sponsored Festschrift, entitled Perspectives in Geometry and Relativity. The first copy of the book was presented to Professor Hlavaty at the banquet of the Society which took place at Columbia University on the occasion of the Society’s Third Congress.

The visitors at the Third Congress were also able to purchase the Society’s first SVU Biographical Directory of its then some 1,000 members, compiled and edited by Eva Rechcigl. Besides alphabetical listings, the members were also listed by geographical location and by their specialty or field of interest.

Prof. Vaclav Hlavaty’s Presidency (1966-68)

Preceding the lectures there was a plenary meeting at which Prof. Vaclav Hlavaty was elected President; Dr. Ferdinand S. Hoffmeister (then at Roswell Park Memorial Institute, now at Albany Medical College), Prof. Josef Korbel (University of Denver) and Prof. Victor S. Mamatey (University of Georgia), Vice-presidents; and Prof. Vojtech E. Andic (Union University), Secretary-General.

The Fourth World Congress

The Fourth World Congress of the Society was held August 30-September 1, 1968, at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. In addition to the customary variety of scholarly lectures and symposia, this Congress commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic in October, 1918 in a section entitled “Fifty Years of Czechoslovakia,” with a number of lectures and panel discussions dealing with the relations between Czechs and Slovaks, Czechoslovakia’s history, politics, literature, economy, diplomacy, geography, medicine, education, etc.

For the first time, scholars and scientists from Czechoslovakia were invited to participate at the Congress. However, in view of the unprecedented events which took place in Czechoslovakia at the time the Congress had convened, only a few of these individuals were able to participate in person.

Several exhibits were organized at the occasion of the Congress: fine arts, architectonic and book exhibits at Georgetown University, and another art exhibit featuring paintings of Koloman Sokol and Oskar Kokoschka at the Smithsonian Institution. A special exhibit of rare documents pertaining to the founding of Czechoslovakia was open to the public in the Library of Congress from August 26 through September 29; among other memorabilia it contained the original correspondence between Thomas G. Masaryk and Woodrow Wilson, and the Washington Declaration of Czechoslovak Independence of 1918. On Friday, August 30th, an evening concert of organ music at the Washington National Cathedral featured Professor Karel Paukert from Northwestern University.

One of the highlights of the Congress’ banquet were the moving addresses of the novelist Marcia Davenport and the physician Dr. Karel Steinbach, both of whom were close friends of the late Jan Masaryk.

Dr. Jaroslav Nemec’ Presidency (1968-70)

The new President of the Society became Dr. Jaroslav Nemec; Dr. V. E. Andic, Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr. (then with Health Services and Mental Health Administration), Dr. George J. Skvor (University of Montreal) and Dr. Rudolf Sturm were elected Vice-presidents; and Dr. John G. Lexa (New York University) Secretary-General.

The Euro-American Working Conference

During June 26-28, 1970, the Society convened a working conference in Horgen, Switzerland, the first such meeting to take place in Europe. Some 150 persons from various European countries, in addition to the American delegation representing the SVU Executive Board, took part in the proceedings. There were altogether twelve panel discussions, including “The Aims and Activities of the SVU, ” “Czechs and Slovaks Abroad,” a panel on the arts, “Contemporary Czechoslovakia,” a historical session, “The Prague Spring of 1968,” and sessions in the fields of political science, philosophy, education, literature, economics and journalism.

The unique feature of the meeting was that a larger proportion of the participants were individuals who left Czechoslovakia recently, following the Spring of 1968. The meeting thus afforded an excellent opportunity for getting to better know the most recent exiles, to get acquainted with their views and to exchange ideas.

The Fifth World Congress

The Fifth World Congress was convened on the campus of New York University on November 15, 1970, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the death of Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius). A commemorative convocation to honor the “Teacher of Nations” was attended by representatives of American universities and colleges and other prominent personalities, including Mrs. Gerta Figulus-Kallik of Los Angeles, a direct descendant of Comenius. Prof. Otakar Odlozilek delivered the principal address, followed by a film showing the main works of Comenius and the Comenius Museum at Naarden, The Netherlands.

In addition, two special symposia were organized depicting the highlights of Comenius’ life and his works. Apart from this program were the customary lectures on various aspects of Czech and Slovak culture. A special concert was given to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Czech composer Vitezslav Novak.

Dr. Jan V. Mladek’s Presidency (1970-72)

Following the established practice, during the general membership meeting the Society chose its new officers for the next term. Dr. Jan V. Mladek of the International Monetary Fund was elected President; Prof. Vojtech E. Andic, Dr. Thomas M. Messer (Guggenheim Museum), Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr. (Agency for International Development), Prof. George J. Skvor and Prof. Rudolf Sturm as Vice-presidents, Dr. John G. Lexa as Secretary-General and Prof. Vratislav Busek editor of Zpravy SVU. Mr. Emil Royco was re-elected Treasurer.

During the years 1971-1972, the Society published several important publications, including Roman Jacobson’s Studies in Verbal Arts (Slovanske urneni) and Matthew Spinka’s translation of Comenius’ The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart as well as a collection of essays, Comenius, edited by Vratislav Busek, in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the death of the Bohemian scholar. The first two books were published jointly with the University of Michigan. In 1972 the Biographical Directory of the Members of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in America, Inc., prepared by Eva Rechcigl and Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., was also published. In addition to the customary biographical data, the Directory also contained the by-laws and a chapter on the milestones in the history of the Society.

The Sixth World Congress

During November 10-l 2, 1972, the Sixth World Congress of the Society was held at George Washington University in Washington, DC. The general lectures focused on medieval Bohemia and Moravia, history of the making of modern Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovakia after World War II and Slovakia. Specialized sections featured papers on “Czechoslovak Law and Administration of Justice,” “Literature and Linguistics,” “Fine Arts,” “Musicology,” “News Media and Journalism,” “Ethnic Studies, ” “Social and Behavioral Sciences,” “Biological and Physical Sciences,” “Engineering and Technology,” and “History of Sciences, Technology and Education.” In addition, three reading sessions from new works of Czech and Slovak writers were organized. The highlight of the Congress was the reception and banquet at the Atrium of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. On this occasion, Honorary membership to past Presidents Professor Rene Wellek and Dr. Jaroslav Nemec were presented, in recognition for their accomplishments.

Prof. Francis Schwarzenberg’s Presidency (1972-74)

The newly elected officers for 1972-74 term included Prof. Francis Schwarzenberg (Loyola University), President; Prof. V. E. Andic, Prof. Vratislav Busek, Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., Arch. Emil Royco and Prof. Rudolf Sturm, Vice-presidents; Dr. John G. Lexa, Secretary-General; Mr. Jaroslav Sabat, Treasurer; and Jiri Skvor, Editor of Promeny. The officers were re-elected for another one-year term at the General Assembly Meeting held in Toronto on November 17, 1973.

In 1973, the Society, jointly with the University of Michigan, published a monumental Anthology of Czech Poetry, prepared by Alfred French, with an introduction by Rene Wellek.

The Seventh World Congress

The Seventh World Congress was convened during November 15-l 7, 1974 at the Washington Square campus of New York University, basically following the same pattern as the Sixth Congress. Special features included lectures and discussions on the Hussites; an overview of the controversial manuscripts of Dvur Kralove and Zelena Hora; Czech politics between the Revolutions of 1848 and 1918; politics and politicians of the 1920s; nationality problems in Slovakia and Ruthenia; the Jews in Czechoslovak history and culture; Czechoslovak-Ukrainian relations, etc.

There was a special showing of a full-length film of the opera Krutnava by the contemporary Slovak composer Evzen Suchon. At the banquet, held in the Prince George Hotel, a concert featured music by Czechoslovak composers Karel Boleslav Jirak, Leos Janacek and Karel Husa, performed by Rudolf Firkusny, Frantisek Smetana and Karel Husa.

Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl’s Presidency (1974-76)

SVU Reorganization and Fiscal Reform

As a result of the elections, the Society leadership was put in the hands of Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr. (Agency for International Development), President; Dr. Alexej Borkovec (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture), Ing. Jan Gavora (Canada Dept. of Agriculture), Prof. Josef Skvorecky (University of Toronto), Dr. Ernest Sturc (International Monetary Fund) and Prof. Zdenek Suda (University of Pittsburgh), Vice-presidents; Dr. John G. Lexa (New York University), secretary-general; Dr. Frank Meissner (Inter-American Development Bank), Treasurer; and Dr. Jiri Skvor (Radio Canada International), Editor of Promeny.

Shortly after assuming office, the newly elected Executive Board undertook a thorough analysis of management and fiscal affairs of the Society. Partly because of financial losses on earlier publication projects and partly due to a slack of income from membership dues, the Society faced a critical situation inasmuch as its yearly expenses began to exceed its annual income. As a consequence, it was decided to sharply cut down the Society’s overhead by closing its New York office and to decentralize the responsibility for different functions among the members of the Executive Board. A systematic campaign was also launched to increase income by urging members to pay their back dues, by enlarging the membership rolls and from gifts. The strategy worked, and within a year the Society finances were again in the black.

The Los Angeles Conference

During October 24-26, 1975 the annual meeting of the Society was held in Los Angeles, Calif. The local chapter, jointly with the Center for Russian and East European Studies of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), organized a day-long symposium in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Garrigue Masaryk. The Honorable Tom Bradley, Mayor of Los Angeles, proclaimed October 28, 1975 Czechoslovakia’s Independence Day.

1975 saw publication of selected papers from the Law Symposium held at the Sixth Congress called Czechoslovak Military Justice Abroad during the Second World War, edited by Keith Ewing and John H. Fisher, and the initiation of a series of Occasional Papers, under the general editorship of Dr. Jaroslav G. Polach.

The Eighth World Congress

In 1976, by far the most important event of the year was the Eighth World Congress of the Society, which formed a part of the Bicentennial celebrations of the United States, and was held August 12-I 5, 1976 in Washington, DC, at Georgetown University. The central theme of the Congress was “Contributions of Czechs and Slovaks to North America.” Featured were symposia “Czechoslovak Immigrants in the U.S. and Canada from a Regional Point of View,” “Religious and Spiritual Life of Czechs and Slovaks in North America,” “Prominent Americans of Czechoslovak Origin,” “Czechoslovak Economists in North America, ” “Czechoslovak Ethnic Studies in North America,” and others. In addition, there was an International Symposium on Frantisek Palacky (1798-1876) in commemoration of the centenary of the death of the “Father of the Nations,” six separate history sections and a symposium “Fifty Years of the Prague Linguistic Circle.”

On Thursday night, August 12, a reception for the SVU Congress participants and their guests was held in the magnificent Caucus Room of the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill. Following the reception, the Congress participants visited the U.S. Library of Congress where a special exhibit of documents, books and periodicals relating to Czechs and Slovaks in the United States was featured. The displayed materials traced the history of Czech and Slovak immigrants from colonial times to the present: (a) first maps of Maryland and Virginia, drawn in 1673 by Augustine Herman, Lord of Bohemia Manor and one of the founders of the State of Maryland; (b) documents relating to the arrival of the Moravian Brethren in the 1740s, the period between mass migration beginning after 1848 and up to the political immigrations after 1938; (c) also on display was an 1862 issue of Slavie, one of the earliest Czech newspaper in America, a 1905 edition of a grammar and phrase book for new Slovak immigrants, a phonograph record of one of the Texas Bata family bands, a holograph score of the composer Bohuslav Martinu a printed volume of the anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka’s Alaska Diary, and many others memorabilia.

On Friday night, August 14, the U.S. Army Band played a special concert of Czech and Slovak music on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

On Saturday morning, August 15th, the Society saluted the USA Bicentennial at the ceremonial Plenary Session, held in the Hall of Nations of George-town University. Some fifty welcoming messages and greetings, including those of the President of the United States as well as Governors, Senators, Congressmen, Mayors, etc., were read. A number of State Governors, including those of Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia declared Czechoslovak Days in their States for the duration of the SVU Congress. Following the official greetings, the leaders of the major Czechoslovak organizations and community groups in the United States and Canada, who were especially invited for the event, were introduced. This was followed by presentations of the Bicentennial Distinguished Awards to selected personalities of Czechoslovak descent. The ceremonies were concluded with a keynote address by Dr. Michael Novak, a prominent publicist of Slovak descent.

Other special events included an art exhibit, “SVU Contributions of Arts,” an exhibit of books by the members of the Society, a boat cruise on the Potomac River, etc. The social activities culminated on Saturday night at the SVU reception and banquet, followed by the Bicentennial Grand Ball in the elegant L’Enfant Plaza Hotel.

Dr. Rechcigl’s Second Term (1976-78)

The General Assembly, which met during the Congress, re-elected for another two-year term (1976-78) essentially the same slate of officers, including Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., President; and Dr. Alexej Borkovec, Ing. Jan Gavora, Prof. Milos M. Sebor (Eastern Kentucky University), Prof. Josef Skvorecky and Dr. Ernest Sturc, Vice-presidents; the other officers remained the same.

As its special contribution to the USA Bicentennial, in 1976 the Society published the monumental bibliography, Czechs and Slovaks in North America, the result of meticulous research by the librarian Esther Jerabek, a second generation American of Czech descent. As the Chief of the Slavic Division of the U.S. Library of Congress put it: “With unparalleled thoroughness this bibliography provides a remarkably full inventory of published, and to some extent, also unprinted documents, on Czechs and Slovaks in North America, opening a panoramic view of their immigration to this [U.S.] country, the often arduous first steps in a new and unaccustomed environment, the taking root and settling down, and the richness of their contribution to the development and growth of their adopted country.”

The First European Conference

In September 17-l 9, 1976, the Swiss chapter of the Society organized in Interlaken, Switzerland, a European Conference on the Meaning of Czech and Slovak History, which was attended by eminent scholars from a number of West European countries. Presentations included contributions by Prof. Milan S. Burica (Padova), Dr. M. Hauner (London), Dr. Karel Hruby (BaseI), Prof. Jaroslav Krejci (Lancaster), Prof. J. M. Lochman (BaseI), Dr. M. Micatek (BaseI), Prof. K. Skalicky (Rome), Pave1 Tigrid (Paris), and Prof. Mojmir Vanek (Geneva). The proceedings of the Conference were published in Promeny, vol. 14, no. 2 (1977).

The Ottawa Conference

Another important conference was organized in Ottawa, Canada, during October 7-9, 1977, on the occasion of the traditional SVU Annual Meeting. Featured was a symposium on “The Contributions of Czechs and Slovaks to Natural and Medical Sciences” and a symposium on “Fifty Years of Czechoslovakia: Selected Historical and Political Topics.” Special events included an art exhibit of paintings by SVU members and a concert, with Mme. Martine Koubova, Prof. Zdenek Konicek and Dr. Francis Stein participating. As a consequence of the premature death of the secretary-general, Dr. John G. Lexa, two months prior to holding the Society Annual Meeting, there was a need to appoint a new secretary-general. At a special meeting of the SVU Council, which convened in Ottawa on October 7, Dr. Vera Zanda Borkovec (American University) was elected to complete the current term of the office.

Apart from continued emphasis on the stabilization of the fiscal matters of the Society, the activities of the Executive Board in the period 1976-78 focused primarily on further decentralization and the long-term planning of the Society efforts. This included the revision of the by-laws, reorganization of the management and the editorial responsibilities of the SVU periodicals Promeny (Metamorphosed and Zpravy SVU (The SW News Bulletin) and laying of the foundation for a new international scholarly periodical to be published under the aegis of the Society.

Increased attention had also been given to the role of local chapters and closer relationship between individual chapters and the Executive Board. This was attained by appointing one of the Vice-presidents (Jan Gavora) with the responsibility for coordinating the work of local chapters. As a result of this policy, substantial revitalization occurred in most chapters and those in Chicago, Montreal, and Melbourne deserve particular mention for their efforts and initiative. In addition, two new chapters sprang into existence, one in Vancouver, BC, and another in Wellington, New Zealand. Of the “old-time regulars,” special credit goes to the Washington, DC Chapter which, through its own initiative, began organizing Czechoslovak Bazaars on annual basis, contributing its profits to the SVU treasury towards funding various Society publications.

The Geneva Roundtable

Of the European chapters, the Swiss was clearly the most active. On October 28, 1978, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia, the Chapter organized an international “table ronde” on “Culture and Freedom.” The enormously successful event took place at the University of Geneva with participation of a number of prominent personalities of Swiss and French cultural life. Among speakers were Jeanne Hersch, professor of philosophy at the University of Geneva and later a Swiss delegate to UNESCO; Roland Ruffieux, professor of contemporary history and political science at Fribourg and Lausanne and President of the Swiss Federal institution “Pro Helvetia”; Andre Reszler, professor of modern European cultural history and director of Centre Europeen de la culture in Geneva; Georges Cotier, professor of philosophy at the University of Geneva and Fribourg and publisher of the renown revue Nova et Vetera; Francois Bondy, leading literary and drama critic from Zurich; Bernard Dorival, professor of art history at the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne), former director of Musee national d’art moderne in Paris, and a recognized expert on Czech modern art. It is noteworthy that the entire proceedings were conducted in the French language.

The Ninth World Congress

It was the spirit of decentralization that prompted the Executive Board to hold its Ninth World Congress in Cleveland, Ohio, in place of its traditional locations such as Washington, DC or New York City. The main rationale for selecting Cleveland was the recognition of the role Cleveland has played in the history and lives of the Czech and Slovak immigrants from the middle of the last century to date.

The Ninth World Congress was convened on the modern, newly opened campus of the Cleveland State University during October 26-29, 1978, under the Presidency of Dr. Rechcigl, program chairmanship of Ing. Stanley J. Marsik and local arrangements of Mrs. Dagmar Posedel. The Congress marked the twentieth anniversary of SVU, which was commemorated by several special events. First there was a historical Society symposium on the first day of the meeting, chaired by past-President Jan V. Mladek and vice-president Jan Gavora. As a part of the symposium Dr. Jaroslav Nemec gave a detailed account of the beginnings of the Society. This was followed by individual presentations by the Presidents of the local chapters of the Society throughout the world on the development, current status and activities of their respective chapters. Another commemorative event, “Salute to the Twentieth Anniversary of the SVU,” took place on Saturday in the Cleveland City Hall in order to give it maximum exposure and publicity. It was an extraordinary event, with the participation of the Mayor and the members of the Council of the City of Cleveland and other public officials. Countless number of congratulatory messages were received from various parts of the United States and Canada, including those from U.S. senators and congressmen, governors, mayors and others. President Jimmy Carter in his letter to Dr. Rechcigl praised the international impact of SVU and its dynamic leadership role in attracting the best talents of central Europe.

It should be noted that all the living SVU Presidents, past and present, were present during the ceremony. Festivities culminated in the moving address by Hon. Charles A. Vanik, U.S. Representative from Cleveland. The Society gave Congressman Vanek, who is of Czech extraction, a distinguished award on that occasion, in recognition of his contributions to social and immigrant legislation.

The major part of the Congress was devoted to scholarly and scientific lectures and discussions, organized in six concurrent sections for most of the last three days of the Congress. The subject matter was unusually broad, covering modern and medieval history, philosophy, literature and linguistics, social and behavioral sciences, economics, biomedical sciences, physical sciences, creative and performing arts, etc. There were also special symposia organized, such as that on contemporary Czechoslovakia, another on “Future Alternatives for Czechoslovakia,” on the composer Leos Janacek and his work, on St. John Nepomucene Neumann (an American Saint of Czech descent), on world energy crisis, on women in retrospect and perspective, and so on. There was also a symposium on the contributions of Jews from Czechoslovakia, and another on Czech and Slovak archival and library resources in America, and one on general systems research. In addition, the program included a panel discussion on Czech and Slovak literature home and abroad, one on political history of Czechoslovakia, one on science and society, and another on cancer research and treatment. A separate session was devoted to the traditional readings by Czech and Slovak writers from their new works.

A variety of cultural and social events were scheduled for the evenings. On the first night there was a special documentary in Czech and Slovak, “A to, co neumira,” arranged by Jaromir Zastera of Voice of America. It was a variety show, comprised of poetry reading, music, songs, movie shorts and stills, depicting the last 60 years in the eventful history of Czechs and Slovaks-at the height of their glory and triumph, and at the time of their distress and suppression.

In observance of the fiftieth anniversary of Leos Janacek’s death, the Cleveland Museum of Arts paid the composer a fitting tribute by the performance of his works. Performers included the Kent State University chorale, organist Karel Paukert, pianist Antonin Kubalek, and others.

Among other special events there was an art exhibit of SVU members, organized and arranged by Antonin Svehla and Liba Puchmajer; exhibits of books as well as a display of documents relating to Czechoslovak legions in Siberia and another one to canonization of St. John Nepomucene Neumann. Among the exhibited SVU publications was also a newly revised edition of the Biographical Directory of the Members of the Society.

The Congress activities reached their peak in the traditional banquet and Grand Ball held at the Cleveland Plaza Hotel on Saturday night. This was the occasion for the outgoing President to give his farewell address and for the new President to outline some of his plans.

The outgoing President, Dr. Rechcigl, received special recognition for his efforts on behalf of the Society by being elected an honorary member. In addition, founding membership was voted for Mr. Joseph Zahradka (in memoriam)-the past President of the Los Angeles Chapter-and Dr. Jiri Skvor, the Editor of Promeny.

Prof. Jan F. Triska’s Presidency (1978-80)

The election of new officers took place at the General Assembly meeting following the approval of the reports by the outgoing Executive Board. The newly elected Board included Professor Jan F. Triska (Stanford University), President; Professor William E. Harkins (Columbia University), Ing. Stanley Marsik (NASA), Professor Ladislav Matejka (University of Michigan), Dr. Michael Sumichrast (National Association of Home Builders), and Professor Milan Trpis (John Hopkins University), Vice-presidents; Professor Vera Z.. Borkovec (American University), Secretary-General; and Herbert Naylor (National Library of Medicine), Treasurer.

With the greatly improved financial status of the Society, Professor Triska’s Presidency was conducted, from the start, in an atmosphere of relaxed optimism and promise. Thanks to the initiative and efforts of Professor Matejka, who had the responsibility for SVU publication program, several new titles appeared in print under the Society’s sponsorship. There was a new edition of Alfred French’s Anthology of Czech Poetry, followed by Jaroslav Seifert’s Morovy sloup -The Plague Monument, translated by Lyn Coffin and with collages by Jiri Kolar, and Jiri Orten’s Elegie-Elegies. In addition, funds were authorized for publication of Joseph Chada’s The Czechs in U.S. and T. G. Masaryk compendium under the editorship of Milic (Capek and Karel Hruby. Furthermore, at the request of the Executive Board, Dr. Rechcigl prepared an extensive directory of American and Canadian University Professors of Czech/Slovak origin and other educators who had professional ties with Czechoslovak culture. The book, which came out under the title Educators with Czechoslovak Roots was subsequently used as a premium in the Society new membership drive, organized by Stanley Marsik.

In an effort to make the Society more accessible to the public as well as to provide better integration of its English speaking members, SVU launched in 1980 a new English news bulletin, Bulletin, published three times a year. Plans to publish a new scholarly periodical in English, unfortunately, could not be materialized at that time, for a variety of unforeseen organizational and administrative problems.

Three new SVU chapters were founded during this time, one in Pretoria, South Africa (1979), one in San Francisco-Bay Area (1980), and another in Vienna, Austria (1980).

The Los Angeles Conference

In the continuance of the SVU policy of decentralization, the 1979 annual meeting was convened in Los Angeles October 26-28. Following the established practice, the local chapter had the sole responsibility for arranging the cultural and social program. The Los Angeles Chapter, jointly with the Center for Russian and East European Studies and the Department of Slavic Languages at the University of California-Los Angeles, organized an eminently successful symposium entitled “Czechoslovakia 1979.” Professor Stanislav Segert was responsible for the program content, while Frank Marlow was in charge of local arrangements. Participants included Dr. Boris Krekic, Director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at UCLA, Professor Andrzej Korbonski, Chairman of the Department of Political Science, UCLA, Professor Jiri Valenta of Naval Post Graduate Academy at Monterey, Professor Jan F. Triska of Stanford University, Professor Michael S. Flier, Chairman of the Slavic Department at UCLA, Professor Michael Heim of the same department, Professor Stanislav Segert, UCLA, Professor Jaroslav Mracek of California State University at San Diego and Dr. Zdenka Fischmann of Corona, California.

On Saturday night the traditional SVU banquet was held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. On Sunday, October 28, which was declared by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles Czechoslovak Day, the Society took part in the commemorative ceremonies of the anniversary of the Czechoslovak independence.

The Second European Conference

During May 15-18, 1980, the Swiss Chapter organized the Second European Conference in Interlaken, entitled “The Humanitarian Legacy of T.G. Masaryk.” One hundred and twenty participants from ten countries attended the meetings. Masaryk’s philosophical and political writings, which have played a major role in the development and identity of the modern Czech and Slovak nations, were appraised in the light of the world’s events following Masaryk’s death. Speakers included M. Vanek (Geneva), E. Kohak (Boston), J. M. Lochman (Basel), B. Stefanek (Munich), Ant. van den Beld (Utrecht), K. Hruby (Basel), M. Novak (Lausanne), F. Schwarzenberg (Unzmarkt), and J. Kreci (Lancaster). The papers were published in Promeny, vol. 17, no. 4 (1980).

The Tenth World Congress

The months that followed were spent primarily on the preparation for the Tenth World Congress scheduled for October 17-19, 1980 at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Professor William E. Harkins was responsible for the substantive content of the program while Mr. and Mrs. Royco were in charge of the local arrangements. The lecture program of the Congress began on Friday afternoon (October 17) and continued through Saturday and Sunday. The Friday program comprised of a panel discussion of the future of the SVU and two symposia, one on the “Perspectives of Nationalism,” and the other on “The Role of Women in the Arts and Sciences.” The Saturday program was quite varied, encompassing such topics as the role of Czechoslovakia in world trade, Czech literature and culture, Czechoslovak industrial and agricultural development, philosophy of Czech history, technology and the contemporary world, Kafka in East European literature, religion and the world today, a panel discussion on Charter 77 and its aftermath, music and the modern world, two sections on musicology and music history, section on earth sciences and another on natural sciences. In addition, there was a panel discussion on Czech and Slovak films and readings from new works by Czech and Slovak authors.

The Sunday program was just as diversified. A number of sections were arranged by discipline, such as psychology and psychiatry, biology and medicine, economics, arts, history, literature etc. Others were organized into topical groups, i.e. Czechoslovakia and Eastern Europe, Rusyns and the First Czechoslovak Republic, Slovak literature and culture, Czechoslovak-Ukrainian relations, the ethnic approach to the teaching of Czech and Slovak languages and culture, the Bohemian-Jewish milieu and its cultural creativity, global foreign policy issues, such as “After Afghanistan and Iran What?”; a symposium on cancer research and treatment, another session on Czechoslovak and East European history and more readings from new works by Czech and Slovak authors.

Other cultural events included an SVU book exhibit and two art exhibits by SVU members. On Saturday evening a concert of Czech and Slovak music in honor of the 100th anniversary of birth of Jan Kubelik, took place.. The SVU Banquet and Ball took place on Saturday night in the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel under the Honorary Chairmanship of Col. John Slezak. The banquet program included an address by the newly elected President Leopold Pospisil and brief remarks by the outgoing President Jan F. Triska. On this occasion, Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., the President of the Society during 1974-1978, was formally presented the diploma of honorary SVU membership.

Dr. Ladislav Pospisil’s Presidency (1980-82)

In addition to Prof. Pospisil, the newly elected Executive Board consisted of the following members: Dr. Karel B. Absolon (National Institutes of Health), Ing. Milan Getting, Jr. (Allis-Chalmers Corporation), Prof. Henry Kucera (Brown University), Prof. Jiri Nehnevajsa (University of Pittsburgh), and Prof. Peter A. Toma (University of Arizona), Vice-presidents; Mrs. Blanka Glos (formerly of St. Mary’s University), Secretary-general; and Mr. Frank Marlow (Royal Leasing Corporation), Treasurer.

Major effort of the new Executive Board was expended on the realization of a new scholarly journal in English, along the lines initially proposed two years earlier by the SVU leadership. It was necessary to establish editorial policy regarding the aims and the content of the journal as well as to assure financial support and make the necessary arrangements for printing and distribution. Most of the organizational responsibility for these matters rested on the shoulders of Vice-President Karel B. Absolon. The idea was formalized in the fall of 1981 when the SVU Council voted the necessary funds for the new endeavor. The new periodical was to bear the title Kosmas: The Journal of Czechoslovak and Central European Studies. The name Kosmas was patterned after the first Bohemian chronicler who lived in the Czech lands in the years 1045-1125. Dr. John F. N. Bradley of the University of Manchester was appointed editor, to be assisted by an international editorial board. Arrangements were simultaneously made with Dr. Stephen Fischer-Galati of the University of Colorado for printing and distribution of the new periodical, which was initially to be published twice a year.

In order to provide firmer stability to its finances, the Society voted to set aside $40,000 from its reserves to be used as seed money for attracting additional monies for the newly established Society Endowment Fund.

With reference to new monographs, the Society contributed financially toward publication of Prokop Drtina’s “Memoirs” and of the “Directory of Czech Writers,” to be published by 68-Publishers in Toronto. It was also decided to co-sponsor William E. Harkins’ Anthology of Czech Prose.

The Executive Board had further resolved to initiate immediate steps toward systematic collection of information about Czechs and Slovaks abroad and their contributions, including living as well as deceased individuals plus other persons professionally engaged in studying things Czechoslovak. Past President Dr. Rechcigl was put in charge of this new endeavor. Apart from its historico-cultural value, the inventory will be of great assistance in the preparation of “Who’s Who among Czechs and Slovaks Abroad,” which has been on the Society’s drawing board from its inception.

The Montreal Conference

The decision was made to hold the 1981 SVU Annual Meeting in Montreal during 23-25 October 1981. The local chapter, under the chairmanship of Dr. Richard Drtina, was charged with the responsibility for making the necessary arrangements and for organizing a suitable cultural and social program.

By all accounts, the meeting was an unqualified success. It began with the official opening of an art exhibit of paintings, graphic art and ceramics by Czech and Slovak artists from the Montreal and Quebec area. In addition to some 40 exhibited objects of art, a special place of honor was given to a literary exposition of Pavel Javor’s work, kindly prepared by Mrs. A. Skvor, the widow of the recently deceased poet.

The Saturday program consisted primarily of the symposium “Energy-the Challenge for the World,” organized by Professor V. Zajic. The program speakers, who were exclusively from Montreal, included Professor T. H. Pavlasek of McGill University, Dr. V. Fuchs and V. Zajic of Hydro-Quebec Institute of Research, and Professor V. Zeman of Concordia University. Following the lectures and stimulating discussion, the audience had the opportunity to browse through an attractive and varied book exhibit (Distribution Bohemicum), arranged by L. Krivanek.

The Montreal Conference culminated with an evening banquet and a cultural program. As part of the program there was a presentation of a SVU honorary membership diploma to Prof. H. Gordon Skilling of the University of Toronto, an authority on Czechoslovakia and an author of the recently published Charter 77 and Human Rights in Czechoslovakia.

Another memorable event was in the making on the European continent. In conjunction with the 1982 Sokol Slet in Vienna, the determined Dr. Jan Krupka together with the members of the recently founded Viennese SVU Chapter, organized an immensely successful “Week of Czechoslovak Culture in Exile” held July 1-7. The program was varied, including an art exhibit, a series of musical performances (classical as well as modern), exhibits of books, newspapers, photographs, and recordings, readings from contemporary writings, showing of movies, plays, humor, discussions, singing and more music.

The Eleventh World Congress

The Eleventh World Congress of the Society took place soon after, on October 28-31, 1982 at the University of Pittsburgh. The selection of Pittsburgh was not an accident by any means. Pittsburgh has been a center of American Slovaks for many years and at one time it was the largest Slovak city in the world. It was also the site of the historical signing of the Pittsburgh Agreement by President Masaryk and the American Slovak representatives.

Honorary sponsorship of the Congress was provided by Hon. Richard S. Caliguiri, Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, Hon. Joseph M. Gaydos, U.S. Representative of Pittsburgh, Hon. John Heinz, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, and Hon. Richard L. Thornburgh, Governor of the State of Pennsylvania.

The academic program of the Congress was organized by Professor Zdenka Pospisil of Southern Connecticut University. The local arrangements were under the care of Professor Zdenek Suda of the University of Pittsburgh.

More than 150 lectures were delivered at the Congress by scholars and educators from the U.S., Canada, and other parts of the world. The talks covered a wide array of subjects, ranging from political science, sociology, economics, history, philosophy, theology, to arts, musicology, medicine, physical and biological sciences, physical education and sports. A number of sections dealt with special topics, such as the women question, a symposium on “Initial Unionistic Endeavors toward Church Unity,” “The Philosophical and Political Foundations of the Czechoslovak Foreign Policy,” a round table discussion on “Czechoslovakia, Eastern Europe, the U.S.S.R. and the West,” “Czechoslovak Economy at Crossroads: Stagnation or Reform?,” “Contemporary Poland and Czechoslovakia” and finally a symposium on “Reanimatology and New Definition of Death.”

Besides lectures, there were the customary readings of excerpts from new works by writers of Czech/Slovak origin and a Czechoslovak Writers Forum with the participation of Arnost Lustig, Josef Skvorecky, and Jiri Kovtun.

Following the Writers Forum and a joint buffet, there was an organ recital by Karel Paukert, Curator of Musical Arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art, assisted by his wife Noriko Fugii, soprano. The program presented compositions by Mikulas Moyzes, Petr Eben, Karel Paukert, Bohuslav Matej Cernohorsky, Jan Michalicka, Jan Krtitel Kuchar, Karel Boleslav Jirak, Bedrich Antonin Wiedermann, Antonin Dvorak, and Leos Janacek.

Under the joint sponsorship of the Society and the University of Pittsburgh Arts Department, there was also an art exhibit, organized in the beautiful halls of the Frick Fine Arts Building. Some twenty-five members from North America and Europe participated, including a number of young artists. The exhibit was a success, thanks to the organizational ability of Ladislav Hanka, Jr. Integrated in the Congress program was also the commemoration of the Czechoslovak Independence Day, celebrated by an evening of Slovak folk dancing. The peak of the social events was the Society Banquet and Grand Ball held at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association Club. At the banquet, honorary membership was presented to two outstanding personalities from the Pittsburgh area, namely Professor Wesley W. Posvar, Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Ivan A. Getting, President of the Aero-Space Corporation, of Czech and Slovak descent, respectively.

Prof. Pospisil’s Second Term (1982-84)

At the General Assembly Meeting the following new officers were elected: Professor Leopold Pospisil, President; Dr. Karel B. Absolon, Professor Charles S. Bednar (Muhlenberg College), Professor lgor Vojtech Nabelek (University of Tennessee), Professor Jiri Nehnevajsa and Professor Thomas G. Winner (Brown University), Vice-Presidents; and Mr. Josef Stasa of Harvard University, Treasurer. The remainder of the new team included Ing. Milos Kucera, Secretary-General, Dr. Karel Hruby, Editor of Promeny, Dr. Jaroslav Nemec, Editor of Zpravy SVU, Dr. Zdenka Fischmann, Editor of News Bulletin, and Professor Zdenek Suda, Editor of Kosmas.

The Pittsburgh Congress gave impetus for establishing a new SVU chapter in that city. Another chapter came into existence at Hartford, Conn. Discussions also started regarding the possibility of organizing additional chapters in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Perth, Australia.

By soliciting additional funds to increase the endowment, the newly elected Executive Board continued the efforts of its predecessors of further stabilizing the publication of SVU periodicals. The move of the Editorial offices of Promeny from the U.S. to Europe was a significant and wise move, considering that a large number of the Czech and Slovak contributors to this periodical reside in Europe. Similarly, it was anticipated that the currently U.S.-based Kosmas will draw primarily on the English-language contributors in North America.

During the period 1983-84, the Society issued a new edition of the Biographical Directory of Members, which was again prepared for publication by Dr. and Mrs. Rechcigl. The Executive Board also voted to provide financial assistance and sponsorship to Jiri Kovtun’s Slovo ma poslanec Masaryk and to Sylvie Richterova’s Slovo a ticho. Approval was also given for the preparation of an updated index to the first ten volumes of the Zpravy SVU, to be compiled by Dr. Jaroslav Nemec and lrena Lettrich. At the recommendation of the By-Laws Committee, chaired by Dr. George Glos, the Executive Committee submitted a Referendum to members to vote on a number of important changes in the SVU By-Laws. The subsequently approved revisions included a provision to broaden the Executive Board and enlarge the responsibility of its members. Specifically, the future Executive Boards would consist of: President, Executive Vice-President, six Vice-Presidents with specific responsibilities, Secretary-General, and a Treasurer. The editors of various periodicals would, henceforth, be appointed by the Executive Board. Other changes related primarily to a better definition of various types of membership in the Society and the delineation of the criteria for the selection of the honorary and founding members.

The Third European Conference

The two single most important external events of 1983 were the Third SVU European Conference in Bern and the SVU Annual Meeting in Cambridge, MA. The European Conference, organized by the Swiss Chapter, took place on Aug. 26-28 at Bern’s Waldhotel Gurten with the central theme “Our European Destiny.” It was an immensely successful event, with the participation of some 150 members and friends of the Society from England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S. The lectures included presentations by K. Hruby (BaseI), J. Mlynarik (Munich), A. Mestan (Freiburg), F. Munk (Portland), V. Belohradsky (Genoa), K. Skalicky (Rome), L. Durovic (Lund), L. Pospisil (New Haven), Z. Suda (Pittsburgh), B. Stefanek (Munich), F. Marlow (Sherman Oaks), V. Skutina (Zurich), L. M. Lochman (Basel), E. Kohak (Boston), P. Tigrid (Paris) and J. Krejci (Lancaster). The organizers also prepared a special booth featuring the SVU publications and the art exhibit of Cenek Prazak’s paintings. The Conference provided an excellent opportunity for SVU officers from Europe and the U.S. to exchange views and to strengthen co-operation between the two continents. The text of the conference were published in Promeny, vol. 21, no. 1 (1984).

The Cambridge (MA) Conference

On the weekend of November 4-6, 1983 the Society held the Annual Meeting, followed by a special Conference on Robotics in Cambridge, Mass. The aim of the Conference was to examine the meaning and the consequences of Robotics from the broadest point of view, encompassing not only scientific and technological aspects, but also the social and economic dimensions as well as philosophy, creative arts and literature. The last paper on the program dealt appropriately with Karel Capek’s play R. U.R., in which the word robot was coined. The conference ended with organ music by Czech composers, performed by the Czech organist J. Tomanek and his Cecilia Chorus.

The Twelfth World Congress

No sooner was the annual meeting over, when the major focus of the Executive Board’s attention was put on the preparation of the Twelfth World Congress, scheduled for October 25-28, 1984 in Toronto. Prof. Thomas G. Winner was appointed Program Chairman of the Congress and Anthony Krondl was given the responsibility for local arrangements. This Congress was the first Society Congress organized outside the borders of the U.S. SVU availed itself of the hospitality of Canada, following the summer festivities celebrating Ontario’s Bicentennial and Toronto’s 150th birthday.

All organizational meetings and academic sessions took place in the comfortable convention rooms of the Royal York Hotel. This made “circulation” among various lecture rooms easier and facilitated contacts of all participants. The central meeting point was, of course, the Registration Desk, unselfishly attended by members of the local arrangements committee. The nearby display of books “for sale” also became very popular, and one afternoon the magnificent handmade textiles and Czechoslovak national costumes could also be viewed.

The academic program presented some thirty sessions, mostly averaging six papers each. Anthropology, philosophy, economics, history of art, women’s studies, political science, film, psychology, history of science, church history, and poetry readings had one session each. Natural sciences, musicology, sociology, and Czechs and Slovaks abroad had two sessions, history and linguistics had three and medicine had five sessions. The film session included the viewing and discussion of “The Wind in the Pocket” (Vitr v kapse). One of the high points of the Congress was a joint session, chaired by Prof. Rene Wellek, in honor of the recently announced Nobel Laureate, the Czech poet Jaroslav Seifert.

Another important event was the Mendel Memorial Symposium on the occasion of the centennial of J. G. Mendel’s death. The session was organized in conjunction with the Mendel-Frimmel Society for Applied Genetics, Freising, Federal Republic of Germany. A Mendel exhibit accompanied the symposium, in which four speakers from West Germany and one each from Sweden and the U.S. participated.

Special events included an exhibition of fine arts, a piano and flute recital at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a Czech theatrical group’s presentation of a Czech version of Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of our Teeth,” and the traditional SVU Banquet.

Prof. Jiri Nehnevajsa’s Presidency (1984-86)

As has been the custom, the results of the election of new officers was announced at the General Assembly Meeting. The new Executive Board, elected on the basis of the recently revised By-Laws, included the following members: Prof. Jiri Nehnevajsa, President; Prof. lgor Nabelek, Executive Vice-President; Prof. Anton Novacky, Vice-President for the Sciences; Emil S. Purgina, Vice-President for the Arts; Prof. Vera Z. Borkovec, Vice-President for Student Affairs; Dr. Cestmir Jesina, Vice-President for Local Chapters; Prof. J. Skvorecky, Vice-President for Publications; Dr. Vladimir M. Kabes, Vice-President for Press Relations; Ing. Milos K. Kucera, Secretary-General; and Josef Stasa, Treasurer.

One of the first actions of the Executive Board was to authorize the expansion of the quarterly Promeny. The Society’s Bulletin began appearing four times rather than three times a year. The decision was also made to financially assist the new edition of Arne Novak’s Czech literature, to be published by the University of Michigan Press. Furthermore, arrangements were made for Columbia University Press to publish, under SVU sponsorship, Karel Englis’ Economic Systems, translated by Prof. Ivo Moravcik. Approval was also given for the publication of Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl’s Legislators with Czechoslovak Roots From Colonial Times to the Present and for assisting Sixty-Eight Publishers with Antonin Mestan’s Ceska literatura and Helena Koskova’s Hledani ztracene generace. In addition, with SVU financial support, Vladimir Veit put out a record entitled “Ve lvi stope” which contains his own musical renditions of a number of classical and more modern Czech poems.

The Fourth European Conference

After consultation with the Swiss Chapter, the Executive Board decided to convene the upcoming 1985 Annual Meeting in Thun, Switzerland. This was the first time in the SVU history that such a meeting was held outside of the North American continent. Delegates from fourteen different countries took part, in addition to a sizeable delegation from America, led by President Jiri Nehnevajsa, Executive Vice-President lgor Nabelek and Secretary-General Milos Kucera. The face-to-face meetings between the European and American delegates unquestionably improved the understanding of the specific problems facing the members on each continent and strengthened the ties between the two sides.

In conjunction with the Annual Meeting, there was a topical conference organized by the Swiss Chapter, “The Threatened Heritage of Central Europe.” It was also an occasion commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Lectures and discussions focused on the dangers to the identity of the Central European countries that are under the pressure of Sovietization, which is gradually undermining their historical social structure and values, such as democratic human rights. Perspectives for future development of this region were explored as well. It was gratifying to see a number of noted exile scholars from other countries among the speakers, including the Hungarian historian P. Gosztony, living in Bern, the Hungarian sociologist A. Reszler, living in Geneva, and the Polish sociologist B. Cywinski from Freiburg.

The lectures, which were uniformly of high quality, were subsequently printed in a special issue of Promeny, vol. 21, no. 1 (1984). In addition, the Executive Board supported, on a post hoc basis, the production of a video-cassette, “Ohrozene dedictvi Stredni Evropy,” largely based on the Thun Conference, prepared by Vladimir Skutina and Jindrich Bernard. In 1985, the SVU Executive Board issued two declarations, one on the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War II, and another regarding its position on culture and science, as input into the Budapest Conference on the Helsinki Accords.

Through the efforts of Dr. Zdenek Hruban and his friends, a renewed chapter of SVU in Chicago sprang into existence. Led by Dr. Eduard Dvorak, it again began a series of high quality and successful activities. Chapters in France and Israel are in the process of being organized.

On the basis of excellent proposals, SVU was able to acquire significant financial support from the National Endowment for Democracy for the work of the new Documentation Center (Dr. Precan, Director), for the Jan Palach Trust and the Jan Hus Foundation (the former in Germany, the latter two in London).

The National Endowment for Democracy’s funds were also instrumental in the support of Sixty-Eight Publishers’ publication of a number of important books written by authors living in Czechoslovakia; the Society’s own “Living History Project,” which helps finance the production of videocassettes also benefitted. At a minimum, cassettes on some artists and painters-abroad, on some key Slovak personalities throughout the world, and on Jaroslav Seifert’s impact in the West will be produced in 1987.

The Thirteenth World Congress

The major event in 1986 was the Thirteenth World Congress, convened ‘September 18-20th on the campus of Northeastern University, Boston, Mass. Prof. Ladislav Dolansky, who holds professorship at that institution, had the responsibility for local arrangements and Prof. Anton Novacky from the University of Missouri was in charge of preparation of the Academic Program.

The program consisted of over thirty scientific, scholarly and artistic sessions, covering practically every area of human endeavor. Apart from the individual disciplines, there were also topical symposia, such as “Czechs and Slovaks Abroad, ” “The Czechoslovak-Polish Relationship,” “The Cyrillo-Methodian Symposium, ” “The Seifert Symposium,” and others.

In addition to the varied lecture program, visitors had an opportunity to view an admirable art exhibit organized by Emil Purgina, and a unique exhibit of Czechoslovak stamps prepared by Henry Hahn.

The Boston Congress was also the site of the American premiere of the film “Honicka,” with personal commentary by Jaroslav Vejvoda, the author of the script. Among special events was a Gala Social Evening held at the lsabela Stewart Gardner Museum. The Museum’s magnificent and unique collections could be seen as the delightful chamber music was heard. The festivities culminated with a banquet and ball featuring the address of Earl W. Foel, editor-in-chief of the Christian Science Monitor.

Prof. Nehnevjsa’s Second Term (1986-88)

The new Executive Board, which took over the administrative responsibilities of the Society following the Boston meeting, was essentially the same as the previous one, with the exception that Ing. Stanley Marsik became Vice-President for the coordination of local chapters and Prof. Ladislav Dolansky was elected the new Treasurer.

The Charter 77 Anniversary

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Charter 77 movement, the Swiss Chapter convened in Zurich on May 17, 1987 a one-day conference with international participation. Various aspects of the aims and the mission of the Movement were presented and discussed by well-known figures, including Jiri Grusa (Germany), Vilem Precan (Germany), Jiri Nemec (Austria), Jan Mlynarik (Germany), Miroslav Novak (Switzerland) and Karel Hruby (Switzerland). Some 90 attendees from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria and the U.S. took an active part in the lively discussions concerning the importance and the strategic role of Charter 77 which had generally been viewed as. the most articulate manifestation of the democratic movement in Czechoslovak society.

The Los Angeles Conference

As a result of the decision by the Executive Board, the 1987 SVU annual meeting was held in Los Angeles, California, during 18-20 September, together with a conference on the “Contributions of Czech and Slovak Immigrants to the U.S.”

All activities took place at the International Student Center of the University of California-Los Angeles, which offered conference rooms, a gallery, and expert advice for arranging the art exhibits as well as catering and refreshments.

Prior to the General Assembly meeting which was scheduled for the evening of September 18, the organizers inaugurated the fine arts exhibition of Czech and Slovak artists to the accompaniment of violin music. The conference per se took place September 19-20, the first part dealing with the problems of the immigrants’ adjustment and acculturation, followed by discussions of the immigrants’ achievements in literature, music, science and industry.

1988 was an eventful year. It marked not only the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Czechoslovak Republic, but also a sequence of fateful events that dealt heavy blows to her freedom and democratic spirit, fifty years since Munich, followed by the Nazi occupation, forty years since the February Communist takeover and twenty years of Soviet occupation.

The Fifth European Conference

The Fifth European Conference took place in Bern, Switzerland, August 20- 21, 1988. Entitled “Culture and Force” (Kultur and Gewalt), the conference was conducted in German, English and French. The speakers included Z. Dittrich (Utrecht), J. Krejci (Lancaster), H. Lemberg (Marburg), K. Chvatik (Konstanz) and J. Rupnik (Paris). Part of the conference was a public meeting in Hotel Bellevue to protest against the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact armies twenty years ago and the ensuing occupation of the country by the Soviet troops. The meeting which was attended by many important personalities was under the aegis of the Swiss Minister of Culture, F. Cotti. The Charter 77 spokesman, Vaclav Havel, SVU honorary member and honorary patron of the Conference, could not attend the meeting for fear of not being allowed to return back to Czechoslovakia by the Communist authorities. Some three hundred participants and representatives of Swiss public life were present. Among the guest speakers was the former Minister of Justice of the Swiss Confederation, Rudolf Friedrich. The premiere of Jan Kovak’s composition “Quadrisinium Fidium” and Antonin Dvorak’s “American Quartet (Op. 96)” performed by the Lausanne String Quartet, followed. On the morning of August 21 there was a panel discussion on the topic “Culture as a Duty and Responsibility.” The proceedings of the Conference were published in German in a brochure entitled Kultur und Gewalt, with the financial assistance of Foundation europeenne de la culture.

The Fourteenth World Congress

The number “eight” was also the major theme of the Fourteenth World Congress, held in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan area, i.e. at the National 4-H Center, Chevy Chase, Md, during September 15-I 8, 1988. Almost one-third of some 200 individual presentations dealt with this theme, covering historical, political, economic and social aspects.

The remainder of the program was devoted to agriculture, food and nutrition, medicine, natural sciences, literature, linguistics, art, theater, musicology, education, religion and theology, librarianship, and women studies. In addition, there were special symposia on “Karel Capek and His Works,” “Czechs and Slovaks in America,” and “The Czechoslovak Jewry.” There was also a panel discussion on “Contemporary Slovak Culture” and another on “Youth: Roads Ahead.” Last, but not least, there were the customary poetry and prose readings from works of contemporary Czech and Slovak writers. Special events included art exhibits, book-mart, film screenings, a concert, excursion to Mount Vernon, and a guided tour at the National Gallery of Art.

The critically acclaimed Choral Group, “Columbia Pro Cantare,” consisting of one hundred and ten singers, together with a fifty-piece orchestra presented an American premiere of Dvorak’s “Hymnus, (Op. 301,” “Heirs of the White Mountain,” and Smetana’s “Bohemia Song.” Contemporary music was represented by Karel Husa’s “Serenade,” based on Slovak melodies for wood-wind quintet, strings, harp and xylophone. Further, there were arias and duets from Jenufa, Dalibor, and Rusalka. The entire program, sung in Czech, was conducted by Francis Motyca-Dawson, Director of the “Columbia Pro Cantare.”

The traditional banquet featured two guest speakers: the Hon. Robert W. Farrand, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Dr. Martin Harwit, Director of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Prof. Igor V. Nabelek’s Presidency {1988-90)

At the General Assembly Meeting, convened during the Congress, the names of the new officers were announced, i.e. Prof. lgor V. Nabelek (University of Tennessee), President; Dr. Thomas G. Gibian (Henkel Corp.), Executive Vice-President; Dr. George Keleti (University of Pittsburgh), Prof. Zdenka Pospisil (Connecticut State College), Prof. Vera Borkovec (American University), Mr. Stanislav Marsik (NASA), Prof. Lubomir Durovic (Lunds Universitet), and Dr. Michael Sumichrast (National Association of Home Builders), Vice Presidents; Ing. Milos Kucera (Brooklyn Union Gas Co.), Secretary-General and Prof. Ladislav Dolansky (Northeastern University), Treasurer.

The Bethlehem (PA) Conference

The 1989 annual meeting of the Society was held in Bethlehem, PA, in conjunction with a conference on “Moravian Brethren: History and Traditions.” The conference was convened during 13-l 5 October at the Moravian College campus which co-sponsored the meeting with the Moravian Seminary.

The program dealt with the relationship of the Moravian Brethren and the Unitas Fratrum, the formative years of the Moravian Church and the early days of the Brethren in America. In addition to historical and theological topics, several papers dealt with art, music and literature. It was an immensely successful event with the participation of such scholars as Jan Milic Lochman (University of Basel), Prof. David R. Holeton (Trinity College, Toronto), Prof. Murray L. Wagner (Bethany Theological Seminary, Oakbrook, IL), Prof. David A. Schattschneider (Moravian Theological Seminary), Prof. Stanislav Segert (University of California-Los Angeles), Jan Ligus (Comenius Theological Faculty, Prague), Prof. Josef Anderle (University of North Carolina), Prof. Louise Scott (Southern Connecticut State University), Prof. Thomas Sovik (University of North Texas), and Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr. (Washington, DC). The program concluded with a concert of Czech organ music, with Godfrey Tomanek at the organ.

Sunday morning participants were invited to attend the services at the Moravian Brethren Central Church in Bethlehem, featuring traditional Moravian music and the Rev. Dr. Jan Milic Lochman at the pulpit. In the afternoon, during the visit of the famous Moravian Archives, the participants had an opportunity to see old hymnals in the Czech language and one of the original copies of the Kralicka Bible.

The Bethlehem Conference was an uplifting experience for everyone, Moreover, the discussions have conclusively shown that the Moravian Church is a spiritual heir of the ancient Unitas Fratrum, and that the renewed Church was a direct result of the perseverance and diligent efforts of the descendants of the Bohemian Brethren from Czech Lands, which has not been heretofore known. The conference also set the foundation for President Havel’s 1991 visit to Bethlehem, when he was awarded the Comenius Medal.

The Oxford (England) Conference

On November 4, 1989, at St. Anthony’s College at Oxford, the SVU British Chapter organized a one-day conference, bearing the title “Czechoslovakia in Europe.” The morning session focused on the role of literature, with active participation by Dr. B. Bradbrook (Cambridge), Robert Porter (University of Bristol), Dr. James Naughton (University of Oxford) and Dr. lgor Hajek (University of Glasgow). The afternoon session dealt with Czechoslovakia’s international position. The speakers included Harry Hanak (University of London), Dr. Borek Hnizdo (London), Dr. Alex Pravda (University of Oxford) and Dr. Jaroslav Krejci (University of Lancaster). Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution

November 1989 was a remarkable and eventful month in the history of Czechoslovakia. After forty years of monopolistic misrule by the Communist Party, democracy was restored to this traditionally democratic land, thanks to the bloodless Prague “Velvet Revolution.” This was also a turning point in the major aims and the activities of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences. The establishment of contacts and cooperation with Czechoslovakia in various areas of arts and sciences have henceforth become the principal focus of the Society’s activities. This reorientation of the aims and the priorities of the Society was agreed upon and advocated at a special meeting of the SVU Collegium of Presidents, convened during February 2-3, 1990. At the initiative of the past Presidents of the Society, the Executive Board established a special fund to aid Czechoslovakia. In addition, individual Chapters of SVU started their own fund-raising drives, some of which were quite successful, particularly those in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA. Following the initial euphoria, which prevailed both within and outside Czechoslovakia, there soon came realization that the country is in great economic straits. Even more importantly, there was the consensus that the cultural and scientific institutions as well as the education system, as a whole, will need a great deal of help to be brought up to par with the Western World, from which they were forcefully isolated for more than four decades.

Inasmuch as the overall situation in Czechoslovakia was still in a state of flux, past Presidents of the Society recommended that a delegation of experts from the ranks of SVU be sent to Czechoslovakia to establish initial contacts with the major scientific and cultural institutions and make preliminary assessment of the magnitude of problems Czechoslovakia is facing, particularly in those areas where the Society has a comparative advantage.

SVU Commission for Cooperation with Czechoslovakia

At the recommendation of the Collegium of Past Presidents, the Executive Board approved the creation of SVU Commission for Cooperation with Czechoslovakia and a narrower Planning, Policy and Coordination Council. The latter body comprised of Prof. Zdenek Slouka, Chairman, and Dr. Alexej B. Borkovec, Dr. Andrew Elias, Dr. Thomas Gibian, Prof. Jiri Nehnevajsa, Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr., Dr. Zdenek Suda, Dr. Michael Sumichrast, and Prof. Jan F. Triska.

Under the leadership of Prof. Slouka, the Commission sponsored two four-week seminars in Prague and Olomouc during the first post-revolutionary summer in Czechoslovakia: an economic seminar at Charles University and a social science seminar at Palacky University. The Prague seminar for economists was led by Prof. George J. Staller of Cornell University, while the social science seminar in Olomouc was designed and led by Prof. Zdenek Suda of the University of Pittsburgh.

The SVU Commission established close ties with the Charter 77 Foundation, the Soros Foundation, the International Institute of Education, IREX, and other organizations which have an active interest in assisting East European countries. In addition, the Commission and its Council began systematically developing cooperative links with Czech and Slovak institutions. Responding favorably to the Council’s request, the Executive Board decided to hold the Sixteenth SVU World Congress in Czechoslovakia in 1992.

In June, 1990, Prof. Nabelek, together with several members of the Executive Board, had an opportunity to visit President Havel, who expressed appreciation to the Society for the work done on behalf of Czechoslovak culture.

In September of the same year, Prof. Zdenek Slouka led a delegation to Czechoslovakia, comprising a working group of the Council which included Prof. Jan F. Triska, Prof. Paul Trensky, Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr. and Prof. Anton Novacky, as was originally recommended by the Collegium of Presidents. This working group further extended the Society’s cooperative links with the Czech and Slovak universities, academies of science, governmental agencies, and a variety of institutions. At the outset of the visit, the working group held two conferences at Charles University. The first was attended by about 30 rectors, pro-rectors and deans of most Czechoslovak universities and by the officers of both science academies. The second included over forty leading scholars and scientists. Subsequently, the group went to Bratislava where it held comparable meetings with the officials and scientists of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovak universities and representatives of the Ministry of Education. Out of this work, extending over two weeks and including visits to dozens of Czech and Slovak educational research institutions, the working group of the Council prepared an extensive report entitled: “Czechoslovakia: Knowledge, Skills and Learning – Critical Assessment of Needs and Absorptive Capacities.” The report, with specific recommendations, was made available to various funding agencies, foundations and endowments.

The Fifteenth World Congress

The Fifteenth SVU Congress was the first biannual meeting of the Society held in an atmosphere refreshed by the breezes emanating from the recent and abrupt changes in Czechoslovakia, where many SVU members had their roots.

The Congress was held at the Royal York Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada during 1l-l4 October, 1990. The academic program offered sessions on history, economics, sociology, biology/medicine, science/technology, literature, linguistics, musicology, fine arts, performing arts, etc. There were also several symposia on a variety of topics, such as “Karel Capek’s World,” “Bohuslav Martinu “Czechoslovak Jewry, ” “Czechs and Slovaks Abroad,” “Cancer Research,” “Czechoslovak Sokol,” “Free Market and Constrained Conditions,” “Native Lands in Last Two Centuries” and “Contemporary Czechoslovakia.” In addition, there were the traditional readings from contemporary Czech and Slovak writers, art exhibit, concert of Czech and Slovak music, guided tours and a gala evening with banquet and dance.

During the banquet several distinguished guests gave addresses, including Hon. Rudolf Schuster, Ambassador of CSFR in Canada, Dr. Jiri Setlik, Counselor for Cultural Affairs, Embassy of CSFR in the U.S., Hon. Pauline Browes, M.P., Prime Minister of Canada, Hon. Art Aggleton, Mayor of Toronto, Prof. Josef Jarab, Chancellor of Palacky University, Olomouc, and Prof. Milan Stefanovic, Chancellor of Comenius University, Bratislava.

Prof. Jan F. Triska’s Presidency (1990-92)

The composition of the Society’s new Executive Board, elected for the 1990-92 term, was announced on October 11, 1990 at the General Assembly meeting in Toronto. The Board included several new faces, namely Prof. Jan F. Triska (Stanford University), President, Prof. Vlado Simko (State University of New York), Prof. Zdenek Slouka (Lehigh University); Dr. Karel Hruby (CIBA-GEIGY), and Dagmar Hasalova-White (Vienna Light Opera Co.), Vice Presidents; George J. Kvidera, Secretary-General, and Ing. Stanley J. Marsik, Treasurer. Thomas G. Gibian, Zdenka Pospisil, and Lubomir Durovic were reelected to their previously held posts. Because of personal reasons, Prof. Pospisil and George Kvidera had to resign and were replaced by Dr. George Karger and Frank Marlow, respectively.

From the beginning, the new Executive Board was very much aware of the fact that the revolution for democracy in Czechoslovakia brought a sea-change to SVU as well-a sea-change which would demand deep structural and functional changes in our Society.

The new opportunities and challenges as well as the new responsibilities, the Board realized, would be enormous. In order to do what the new imperatives demanded, the Board made an effort to increase the Society’s income and to decrease its expenditures as rapidly as possible. Fund-raising, recruitment of new members, and effective control of all routine expenses were considered to be of utmost priority. At the same time, a high value was placed on modernization of the Society-i.e., utilization of fax machines, which would speed up communications; computers, which would provide a comprehensive, up-to-date database of all members and would facilitate vertical as well as horizontal communication networks.

Because of new demands on the Society, in the light of political changes in Czechoslovakia, there was an urgent need to revise the SVU By-laws to make the Society more responsive, more flexible and more effective. In a referendum in late Spring of 1991, the By-laws were amended by an overwhelming vote of the SVU membership.

At the initiative of Dr. Rechcigl, SVU established formal ties with the Czechoslovak Council of Scientific Societies (Rada vedeckych spolecnosti, a supreme coordinating body of some sixty most important scientific and scholarly societies in Czechoslovakia, associated with then Czechoslovak and Slovak Academies of Sciences. SVU became officially a foreign member of the Council of Scientific Societies and Dr. Rechcigl was appointed a member of its governing board.

In cooperation with the Council of Scientific Societies, the SVU Executive Board established an SVU office, staffed and open daily in Prague, on the premises of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Steps were taken to establish, for the first time, a local chapter of SVU in Czechoslovakia.

The Second Oxford (England) Conference

On the first anniversary of the “Velvet Revolution,” the SVU British Chapter, under the chairmanship of Prof. Jaroslav Krejci organized a one day conference entitled “Czechoslovakia One Year On.” The conference was held at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University, on Saturday, November 17, 1990.

After the welcoming address by the Warden of the College, Sir Ralf Dahrendorf, individual presentations by distinguished visitors from Czechoslovakia followed, starting with Prof. Josef Jarab, Rector of Palacky University, Olomouc on “Changes in Higher Education.” Pave1 Simek, representing the Czechoslovak Prime Minister’s office, spoke on “Changes in Legal Structures,” and Ing. Vera Kamenickova of the Czechoslovak Federal Ministry of Finance, discussed “Changes in Economy.”

The afternoon session was devoted to “Changes in Politics.” The principal speakers were Judy Batt of the University of Birmingham and Dr. Alex Pravda of St. Anthony’s College, Oxford.

SVU Research Institute Activated

In 1988 an SVU Research Institute was established as a research, training and educational arm of the Society. In 1989 the Institute was duly incorporated in Washington, DC and a Board of Trustees setting the policy of the Institute, was appointed by the SVU Executive Board.; The Institute is financially independent and raises its own funds for training and research projects. In January, 1991, upon the recommendation of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, the Executive Board selected Prof. Zdenek Slouka (Lehigh University) as the first Director of the Institute, to serve for a four-year term. Dr. Slouka’s appointment necessitated his replacement on the SVU Executive Board by Prof. Anton Novacky.

In the first year of its operation, the Institute concentrated on: (a) strengthening its cooperative links with other institutions in the West, a process already begun by the SVU Commission for Cooperation with Czecho-Slovakia, now superseded by the Institute; (b) expanding its cooperation with Czech and Slovak academic and research institutions and related governmental agencies; (cl launching its first externally funded training projects.

The Institute became directly and actively involved ‘in a number of cooperative programs and initiatives. The Institute’s Director is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Charter 77 Foundation and of the American Czech-and-Slovak Education Fund, and serves as a Trustee of the Independent Journalists’ Center sponsored by The New York Times Foundation and operating a training program in Prague.

Close working contacts were simultaneously developed between the Institute and various Czech and Slovak academic and research institutions. The Institute’s Director serves as the foreign consultant to the Working Group for the Formulation and Design of National Science Policy, a group responsible for developing the strategy and the structure of the national science, technology and education establishment.

In September 1991, the Institute conducted at Charles University the first two week-long workshops on American methods of research management and grantsmanship. Sixty-nine Czech scholars from Charles University and other Prague institutions of higher learning participated in the sessions intended to facilitate cooperative research projects linking Czech and Slovak scientists with their U.S. colleagues. The continuing workshop series was opened to scientists from Komensky University (Bratislava), Masaryk University (Brno) and Palacky University (Olomouc) in Spring 1992. The workshops were led by Drs. Rechcigl and Slouka.

The Chicago Conference

The 1991 SVU Annual Meeting was held on September 21 in Chicago at the International House of the University of Chicago, Following the reports of SVU officers, the participants visited the Czech and Slovak areas of Regenstein Library (over 20,000 books), and the Archives of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad, housed and maintained at the University Chicago Library. The latter comprise some 250 shelves of publications and documents-the result of painstaking labors of Prof. Zdenek Hruban.

The afternoon was devoted to the presentations and discussions of various topics concerning the lives and activities of selected Czech and Slovak personalities in the U.S. The program included papers on the sculptor Albin Polasek and Dr. Milan Hodza and readings from the works of Jan Novak and Prof. K. B. Jirak. In the evening, the dinner guests heard an address by Prof. Joseph Ceithaml, Dean of the University of Chicago, who proudly recalled his Czech roots. The evening program was concluded with a debate on technical and financial help to Czechoslovak science.

Vaclav Havel’s US Visit: An SVU Initiative

On 25-27 October 1991, and following his state visit in Washington, DC, President Vaclav Have1 made two more stops, in Los Angeles and in Bethlehem, PA. The programs in both cities had been pre-arranged in a late summer meeting at the President’s office in Prague by SVU members, Mrs. Mia Valert of UCLA who is also the founder and Director of LA Czechoslovak Institute, and Prof. Zdenek Slouka, the Director of SVU Research Institute. The LA and Bethlehem “town meetings” with the President, open to members of Czech and Slovak communities in America, were attended by more than two hundred SVU members from the West and East coasts. In Bethlehem, the President received Moravian College’s highest honor, the Comenius Medal, and a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from Lehigh University. The President also delivered an address, “On Civic Society,” as the Sixth Cohen International Lecturer in a distinguished series organized annually at Lehigh University by Prof. Slouka. The President was accompanied by Prof. Radim Palous, Rector of Charles University and a prominent Comenius scholar, who received an honorary doctorate from Moravian College.

The Miami Roundtable

Sponsored by SVU, a round table entitled “Czechoslovakia Today and Tomorrow” took place on Saturday, November 23, 1991, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami, Florida, on the occasion of the 1991 International Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. The six distinguished participants in the roundtable discussion included Prof. Radomir Luza of Tulane University (politics and society); Prof. Catherine Albrecht of the University of Baltimore (economics); Prof. Bronislava Volek of Indiana University (culture); Prof. Milan L. Hauner of Georgetown University (foreign policy); Prof. Victor Mamatey of the University of Georgia (Slovaks in the Federal Republic); and Prof. Josef Anderle of the University of North Carolina (law and order). Prof. Jan F. Triska chaired the very successful meeting, which attracted a standing-room audience.