A proposal put forward by a group of five coalition MPs to make October 12 the official Day of Samizdat was approved by the government this week. Although not a state holiday, the marking of the date as a significant day in the Czech calendar brings recognition to the people who risked and suffered persecution by the Communist state between 1948 and 1989 due to their “illicit” activities.
Miroslav Svoboda is a native of Plzeň who was involved in the publishing and distribution of samizdat materials in the west Bohemian city.
“I’m not from Prague so I wasn’t in the very centre of samizdat activity. But here in Plzeň we tried to self-publish some magazines, books and so on. Every once in a while we went to Prague and brought back what they’d published there. We also distributed petitions to release friends who had been jailed.”
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