At the beginning of February our researchers, Karina Hoření and Michal Korhel, participated in the 8th International Conference “Divided, Yet Together: Borders in Oral History Perspective” in Bratislava organised by Czech Oral History Asocciation. They gave the presentation “Rozhovory s novousadlíkmi ako spôsob hľadania nemeckých „duchov“ v povojnovom Československu a Poľsku”.


As a research team, we find disturbing the circumstances, in which the conference took place. Therefore, we issued a separate statement, which reads as follows.

The main organizer of the conference was the Czech Oral History Association (COHA). The atmosphere of the event has been influenced by the ongoing investigation of the two former directors of the association, Miroslav Vaněk and Pavel Mücke, who are accused of numerous cases of sexual abuse and long-standing misuse of power at the institutions they led. 

The serious allegations, which are outlined in the statements by the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University  and were addressed in the Czech press as well, point to a long term inappropriate behavior of both university lecturers and structural problems of Czech academia.

These issues were raised by our team at the conference. We appreciate that, despite the initial hesitation, the situation was debated during the event and that consequently it resulted in the decision of COHA to amend its code of ethics. Hopefully, it will clear the path for how the association proceeds in such cases from now on.

The question of ethical standards of research is particularly important in such a vulnerable field as oral history. There is no solid line dividing us as scholars from us as humans. Therefore, in academia as well as outside of academic context, it is unacceptable to work with people who violate all these standards by their everyday behavior. 

We hope that the case will be investigated properly and the appropriate consequences will be drawn. It is to be hoped that it will mark the beginning of change in Czech and Slovak academic institutions.

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