Ladislav Mňačko Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature
The collection of Ladislav Mňačko (1919–1994), a Slovak writer and former prominent Czechoslovak journalist, consists of unique correspondence, manuscripts, prints and clippings which help to describe the life of this significant writer, who after August 1968 was a critic of the communist regime and a representative of Czechoslovak exile literature.
Name of collection
- Mňačko Ladislav
Provenance and cultural activities
Ladislav Mňačko (1919–1994) was a Slovak writer, poet, playwright and journalist. Mňačko was left-wing oriented and became a convinced Communist after the Second World War, though he was not afraid to express his concerns about politics in Czechoslovakia. Therefore, he became known as a prominent critic of the regime after 1956 and his books, which were popular with Communist functionaries and the public alike, had print runs in their hundreds of thousands. Mňačko emigrated to Israel in 1967 – his emigration was in protest against the antisemitic policies of the Czechoslovak government. He returned to Czechoslovakia in 1968, but following the occupation by the armies of the Warsaw Pact in August he left Czechoslovakia for Austria. After 1990, Mňačko lived in Slovakia and later also in Prague. Ladislav Mňačko is now seen as one of the most important Slovak journalists and political writers from the second half of the twentieth century. His books have been translated into several languages.
After his return from exile in Austria, Ladislav Mňačko came to an arrangement with Petr Kotyk, an acquisitions employee at the Literary Archive of the Museum of Czech Literature (LA PNP), and promised to leave his private collection to this institution. The first half was handed over to the Literary Archive in 1998 by his wife Eva Mňačková. This part of the collection consisted of correspondence, manuscripts, prints, clippings and equipment from Mňačko’s study. Eva Mňačková, who died in 2002, left the second half of Mňačko’s estate to the LA PNP (also correspondence, manuscripts, prints, clippings and equipment from Mňačko’s study). The PNP assumed responsibility for this half of the collection after judicial proceedings in 2011. The acquisition of this collection was in line with the PNP’s approach whereby after the fall of the regime in November 1989, it continued to collect private collections of representatives of unofficial culture, dissent and exile. In 2011, the PNP and the Austrian organisation Literarische Verwertungsgesellschaft became copyright holders of texts written by Ladislav Mňačko. A permanent exhibition of Mňačko’s study and library was opened in February 2011 in the Little Villa of the PNP in Prague 6. The room, which is available for visits following prior arrangement, is almost identical to Mňačko’s original study in his Prague apartment.
Description of content
The collection of Ladislav Mňačko in the Museum of Czech Literature consists of documents, correspondence, manuscripts, prints, clippings and pictures. It is made up of 27 archive boxes. The Museum of Czech Literature also administers Ladislav Mňačko’s study; it is exhibited in the Little Villa and contains authentic equipment from Mňačko’s study, including his library.
- furniture: 10-99
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 1000-
- photos: unknown quantity
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 1000-
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Author(s) of this page
- Kůželová, Michaela
Památník národního písemnictví. 2018. "Pracovna Ladislava Mňačka." Accessed October 12. http://www.pamatniknarodnihopisemnictvi.cz/pracovna-ladislava-mnacka/.
Literárne Informačné Centrum. 2018. "Ladislav Mňačko." Accessed October 11. http://www.litcentrum.sk/slovenski-spisovatelia/ladislav-mnacko.
Novinky.cz. 2008. "Mňačko se za pravdu pral všemi prostředky." (Interview with Jozef Leikert by František Cinger). Last modified October 1. https://www.novinky.cz/kultura/150905-mnacko-se-za-pravdu-pral-vsemi-prostredky.html.
Česká televize. 2009. "Slovenský spisovatel Ladislav Mňačko odešel...". Last modified February 24. https://ct24.ceskatelevize.cz/archiv/1419649-slovensky-spisovatel-ladislav-mnacko-odesel.
Pečinka, Bohumil. 2009. "Ladislav Mňačko." Reflex.cz. Last modified February 5. https://www.reflex.cz/clanek/causy/73647/ladislav-mnacko.html.
Památník národního písemnictví. 2018. Výroční zpráva 2017." Accessed July 11. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1gFkIAgtZwd1eqgU3AZcbMV7Kt3GWzZ5Y?ogsrc=32.
The description of this collection was created with the kind help of the director of the Museum of Czech Literature (PNP) Mgr. Zdeněk Freisleben, the head of the Literary Archive of the PNP PhDr. Tomáš Pavlíček, PhD., and the curator of the Literary Archive of the PNP PhDr. Petr Kotyk.
Leikert, Jozef. 2007. Taký bol Ladislav Mňačko: v historickom kontexte do roku 1968. Brno: Onufrius.
Kotyk, Petr, interview by Kůželová, Michaela, May 24, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection