Historie – Otázky – Problémy

Portrayals of the enemy. External enemies in the Czechoslovak Communist propaganda in 1948–1956


Abstract: The article deals with portrayals of enemies in Communist propaganda in Czechoslovakia between 1948 and 1956. Creating pictures of enemy is a characteristic feature of human mind and plays an important role especially in forming group identity. In the second half of the 20th century, these in-born psychological mechanisms were further strengthened by the geopolitical division of the world into two blocks torn apart by political and economic tensions known as the Cold War.
Pictures of enemies became an integral part of the propaganda used by rivalling countries. The Czechoslovak propaganda distinguished between the so-called internal and external enemies. In depicting different types of enemies specific fixed attributes were used by the propaganda. Often a certain enemy had specific features and was depicted in a symbolic way, including in caricature. This article deals in detail with portrayals of specific external enemies, e.g. imperialism, Germany, emigrants and the Vatican in propaganda, especially in caricature of that time, the main source being the satirical magazine Dikobraz (i.e. Porcupine).

Key words: Czechoslovakia 1948–1956, propaganda, portrayal of enemy, caricature, imperialism, Dikobraz magazine

Mgr. et Bc. Eva Palivodová je interní doktorandkou Ústavu českých dějin Filozofické fakulty Univerzity Karlovy. Zabývá se soudobými dějinami s důrazem na problematiku československé propagandy, otázky konstrukce obrazů nepřátel a ochrany hranic (palivodova@gmail.com).