Pavel Tigrid. The Voice of Freedom - Národní muzeum


Exhibitions (25.10.2017-31.3.2018)

Pavel Tigrid. The Voice of Freedom

An Exhibition for the 100th Anniversary of Pavel Tigrid’s Birth

Location: National Memorial on the Vítkov Hill, U Památníku 1900, Praha 3

The National Museum, in collaboration with the National Archives, presents an exhibit dedicated to Pavel Tigrid, on the 100th anniversary of his birthday. Pavel Tigrid was an important Czech writer, opinion journalist, and a politician. He was forced to leave Czechoslovakia twice and he spent most of his life in exile. He was one of the most eminent figures of Czechoslovak anti-communist exile.

Old photo - group of people
Book Fair in Frankfurt am Main, 1980s. From the left: Vilém Prečan, Pavel Tigrid, Jiří Lederer; top: second from the left left Milan Horáček, in the middle Ivana Tigridová, on the right Zdeněk Mlynář.

Pavel Tigrid, born Pavel Schönfeld, was exactly one year and one day older than the Czechoslovak Republic. He was born on the 27th of October 1917 in Prague to a middle-classed, assimilated jewish family. He was related to writers Antal Stašek and Ivan Olbracht. From an early age, he was drawn to theater and journalism. During his high school studies, he published in Studentský časopis (Students‘ Magazine) and he co-founded Divadelní kolektiv mladých (the Theater Club of the Young). He engaged in opinion journalist and cultural activities during his first exile in London, where he was also an announcer of the Czech BBC broadcasting.

After emigrating in 1948, Pavel Tigrid participated in preparations of Radio Free Europe broadcasting, and was the first program director of the Czechoslovak department. In the mid-50’s he founded Svědectví (Testimony), one of the most important exile journals. After 1968, he helped in the creation of many exile activities. He kept trying to return freedom and democracy to Czechoslovakia. After returning to Prague in 1989, he worked as an advisor of President Václav Havel. From 1994 to 1995, he served as a Czech minister of culture. He was recipient of many honors and awards, including the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. Until his death, he lived alternately in France and the Czech Republic.

The exhibition at the National Memorial on the Vítkov Hill remembers Pavel Tigrid. He is remembered not only by means of photographs, but also through many interesting documents. Items on display include: his driver’s license from 1936; Kulturní zápisník (Cultural Diary) and Review 43, that he published during WWII in London; identification papers for an accredited journalist for the British, French, and American Occupation Zones in Germany, thanks to which Pavel Tigrid was able to leave for the British Zone in Germany in February 1948, and therefore escaped an arrest; it also shows his driver’s license issued by RFE in 1949, and replacement travel document issued in the State of New York in 1952. A visitor to the exhibition will have a chance to read some of the Svědectví volumes and watch an interview with Pavel Tigrid by Petr Kotyk from the 90’s.


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