Cadre Policy, Cadre Work and Screening in Communist Czechoslovakia: Simple Ideas, Complicated Practice.


  • Marie Černá Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences


Even though cadre policy belonged among the fundamental themes of the communist regime, it has remained outside the main focus of investigation. Therefore, the text attempts to introduce this unknown area to the reader from several different angles. It was a political-ideological project of centralised work force management and it led to the formation of new societal bonds, in which the Communist Party’s leading role was to be consistently implemented in practice. It included the checking and comprehensive
screening of individual biographies (using a system of assessments and cadre materials) as well as education towards certain values and attitudes. However, contradictions accompanied the ambitious project from the very outset and this fact cannot be ignored. Also, cadre work formed part of common social bonds – where interests other than political were likewise manifested. Therefore, the practical consequences of the implementation of cadre policy for the lives of individuals cannot be depicted using only simple patterns.

Keywords: Czechoslovakia, communism, dictatorship, cadre policy, biography