Czechs’ expressions of support for Ukraine have drawn on their country’s own history of foreign occupation. Yet their political response also marks a shift in the country, as a once pro-Putin president slams Moscow and a right-wing premier welcomes refugees.
Ondřej Bělíček is editor of Czech online daily A2larm.cz.
Supernatural ideas were widespread at the turn of the 20th century, especially in Germany. But in the social crisis following World War I, esoteric and border-science ideas became a powerful tool of Nazi mobilization, directed at demonizing Jews and the Left.
In the era of decolonization, even nonsocialist states in Africa and Asia drew heavily on architects and planners from Eastern Bloc countries. Experts from the “Second World” adapted their work to local cultures and expectations — and often brought “Third World” lessons back with them.
Far-right leaders like Viktor Orbán claim to be reversing decades of Westernization. Yet Eastern Europe’s nationalist turn began even before 1989 — as socialist regimes abandoned their pretense of international solidarity.