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Survey: Czechs want to know their roots

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Prague, Dec 27 (CTK) – Most Czechs consider it important to know their roots, but only less than a half seek information about their ancestors, according to a survey conducted by NMS Market Research for the Post Bellum organisation dealing with the 20th-century history and released to CTK on Tuesday.

More than a half of Czechs consider their family destiny during the communist regime and under WWII as well as relations of their ancestors the most important topics from Czech history, the poll shows.

Though 86 percent of Czechs are of the view that it is important to get to know their roots, only 44 percent are looking for information about their ancestors.

The survey also shows that a half of those making interviews with their relatives about the past find something exceptional about their ancestors.

Czechs more often know answers to the questions about jobs, place of birth and the number of siblings of the parents of their mother than those of their father. In general, there is better knowledge about women than about men in Czech families.

“This might be ascribed to the simple fact that women live longer and consequently, we have more time and opportunities to chat about the past with our grandmothers (than with grandfathers),” Jana Hakova, from Post Bellum, said.

The topics of family conversations most often touch upon the life during the two complicated periods of Czechoslovak history – communism (1948-89) and WWII (1939-1945).

Czechs also talk about their ancestors’ relations and property and less often about the situation during and after the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that crushed the communist-led reform movement known as Prague Spring and even less about their ancestors’ political and religious conviction.

The Stories of the 20th Century competition, organised by Post Bellum, is supposed to provoke the public interest in family history. Children and adults should seek and write down interesting life stories of people connected with significant events of the 20th century. They most often turn to their relatives.

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