Ferdinand Peroutka was a Czech journalist, writer and dramatist. After the First World War, he worked as an editor-in-chief of the Tribuna journal, and later wrote commentaries for the newspaper Lidové Noviny. In 1924 he founded the revue Přítomnost, and worked as its editor-in-chief until 1939. Peroutka was also the author of several books, for example the unfinished work Budování státu (Building of the State) about the birth of the first Czechoslovak Republic. Upon the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Peroutka was arrested and held in Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps until 1945. After the war, he was a member of the Czechoslovak Provisional National Assembly. Peroutka, who was an opponent of communism, was excluded from the Union of Czech Journalists and Union of Czech Writers in February 1948. Thus, he decided to emigrate to the West and he left Czechoslovakia in April 1948. He initially lived in Great Britain, and later moved to the USA. In the United States he participated in the foundation of Radio Free Europe, and in 1951 he was appointed director of its Czechoslovak section. He also became a member of the Council of Free Czechoslovakia, which represented Czechoslovak democratic politicians who left their country for exile after 1948. In exile, Peroutka continued with his literary activities as well. He published, among others, a novel entitled Oblak a valčík (The Cloud and the Waltz) based on his play of the same name. Nowadays, he is considered one of the most important Czech journalists of the twentieth century. Thus, since 1995 the “Ferdinand Peroutka Award” has been given to prominent journalists and publicists in the Czech Republic.
- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
Date of death
Author(s) of this page
- Kůželová, Michaela
ÚČL AV ČR. 2006. "Slovník české literatury po roce 1945: Ferdinand Peroutka." Last modified November 30. http://www.slovnikceskeliteratury.cz/showContent.jsp?docId=428.
Literární archiv Památníku národního písemnictví. 2006. Ferdinand Peroutka (1895–1978) - soupis osobního fondu. Praha: Literární archiv PNP. Accessible at http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/2588/uvod/8554.