Ferdinand Peroutka

Ferdinand Peroutka ( born February 6, 1895 in Prague, † April 20, 1978 in New York) was a Czech writer, playwright and journalist.


Peroutka left high school in 1913, the Prague - Vinohrady without High School and worked as an occasional journalist. Three months after the creation of Czechoslovakia, he began with his involvement in the Jewish newspaper Rozvoj. In 1919 he was awarded by the publishing line the offer to take over the task of the responsible editor in the new newspaper Tribuna, in addition Lidové noviny was one of the most independent newspapers at the time. Contributions for this sheet provided, inter alia, Jaroslav Hašek and Karel Poláček.

On January 17, 1924 Peroutka joined as chief editor for the newly launched newspaper Přítomnost, which was financially supported by the President Masaryk and represented the opinions of his party. The democratic sheet, popular among intellectuals, quickly gained famous journalists, correspondents and writers, representing their views there. These included Karl Kraus, publishers in Vienna, the Foreign Minister Kamil Krofta and Karel Čapek, František Langer and Fráňa Sramek. Within three years, the weekly newspaper was one of the most popular publications in the Czech Republic.

Under President Masaryk, Peroutka was his spokesman, professionally close relationship turned into a personal friendship. Even stronger was his relationship to the 1935 elected president Edvard Beneš, whom he revered, and whose views and policies Peroutka defended in his journalistic work.

From 1924 to 1939 he also worked as a political commentator for the Lidové noviny. During the 2nd World War he was imprisoned in Dachau and Buchenwald. After the war he worked as chief editor for the daily newspaper Svobodné noviny (1945-1948) and the weekly magazine Dnešek ( 1946-1948 ). He was in his column to a resolute opponent of communism. In 1948 he left Czechoslovakia, sought exile first in England and later in the United States. From 1951 to 1961 he headed the Czech Department of Radio Free Europe.


Peroutka published since 1932 in Czechoslovakia some political books, in the United States were added two plays and fiction about Joan of Arc.