The idea of Stalinism in Czech and Slovakian Republic didn’t stop with Communists winning the elections. Censorship and secret police “guarded” the society and a group of “counselors” from the Soviet Union came to Prague to ensure a smooth crossover to a new model of politics. One of the first steps was finding and eliminating all factors in the society that didn’t correspond with the official doctrine.
The trials that were being held with Catholic priests, sportsmen, non-communists politicians, students and all the other unwelcome parts of the new system, were political at its core – the only judicial authority was the Communist Party. The accusations were fabricated, so were the testimonies – both the defendant and the witnesses had to learn them by heart. The trial was drama for the public in every sense of the word.
Between 1949 and 1952, more than 280 000 people were somehow involved in these trials, the death sentence was passed on 253 people, 178 people were actually executed. One of the biggest cases was the trial of Milada Horáková, a social democrat, who was killed in 1952. Her personality attracted a lot of public attention, because she was Catholic, one of the taboos in the communist-dictated society, and also a woman, which didn’t at all soften the cruel regime.