The war was nearing its end and Hitler was already dead. American army from the west and Red Army from the east were both approaching the Czech borders. The Soviets were quicker. The fact that it was them who set the Czechs and Slovaks free meant a lot. In May 1945, Russian army reached the borders and the liberation began.
President Edward Beneš quickly summoned his “London Government” and victoriously returned. Then, with a secret nod from Stalin himself, he planned the infamous German transfer, which by some is referred to as a crime, by some as a necessary step towards democracy. Paradoxically, the no less criminal Stalinist ideas reached many people and it was natural that the Communist party, fronted by Klement Gottwald, won the 1946 election. This victory was followed by a series of scandals and the intellectual elite left the newly formed Czech and Slovak Federative Republic.
Severe Stalinism installed collectivization of private property and a highly ineffective economical system. President Beneš was forced to resign, free press was in danger, so was the freedom of speech. Catholics and rightists were prosecuted, political trials in the early fifties crushed people’s dignities and their mistrust in the regime was stronger than ever.