Prague City Hall announced on Monday that its representatives had met with Zdena Mašínová and agreed to exhume the remains of her mother, who was imprisoned by both the Nazis and communists and shares the same name. The city is now preparing the necessary documentation after which the exact date of exhumation will be set.
Zdena Mašínová and her brother Josef, one of the two brothers who dramatically escaped from Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s, have officially become owners of the family farm in Lošany in Central Bohemia, which was confiscated by the Communists in 1948. After the fall of the Communist regime, Zdena Mašínová was given back two-eighths of the farm, but the rest was kept in state hands since her brothers didn’t live in the Czech Republic. In March this year, a district court in Kolín issued a new inheritance ruling saying that the family was entitled to the whole estate.
A court has ruled that the daughter of war hero Josef Mašin should be able to inherit the family farm at Lošany outside Kolín in East Bohemia. In its ruling delivered Wednesday the court said it was clear that Josef Mašin was the rightful owner of the farm and that his daughter, Zdena, stood in line to inherit. Mašin was a member of the leading opposition group to the Nazi occupation before and during WWII. He was captured by the Nazis in May 1941 and shot on June 30 a year later at the age of 45. The court decision can still be appealed. The farm was later confiscated by the communist regime with the inheritance question complicated by the question of whether two sons, who dramatically fled to the US, also had claims.
Czech courts will once again rule on the restitution claim of Zdena Mašínová, sister of the Mašín brothers, who dramatically escaped from Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s. Mašínová has filed for restitution of her father’s farm in Central Bohemia which was confiscated by the Communists. Her claim was rejected by the Supreme Court on the grounds that the property could only be returned to all the heirs; however, the late Ctirad Mašín and his brother Josef had been disqualified from applying for restitution on the grounds that they lived abroad. The Constitutional Court upheld Zdena Mašínová’s appeal against the verdict.
The Constitutional Court ordered on Wednesday a local court to reopen the case of a farm confiscated from the famous Mašín family of anti-Nazi and later anti-Communist opponents. The farm near Kolín was partially returned to the family after 1989 but the family have since been fighting for a full restitution. Such moves led by Zdena Mašínová were blocked by the regional court on procedural grounds. Josef Mašín was one of the so called ‘Three Kings’were led resistance to the Nazi occupation. Sons Josef and Ctirad were part of an anti-Communist group before fleeing to the West in 1953.
The Supreme Court has refused to return a family farm to Zdena Mašínová, sister of the Mašín brothers, who dramatically escaped from Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s. The farm in Central Bohemia was confiscated by the Communists. The court said the property could only be returned to all the heirs; however, the late Ctirad Mašín and his brother Josef had been disqualified from applying for restitution on the grounds that they lived abroad. A lawyer for Zdena Mašínová said she would take the matter to the Constitutional Court.
A commemorative plaque honouring late anti-communist resistance fighter Milan Paumer was unveiled in a special ceremony on Saturday in the courtyard of the castle in Poděbrady. Mr Paumer died was part of the controversial Mašín group that shot its way out of communist Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, claiming several lives; he died two years ago at the age of 79. The ceremony on Saturday included a performance of classical music, as well as songs by Barbara Streisand and Věra Špinarová and the Czech anthem. Notable military historian Eduard Stehlík suggested that the commemorative plaque might be the first dignified memorial to a Mašín group member in the country.
When Jan Novák describes himself as Miloš Forman’s autobiographer, he is not entirely joking. He really did co-write the most famous Czech-American film director’s memoirs, and Forman himself has spoken of the book as “my life as lived by Jan Novák”. But Jan Novák is a great deal more than a biographer.
Defence Minister Alexander Vondra is being investigated in connection with the case of the Mašín brothers whom he decorated for bravery in memoriam in August of this year. The Mašín brothers were part of a resistance group which fought its way out of communist Czechoslovakia in the hard-line 1950s. They killed several people on their way out, at least one of them pacified and unarmed, which is why their escape divides society to this day. Some brand them assassins, while others consider them heroes. Several people have reportedly filed charges against the defence minister saying that in decorating the Mašín brothers he had in fact approved and rewarded cold-blooded murder.
More than a hundred people gathered in the town of Čelákovice near Prague on Wednesday to commemorate Jaroslav Honzátko, a communist police officer who was killed by the Mašín brothers 60 years ago. Speakers at the event, which was organised by the Communist party, referred to the killing as a brutal murder and a terrorist act. The anti-communist resistance activities of the Mašín group have always sharply divided Czech society. The killing of Honzátko is their most divisive act, as the officer was unarmed and chloroformed when they slit his throat during a raid on a police station to obtain weapons. Ctirad Mašín, who killed him, died last month in the United States.