Czechs paying homage to victims of Communism

Hundreds of people braved the cold to light candles and lay flowers at monuments to the victims of Communism on the 70th anniversary of the Communist takeover on February 25, 1948. The anniversary is being marked by debates, exhibitions and film screenings.

A gathering in support of democracy took place on Wenceslas Square at which speakers warned of the danger of giving the Communist Party even a supportive role in the country’s next government.

4,500 people were murdered during the Communist years, 374 were killed at the country’s borders in an attempt to flee to the West, 254 were sentenced to death in political show trials, thousands were persecuted by the Communist secret police and 180,000 people fled the country.