The Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes has handed out its annual awards for contribution to freedom and democracy. Among this year’s recipients is the Belarussian opposition politician Vincuk Viačorka, or the Slovak photographer Tibor Kováč, who captured images of the Soviet invasion of the Slovak city of Košice.
The long-awaited film about Milada Horáková, a democratic MP executed by the Communists in 1950 and perhaps the most powerful symbol of resistance to Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime, officially premieres in Prague on Thursday evening. The film was made by Czech US-based director David Mrnka. The role of Milada Horáková is played by Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer:
Marta Kubišová, one of the most popular Czechoslovak singers of the 1960s and a symbol of resistance against the communist regime is bowing out with a final goodbye tour that started in the Slovak city of Kosice at the end of September and will take her to Prague’s Lucerna Palace where the singer started her career.
None of a trio of communist-era secret policemen suspected of involvement
in a campaign to force dissidents to leave Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and
1980s will face trial, Czech Television reported on Tuesday.
The state attorney recently halted the investigation into one of the three as he was judged not well enough to stand trial. The other two had already been released.
The three had stood accused of threatening to kill a dissident in North Bohemia. The man, who was a doctor, subsequently left the country with his family.
The communist operation to force dissidents to leave Czechoslovakia was known as asanace (clearance).
Czech and Slovak researchers have received a wealth of documents from the Russian authorities about the fates of thousands of Czechoslovak citizens imprisoned within the Soviet Union during and after the Second World War. The access only pertains to military archives, and involves around 38,000 Czechoslovak soldiers fighting on behalf of Nazi Germany – mostly ethnic Germans, Slovaks and Hungarians. I spoke with Adam Hradilek of Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, which received a copy of the documents this week, and began by asking
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience has said it has lodged
criminal cases against the last leading members of the Czechoslovak
communist party for crimes with the Brno-based Supreme Court.
The cases are based on the deaths of 28 people of various nationalities on the borders with the then West Germany and Austria before the end of the communist regime in 1989.
Among those targeted in the proceedings are the former communist party general secretary Miloš Jakeš and former interior minister and prime minister Lubomír Strougal.
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