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Slovaks did not believe promises of a "brighter tomorrow"

ONLY one third of Slovaks believed communists 60 years ago who promised a bright future after the coup in February 1948. Most perceived the coup with distrust, misgivings or disgust.

ONLY one third of Slovaks believed communists 60 years ago who promised a bright future after the coup in February 1948. Most perceived the coup with distrust, misgivings or disgust.

These are the findings of concealed public opinion polls conducted at that time, the Pravda daily wrote.

On February 25, 60 years had lapsed since the communist dictatorship was installed in the then Czechoslovakia. That day, after pressure from communist politicians, Czechoslovak President Edvard Beneš accepted the resignation of 12 non-communist ministers and appointed a government under Prime Minister Klement Gottwald's leadership. Communists dominated the new government over the next four decades.

Communists dubbed the February coup Victorious February or the February Workers' Victory.

Sociologists surveyed the public in April 1946 and were surprisingly accurate in estimating the results of the upcoming general elections. Some historians believe that the Communist Party's drop in popularity led to a quickened installation of the party in the country.

Slovak sociologists conducted polls after the coup in 1948. Only 37 percent of respondents believed that socialism would improve their lives and 23 percent had no faith in it at all. As much as 40 percent of the respondents said that they did not know.

Historians from Slovakia and abroad discussed the events that preceded the coup at a conference held in Bratislava on February 14-15.

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