Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

How did Communism happen in Czechoslovakia?

For the 40 years, Czechs and Slovaks would celebrate February 25 as Victorious February, even though the enthusiasm of most of those who supported Communists in 1948 would very quickly evaporate.

Prime Minister Klement Gottwald (right) swears an oath into the hands of President Edvard Benes on February 27, 1948 at the Prague Castle.(Source: TASR photo reproduction)

Czechoslovakia entered 1948 as the last remaining country under the Soviet sphere of influence, divided after World War II, where the Communists had not yet achieved supremacy. But that was to change very soon.

In his monumental work Europe: A History, historian Norman Davies lists the February coup in Czechoslovakia as one of the three events that sealed the division of Europe and gave rise to the Iron Curtain, along with the creation of the Communist Information Bureau in October 1947 and the Berlin Blockade of April 1948.

Read also:Read also:Historian: After 1948, Czechoslovakia was paralysed with fear

In February 1948, Czechoslovakia was preparing for parliamentary elections and was ruled by a coalition of four parties: the Social Democrats, the People’s Party, the Democratic Party, and the Communists, who started “fearing the rise of the socialist vote that could bring a decline in their own influence”, as Davies noted.

“Their involvement in a genuine democratic system equally meant that they could not gain supremacy by manipulation, as in neighbouring Poland; so they resorted to force,” Davies writes.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

Annual
subscription

29 €
Buy
You save 17.80 € compared with monthly subsription
Quarterly
subscription
9.90 €
Buy
You save 1.80 € compared with monthly subsription
Monthly
subscription
0.98 €
Buy
Price is only for new subscribers for their first month. All other months are standard price of 3.90€

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Weather warnings against heat and storms issued

Slovakia will be hit by a significant temperature drop during the weekend, and snow is expected at some places.

Illustrative stock photo

For a Decent Slovakia organise another protest for June 22

At the same time, they are suing ex-PM Robert Fico, in response to his statements made during the protest rallies in February, citing fear-mongering and defamation.

For a Decent Slovakia represenattives - L-R: Lukáš Füle, Karolína Farská, Juraj Šeliga and Veronika Bruncková - filed a suit against ex-PM Robert Fico June 15.

NAKA detains businessman Kočner

The shady businessman featured in several scandals was detained June 20 in connection to questionable promissory notes and tax-related crimes.

Marián Kočner

Coronations return to Bratislava Photo

This year Bratislava will recall the coronation of Leopold II, the younger son of Maria Theresa.

Bratislava will again enjoy re-enactment of coronation ceremony