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.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:Historian: After 1948, Czechoslovakia was paralysed with fear Read more 

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

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

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Special shopping hours for older people will be scrapped.

Special shopping hours end, some isolation rules change

The country switches to the light red tier on national level from next Monday.

4 h
Finance Minister Igor Matovič introducing the tax and levy reform.

Matovič introduces tax reform

It will be based on three pillars: fair taxes, a single tax and single levy and benefits of €200 per child.

21 h
Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár, President Zuzana Čaputová and Prime Minister Eduard Heger, from left after signing the a letter accompanying Slovakia’s recovery plan.

Slovakia sent its 600-page plan to Brussels on becoming a better country

Only the next government will harvest the fruits of the planned reforms.

6. máj
Leatherworker Ondrej Sabela in his workshop.

Near rock bottom, artisans in Slovakia pray for a better season

The pandemic has forced some to find new jobs, leaving their trades behind.

6. máj