Politieke beheersing in Tsjechische landen 'revisited'. Resultaten van een enquête onder 614 nog levende slachtoffers van Stalinistische terreur


  • Gadourek,Ivan




In a 1950 article in this journal, the author described the process of transformation of a free democratic society into a totalitarian, centrally directed communist state, utilizing sparse resources smuggled to him at that early time. The collapse of socialist regimes in eastern Europe in the fall of 1989 provided access to the former non-Communist political prison-inmates. By analysing both their background characteristics and opinions, the author gathers evidence to validate some of his earlier statements: (a) that basically the terror was of Stalinist origin; the arrests took place in an early period (the peak in July, 1952, executions, torture and inhuman beating were reported mainly before 1953); (b) that sons and daughters of farmers and small shopkeepers were liquidated, often without obvious guilt; (c) that torture was used to force prisoners to confess absurd, uncommitted crimes. The strong decline in the exprisoners 'satisfaction from 1990 to 1994 is accounted for by their feelings of injustice and inequity. The perpetrators of crimes against human rights, their henchmen, have not been punished. Those who helped to confiscate and nationalize their property figure as the capitalist avant guard of privatization. Prisoners feel betrayed and ignored even by Václav Havel, who surrounds himself with the members of Charta 77 that relies for 70 percent on former communists who built the prisons and assisted the repression around 1950. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Mens en Maatschappij is the property of Amsterdam University Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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