Why and how was communism implemented in Czechoslovakia?

Dr. Michal Pullmann (teacher of contemporary history at the Charles University, faculty of Arts) explained to us during the interview we took to him why and how the communist regime was implemented in Czechoslovakia.

“There is a different root when we talk about central Europe because Czechoslovakia was a special case in contrast to Hungary and Poland where communism was a kind of import from Soviet Union.  The Czechs, Slovaks especially, voted for the communist predominantly after the 2nd world war.  Czechoslovakia is the only country where the communist came to power democratically because they won elections after the 2nd world war and so it’s in Czechoslovakia to some respects specific in contrast to some countries I deliberately mentioned like Poland and Hungary where it was an import of Soldiers with an army etc,

The popularity of communism as an idea in the post war time was predominantly rooted in a positive view of  the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia very strongly, with high admiration of Stalin even in the spirit  and the liberating role of the Soviet Union and off course expectations of more just order that wouldn’t bring the big economy crisis etc, so the fact that Czechoslovakia was not exposed to mass violence of the Red Army as in Hungary or Poland was the root of very positive view of Soviet Union and communism in post war especially Czech Society.  I mean they do not have such large, huge hegemony as in Czech lands but as a whole in Czechoslovakia the communists they won the elections so they were very important even in the Democratic time and in February Stalin was pushing somehow now we have to do a turnover etc. and they did it in Feb 1948 they changed the political system towards the Soviet.  Soviet won with a kind of coup d’etat, how it is interpreted till today.  Afterwards Stalin’s model of Socialism was implemented.

The hardest time for the whole of Czechoslovakia came at the end of the 40’s and beginning of the 50’s where short trials and terror came in Czechoslovakia. At the same time we need to take into account even this was not an import from the Soviet Union.  Czechoslovakia was very special in this respect.  Many people such as workers, the people who profited from the regime, supported the terror especially at the beginning when it was not completely clear that the destruction would be such large, there were many people who expected from the Stalin model the betterment of their life and also the safety that the same Imperialist capitalist etc. They would not destroy the very basic, the very existence of the Czech nation.

We have to take into account that the complex of Munich as it is said in the Czech history in Sept 1938, Czechoslovakia through the Munich agreement was taken especially the borderlands were taken to Germany afterwards in March 1939 the German Nazis took the rest which they created a kind of protectorate of Germany and  were almost successful in destroying the very existence of the Czech nation because they closed the University and was visible within the 5yrs that intelligence, if you close Universities and don’t reproduce the elite, you can destroy the Nation.  I mean the Stalinism or the Socialist promise that was mostly understood at that time as kind of national communism as a kind of specific Czechoslovak way to call communism was extremely popular so this was the root of the popularity of the idea of communism in the post war time.  The Czechs do not want to remember that they were the only ones who voted for communism in contrast to Hungarians, Polish, Romanians or East Germans who did not choose this way.”

Marina Gogeanu


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