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Anticommunist Resistance

The method of communism is a broad based attempt at international misunderstanding; it is an attempt to fragment the human world into pieces that do not belong together and have nothing to say to each other. How is is that what is good on the one hand cannot and should not be good on the other; it is as if people here and there were not physiologically and morally the same.

Karel Čapek: Why I am not a communist (1924)

The anti communist resistance is often associated with the period from the 25th of February 1948 to the 17th of November 1989. It is thus defined by Act No. 262/2011 Coll., on participants in the resistance and revolt against communism, on the basis of which several thousand people have been awarded for their activity against the totalitarian regime. It is often referred to as the third resistance, which followed the anti-Austrian and anti-Nazi resistance. This interpretation narrows the anti communist resistance to the followers of the First Republic traditions. In fact, it was broader and also included, for example, supporters of Slovak independence. It is important to recall that a number of personalities and political tendencies were opposed to communist ideology before February 1948. After 1917, tens of thousands of Czechoslovak legionaries already had first hand experience with the Bolsheviks.
Forms of anti communist resistance gradually changed. Until 1956, there was also significant armed opposition, developed by a number of resistance groups. They were partly organised in exile with help of western secret services. In 1949, the Council of Free Czechoslovakia was established. An important role was played by radio stations, in particular Rádio Svobodná Evropa.(Radio Free Europe). Prohibited books and magazines as well as those written in exile were smuggled into Czechoslovakia. After 1956, the resistance manifested itself in other forms, mainly through petitions, the publication and distribution of samizdat (self publishing), and the formation of opposition groups. The Club of Committed Non-Partisans and K 231 were active during the Prague Spring. In December 1976

Charter 77 was established and the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted was active from April 1978. In the late 1980s, a number of independent initiatives emerged, including the Civil Liberties Movement and the Democratic Initiative. A different situation prevailed in Slovakia, where the opposition was associated primarily with the Catholic Church.

One of the resistance groups was founded by the sons of the hero of the anti-Nazi resistance, Lt. Colonel Josef Mašína. Zleva Ctirad and Josef Mašínovi (archive of Zdena Mašínova)

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The studio of the Czech editors of Radio Free Europe in Munich (archive of Pavla Tigrida)

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Many participants in the third resistance ended up on the execution ground, including JUDr. Milada Horáková (National archive)

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This joke was sketched by Vladivoj Tomek. It was confiscated in December 1959 during a house search. On the 17th of November 1960, Tomek was the last anti communist resistance fighter to be executed (ABS)

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A leaflet from Independent Initiatives with an invitation to a demonstration on the 28th of October 1988 (Libri prohibiti)