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In illegality

The Czechoslovak Communist Party is a section of the Communist International in Moscow, whose program is the introduction of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the forceful change of state form. The application of this programme threatens, especially under the present changed conditions, the existing form of the state, and therefore the continued existence of this party as a state is not safely permissible.

From the decision of the Ministry of the Interior to suspend the activities of the Communist Party (October the 20th, 1938)

The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia entered illegality during the period known as the Second Republic. First, its activities were stopped on October the 20th, 1938, and then it was dissolved on the 27th of December after a decision by the Ministry of the Interior. The party thus lost its parliamentary seats and its property was confiscated. Some members of the party leadership, inlcuding Klement Gottwald at the head, were already abroad at that time. In November 1938, an illegal central leadership was formed from the younger functionaries of the Communist Party, represented by Emanuel Klíma, Eduard Urx, Viktor Synek, Otto Synek and Jan Zika. During the transition to illegality, something called AG apparatus was used. It was built in the mid 1930s to go against the First Republic establishment and some of its members were trained in Moscow. The building of the illegal structure was disrupted by the Nazi occupation in March 1939, when about 300 Communist party officials were detained, some of whom were transported to concentration camps. The developing resistance work of the illegal Communist Party and its cooperation with other elements of the domestic resistance was disrupted by the conclusion of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, after which the Czech Communists received instructions from Moscow that the main enemy of the communist movement should no longer be Nazi Germany but rather Western imperialist states.

Panel 10_foto 2_vysílaƒka prvního ilegálního ÚV_-

A radio-telegraphic connection between the illegal Czechoslovak Communist Party and Moscow was established in June 1939.
(On the frontline of the secret war)

Panel 10_foto 3_Evzen_Rosicky-

The athlete and communist journalist Evžen Rošický was shot by the Nazis on June 25, 1942 in Kobylisy, Prague (archive of Jaroslav Čvančara)

Panel 10_foto 1_ilegální Rudé právo-

The illegal Rudé právo, (Red truth) which came out in August 1939 (archive of Petra Koura)

Panel 10_foto 5_Lorenz-

Arnošt Lorenz and his wife Margareta Baumgarten were among the resistance fighters who were expelled from the Communist Party for disagreeing with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. After the invasion of the USSR, they returned to the communist resistance and were later executed by the Nazis (archive of Jaroslav Čvančara)

Panel-10_foto-4_Otto-Synek-

Pre-war member of parliament Otto Synek (archives of Jaroslav Čvančara) was one of the key figures in the first illegal central leadership of the Communist Party.