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Soviet example

In this way, two camps were created – the imperialist and anti-democratic camp, whose basic goal was to establish world domination of American imperialism and to destroy democracy; and a democratic and anti-imperialist camp, the basic aim of which was to undermine imperialism, consolidate democracy and liquidate the remnants of fascism. The struggle between the two opposing camps – the imperialist and the anti-imperialist – takes place under the conditions of the further escalating general crisis of capitalism, a weakening of the forces of capitalism and the consolidation of the forces of socialism and democracy.

Statement of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties commenting on the International Situation (October 1947)

In Russia, a backward country that the theorists of Marxism did not expect to become the basis of a socialist revolution and, now shaken by World War I, on November the 7th, 1917, a party of professional revolutionaries led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924) took power. The Bolsheviks, as they were called, were determined to turn this backward country straight to communism. This happened with generous German financial and organizational assistance. Czechoslovak President Tomáš G. Masaryk, author of the work Rusko a Evropa, (Russia and Europe), saw the Bolshevik revolution as a logical continuation of the traditions of the Russian tsarist autocracy.
The Bolshevik dominion over Russia and its incorporated nations was secured by the devastating civil war which followed. The empire, which was renamed the Soviet Union in 1922, survived and became the site for the construction of a communist utopia. Two decades after the revolution came the first sign of red terror, later plunder of rural areas in favour of building heavy industry, and by rapid, violent modernization. The Bolsheviks became natural mentors of other communist parties in Europe and around the world. Great power prestige on the outside and genocidal terror on the inside awaited the state during the era of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (1878-1953). The victory of the USSR in World War II intensified the Bolshevik efforts to expand its sphere of influence to Central and Western Europe.

Panel_2_foto_2_serov_lenin kopie

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin declares at the 2nd All-Russian Congress of Soviets in 1917 the establishment of the Soviet government. Vladimir Serov’s painting was created in 1952 as one of the variants, in the original work Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, Yakov Sverdlov and Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin were also portrayed behind Lenin (Art Russe).


Drawing by Pavel Vošický Iljič a múzy (Ilyich and the Muse)
Cover of the edition of documents
from the year 1983.
Refers to the anti-Soviet activities of Lenin’s stay in Prague in 1912 (archive of Pavel Vošický)


Cover of the edition of documents
Refers to the anti-Soviet activities
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš
published in 1954 (archive of Petr Blažek)


Most of the founders of Bolshevik Russia gradually disappeared from the official communist pantheon. These included Leon Trotsky, who was forced to leave the USSR in 1929 and was assassinated in Mexico in 1940 at Stalin’s command, and Lev Kamenev, who was executed in 1936 following a show trial. Pictured together with Lenin in 1918 (National Museum / photo : Henri Guilbeaux)


After World War II, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia presented itself as a party that would not just blindly follow the Soviet model in everything. After February 1948, the situation changed, as evidenced by this propaganda poster of the period (archive of Jaroslav Čvančara).