A Trial in Prague Notes - A Trial in Prague Notes Zuzana...

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A Trial in Prague Notes 12/06/2014 ° Zuzana Justman – Documentary, 2000 ° ° 14 leading Communist leaders, including Rudolf Slansky, were put on trial for treason in Soviet Czechoslovakia ° ° Film discusses the trial and has interviews with people related to the people on trial These people talked about how Communism was very appealing to them at first o A great new idea – they thought they could do it too Avoid situations that caused problems like Hitler’s Europe to happen again It opposed Fascism (Germany) o Young Czechs flocked to Communism – they didn’t care that they were Jewish ° People were scared to even talk about the government for fear that they would be reported – akin to Hitler’s regime ° Those that supported that Communism Party never thought that they would be betrayed by their own party These people fought for the Allies against the Germans in WWII Communism took in people who wanted to help humanity – in theory. o These Communist leaders behaved very differently in practice ° These Communists on trial experienced the Holocaust – they wanted to change the world A reason they survived – to ensure that something like the Holocaust is never repeated again ° Czech Communists won their first post-war election in 1946 – time to build a new society Scenes of happy, working people
Vision: a world free of racism, anti-Semitism – believed to be products of capitalism ° People kept joining the Communist Party and attended meetings They could not leave – Rudolf’s wife described it as “signing a pact with the Devil.” Rudolf was offered a higher position in the Communist Party, but he didn’t want it – was forced to take it ° Communists took over completely in 1948 – executing anti-communists Stalin then turned on his own people – solidified power o People couldn’t think anything other than what Moscow told them to do Stalin used the show trials to teach people what happens if they were to oppose the government in any way (ex: Slansky trial) Stalin assumed there to be enemies in the party – these enemies must be eliminated o Find scapegoats for problems and turn the people against

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