Show Trials: Stalinist Purges in Eastern Europe, 1948-1954
Pp. 83-91 discuss the Slansky trial (1952) and its antisemitic aspects, accompanied by the author's personal notes. Rudolf Slansky (1901-1952), a Jew and secretary-general of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, and fourteen leading party members (eleven of whom were Jews) were prosecuted for conspiring against the state. They were seen as Zionist activists and agents of imperialist Israel. The Jewish descent of the defendants was constantly stressed. Slansky and ten others were hanged in December 1952; the other three were sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial formed a direct link with the Doctors' Plot in the Soviet Union. Hodos himself, a Hungarian Jew, was tried in Hungary in 1954 and sentenced to eight years in prison. Includes information on similar trials in Poland, Romania, East Germany, and Bulgaria.
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THE REINTERPRETED SHOW TRIALS IN ROMANIA
March 1950April 1952
THE INTERRUPTED SHOW TRIALS IN EAST GERMANY
April 1952June 1954
THE POLISH WAY OF SHOW TRIALS
CONSEQUENCES AND CONCLUSIONS
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accused agents Albania American Ana Pauker anti-Semitic anti-Soviet Army arrested became began Beria Bezpieka Bierut Budapest Bulgaria cell Central Committee charges Colonel Cominform Comintern communist party comrades confessions conspiracy crimes criminal Czech Czechoslovakia death defendants democratic deputy Dimitrov East European East Germany Eastern Europe enemy espionage exile extorted faction fascist friends German Gestapo Gheorghiu-Dej Gomulka Gottwald head Hoxha Hungary imperialist incriminating intelligence International interrogation Jewish Kostov Laszlo Rajk later leadership liquidation Luca Merker minister Ministry Moscow murder Muscovite NKVD Noel Field ordered Patrascanu Pauker people's Poland Polish Politburo political Prague prepared prison Rajk trial Rakosi Rankovic rehabilitated role Romania satellite countries secret police secret trials security organs security services sentenced show trials Slansky trial socialist Soviet advisers Soviet Union spies Spychalski Stalin Stalinist purges Swiatlo Swiss Switzerland Szonyi terror Tito Tito's Titoist told torture traitors Trotzkyist Ulbricht underground victims Xoxe York Yugoslav Yugoslavia
Page xi - You have heard the accusation and plead guilty.' Rubashov tried to look into his face. He could not, and had to shut his eyes again. He had had a biting answer on his tongue; instead he said, so quietly that the thin secretary had to stretch out her head to hear: 'I plead guilty to not having understood the fatal compulsion behind the policy of the Government, and to have therefore held oppositional views.
Page xiii - The show trials in Eastern Europe would have occurred even without the break between Stalin and Tito, probably even with the identical victims, as the device by which the brother parties of the postwar Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe were subordinated to the Soviet party. Show trials were an integral part of Stalinism, and their introduction into the satellite states was a logical step, albeit with variants on the tested Soviet model.
Page xiii - The show trial is a propaganda arm of political terror. Its aim is to personalize an abstract political enemy, to place it in the dock in flesh and blood and, with the aid of a perverted system of justice, to transform abstract political-ideological differences into easily intelligible common crimes. It both incites the masses against the evil embodied by the defendants and frightens them away from supporting any potential opposition.
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