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20. století

Milada Horakova

Czech politician and victim of a judicial murder
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She was a politician, who became the victim of the communist monstrous show trials in the 1950’s. She was the only woman executed as a result of them and became the symbol of the fight against totalitarianism for her extraordinary courage, her inflexible beliefs and her refinement.
She came from a family partial to Masaryk’s ideals, so she grew up in an anti-Austrian environment. Her anti-Austrian opinions later got her expelled from high-school. After the new Republic was founded, she focused on her law studies at the Charles University, following the graduation of which she entered the National Council of Women.
In 1929 she entered the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party (CNSP) and started traveling, to broaden her horizon and also become familiar with the regime in the Bolshevik Russia. After the creation of the Protectorate she joined the resistance. In 1940 she was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo together with her husband. She divulged no information and her husband was sent to a concentration camp, while she was interned in Terezin. In the end, her sentence was changed from the originally declared death penalty to an 8 year prison term.
After the war, she reunited with her husband who had survived the “death-march”. She returned to the CNSP, became a deputy and engaged in numerous social, economic and foreign affairs issues. She criticized the activity of post-war tribunals and soon the StB (communist secret police) started monitoring her.
After the 25th of February 1948, she was expelled from all her public functions. Milada Horakova started participating to the anti-communist resistance, without ever committing anything illegal. She

supported the emigration of various people, while stalling her own, which would come as a fatal decision. She was arrested in 1949, while her husband managed to escape.
In jail she was physically and mentally tormented so that she would cooperate in her gigantic show trial. She received a dictated confession to which she was to stick. Horakova was designated as the central figure of the whole group of “traitors”. The trial lasted 8 days, keeping with an artificial script led by the demonic appearance and speeches of the procurator Josef Urvalek. Representatives of the people were also present, requesting the highest penalty for the accused. Horakova displayed extraordinary courage, at times she even managed to defend herself, her fellow prisoners and her ideals in a stupendously refined manner, which radically contrasted with the rough ways of the procurator Urvalek. Her bold resistance even prevented the original design of editing the shots taken at the trial and making a propagandist video.
Milada Horakova and four others were sentenced to death by hanging on the 8th of June, despite pleads for clemency form her 16 year old daughter and numerous prominent foreign personalities (Churchill, Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt). She refused to suit for pardon and Klement Gottwald confirmed the death penalty.
The sentence was carried out at five thirty in the morning with the very brutal method of long strangulation and prior desensitization.
Her last words were: “I fall, I fall, I lost this battle, I leave honorably. I love this country, I love these people, build prosperity for them. I leave without hatred for you. I wish you this, I wish you this…”


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