Komunistická strana Československa

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Komunistická strana Československa ( KSČ for short ), German Communist Party of Czechoslovakia ( KPTsch ), was a communist party in Czechoslovakia , until 1943 a member of the Communist International . From 1948 to 1989 she was the de facto ruler in Czechoslovakia.


KSČ was established on May 14, 1921 by renaming a left wing that had split off from the Czechoslovak Social Democracy ( Československá sociální demokracie - ČSSD ). The first chairman was Bohumír Šmeral . In the parliamentary elections on November 15, 1925, the KSČ was the second largest party in the country after the Agrarian Party with almost 13% of the vote, 20 seats in the Senate and 41 seats in the House of Representatives .

In 1925 the process of Bolshevization was decided, combined with a consolidation of programmatic dependence on the Communist International . In February 1929, the so-called Karlín boys ( karlínští kluci ), led by Klement Gottwald , took over the management of the KSČ. Many founding members then resigned. The KSČ received 31 seats in the House of Representatives and 15 seats in the Senate in the parliamentary elections on October 27, 1929. In the parliamentary elections on May 19, 1935, she received 31 seats in the House of Representatives and 16 seats in the Senate.

War era

At the end of the Second Republic (1938/39) the party was banned and continued to work illegally. An (initially) independent Communist Party of Slovakia (KSS) was founded in Slovakia . During the Second World War it initially accepted the liquidation of Czechoslovakia on instructions from Moscow. However, it later became a major force of resistance at home and abroad. 30,000 Czech communists were killed during the war .

As a resistance party, in 1945 it became part of the National Front of Czechs and Slovaks (Czech Národní fronta Čechů a Slováků , Slovak Národný front Čechov a Slovákov ) and a member of the first government of liberated Czechoslovakia. In the government, the communists had greater weight from the beginning, since the autonomous KSS was also allowed to send representatives there.

Seizure of power

Already during the Second World War, the KSČ prepared the takeover and liquidation of the democratic parties in Czechoslovakia with the support of the Soviet Union and the CPSU .

The takeover of power began after the parliamentary elections in 1946 , from which it emerged as the strongest party. In the two multi-party governments Klement Gottwald I and Klement Gottwald II , headed by Klement Gottwald as Prime Minister, key positions in the army and police as well as the specially founded people's militia Lidové milice were filled with communists or their sympathizers. The KSČ had its agents and informants in all parties. In 1947, under the leadership of Gustáv Husák , she was able to enforce the partial dissolution of the Democratic Party , whose leadership concluded a support agreement with the representatives of the former Slovakia.

February coup and 1950s

The party finally took power on February 25, 1948, the so-called February revolution . The National Assembly expressed its confidence in the reconstructed government under the leadership of Klement Gottwald with 230 votes from the representatives present.

The Czechoslovak National Socialist Party ( Československá strana národně socialistická ; not in the German “National Socialist” sense) was renamed the Czechoslovak Socialist Party and made up of supporters of the KSČ policy. Many functionaries of the social democratic ČSSD went into exile again after the coup. The remaining ČSSD under the leadership of Zdeněk Fierlinger was forcibly united with the KSČ at the so-called "Unification Party Congress on June 27, 1948 .

In 1948 the Communist Party of Slovakia (KSS) was reunited with the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) and from then on existed only as a territorial organization subordinate to the Czechoslovak Party.

In the early days of the communist government from 1948 to 1954 , according to most sources, over 240 people were executed for political reasons, the numbers vary between 178 and (mostly) 246 or 248. Most of the trials were conducted before the state court established specifically for this purpose . Hundreds more died in prisons or trying to flee the country. Tens of thousands of people were imprisoned by the end of the communist regime in 1989. Unwanted citizens have been fired from their professions. A number of party members were executed in the wake of the intensification of the class struggle after Stalinist show trials , including Rudolf Slánský in December 1952 (he had been the general secretary of the KSČ from 1945 to November 1951).

Gustáv Husák , head of the Slovak state government from 1946 to 1950, was arrested in 1951 as part of the Stalinist purges. The political show trials continued after Stalin's death (March 1953); on 21./24. In April 1954 the trial of the so-called "bourgeois nationalists" took place. The main defendant was Husák. He was sentenced to a long prison term, given an amnesty in 1960 and rehabilitated in 1963.

Thaw time

The basic reform of the KSČ did not begin until the first half of the 1960s and culminated in the Prague Spring . Officially, the KSČ leadership strove for "socialism with a human face".

Purges, normalization

In April 1969 the reform leadership was replaced by centrists . Gustáv Husák reversed all reform projects with the help of orthodox ideologues such as Vasil Biľak . During the cleansing of the KSČ, the majority of the members were expelled. There were increased political sanctions. In particular, the persecution of the signatories of Charter 77 a few years later attracted international attention.

Velvet Revolution 1989

The authoritarian regime of the communists ended on November 17, 1989. The party renamed itself Komunistická strana Česko-Slovenska (KSČS, Communist Party of Czecho-Slovakia) and at the party congress in 1990 a federation of the newly founded Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy ( KSČM, Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia) and Komunistická strana Slovenska (KSS, Communist Party of Slovakia). The latter later called itself Strana Demokratieickej ľavice (SDĽ, Party of the Democratic Left) and became independent before the break-up of Czechoslovakia. The federation only existed until April 7, 1992.

Successor organization to KSČ in the Czech Republic is the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia ( Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy , KSČM ).

New party since 1995

In 1995 some former members of the KSČ founded a new party, initially called the Party of Czechoslovak Communists ( Strana československých komunistů ), from 1999 renamed the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. This party's program is to restore the government that had ruled from 1948 to 1989. Its chairman (general secretary) was Miroslav Štěpán .

Party leader

The name for the KSČ guide changed several times. The terms Chairman ( Předseda ) from 1945 to 1953, First Secretary ( První Tajemník ) from 1953 to 1971 and General Secretary ( Generální Tajemník ) from 1921 to 1945 and again from 1971 to 1989 were used:

No. picture Surname Taking office Resignation
1. Václav Šturc 1921 1922
2. Alois Muna 1922 1924
3. Josef hook 1924 1925
4th Bohumil Jilek 1925 1929
5. K Gottwald.jpg Klement Gottwald 1929 March 14, 1953
6th Antonin Novotny v New Yorku - 1960 A.jpg Antonín Novotný March 21, 1953 5th January 1968
7th Dubcek.jpg Alexander Dubček 5th January 1968 17th April 1969
8th. Gustáv Husák - oříznuto.JPG Gustáv Husák 17th April 1969 17th December 1987
9. Milous Jakes.jpg Miloš Jakeš 17th December 1987 November 24, 1989
10. Karel Urbánek November 25, 1989 December 20, 1989
11. Ladislav Adamec December 20, 1989 1990

Party congresses

Party congresses date Party congresses date
founding 14.-16. May 1921 X. 11-15 June 1954
I. 2nd - 5th Feb. 1923 XI. 18.-21. June 1958
II. Oct. 31 - Nov. 4, 1924 XII. 4th-8th Dec 1962
III. 26.-28. Sep 1925 XIII. May 31 - June 4, 1966
IV. 25.-28. March 1927 canceled 22nd August 1968
V. 18.-23. Feb. 1929 XIV. 25-29 May 1971
VI. 7-11 March 1931 XV. 12-16 Apr. 1976
VII. March 11 - April 14, 1936 XVI. 6-10 Apr 1981
VIII. 28–31 March 1946 XVII. 24.-28. March 1986
IX. 25-29 May 1949 XVIII. 20.-21. Dec 1989


  • Stanislav Balík: The state party of Czechoslovakia. In: Uwe Backes , Günther Heydemann , Clemens Vollnhals (eds.): State socialisms in comparison. State Party - Social Policy - Opposition (=  writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism . 64). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2019, ISBN 978-3-525-37077-3 , pp. 135-149.
  • Documents and materials relating to the cooperation between the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia 1971 to 1976. Dietz, Berlin 1977.
  • Documents and materials relating to the cooperation between the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia 1976 to 1981. Dietz, Berlin 1982.
  • Institute for Marxism-Leninism at the CPC Central Committee (ed.): History of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Translated by Alfred Klos. Dietz, Berlin 1981 (original title: Ústav Marxismu-Leninismu: Přehled dějin KSČ ).
  • Thomas Weiser: Labor leader in Czechoslovakia. A collective biography of social democratic and communist party functionaries 1918–1938. Oldenbourg, Munich 1999, ISBN 978-3-486-56018-3 .
  • Pavel Žáček, Bernd Faulenbach , Ulrich Mählert (eds.): Czechoslovakia 1945/48 to 1989. Studies on communist rule and repression. Leipziger Universitätsverlag, Leipzig 2008, ISBN 978-3-86583-264-1 .


  1. The information on the number of those executed is only partially reliable or comparable. In the specialist literature it is pointed out several times that some criminal offenses were defined as anti-state activity, i.e. as political offenses, but also vice versa. Some figures should include members of the CPC, others not. It also depends on whether the executions were carried out on the basis of a judgment by the state court or another court.

Individual evidence

  1. Z history senatu Czechoslovakia, materials of the Senate of the Czech Republic, online www.senat.cz/informace / ... www.senat.cz
  2. Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010): Elections in Europe: A data handbook , p. 471 f. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  3. Karel Kaplan: The fatal alliance, Pol Verlag, Wuppertal 1984, pages 159ff., Here in particular page 164
  4. Karel Kaplan: The political processes in Czechoslovakia 1948–1953 , publications of the Collegium Carolinum, Volume 48, edited by the board of the Collegium Carolinum, Research Center for Bohemian Countries, R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-486-51081- 9 , page 105
  5. Peter Marejka: Politické procesy v Československu (1948-1954) [Political processes in Czechoslovakia (1948-1954)], in: Studia Iuricica Cassoviensia 2/2018, series of publications by the Faculty of Law of the UPJŠ in Košice, online at: sic.pravo .upjs.sk / ... , page 88
  6. Jaroslav Vorel, Alena Šimánková, Lukáš Babka: Československá justice v letech 1948–1953 v dokumentech [The Czechoslovak Justice 1948–1953 in documents], Part II., Sešity No. 9, series of publications by the ÚVD (Authority for Documentation and Investigation of Crimes communism), Prague 2004, ISBN 80-86621-05-7 , online at: policie.cz / ...
  7. Prokop Tomek: Oběti komunistického režimu [Victims of the Communist Regime], publication of the ÚVD (Authority for Documentation and Investigation of the Crimes of Communism), online at: policie.cz / ...
  8. ^ Website of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (1995)
  9. Announcement on the website of the Federal Foundation to Cope with the SED Dictatorship

Web links

Commons : Communist Party of Czechoslovakia  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files