1948 Communist takeover seals country’s fate for four decades

Февраль 1948 г. – «народная милиция», фото: Архив Чешского радио

On February 25, 1948, the Communist Party seized power in Czechoslovakia, marking the onset of four decades of hard-line, authoritarian rule. The Communist takeover was enabled by the party’s election success in 1946 and the resignation of the government’s remaining democratic ministers in February of 1948. President Edvard Beneš’ decision to confirm the Communists in power rather than dissolve the government and call new elections sealed the country’s fate for decades to come.

Czechoslovak People’s Militia, February 1948, photo: archive of Czech Radio
On February 25, 1948, the Communist Party seized power in Czechoslovakia, marking the onset of four decades of hard-line, authoritarian rule. The Communist takeover was enabled by the party’s election success in 1946 and the resignation of the government’s remaining democratic ministers in February of 1948. President Edvard Beneš’ decision to confirm the Communists in power rather than dissolve the government and call new elections sealed the country’s fate for decades to come. Find out more about this critical period of the country’s history in the following related reports:

www.radio.cz/en/section/archives/february-1948-a-new-political-order-enters-by-the-back-door

www.radio.cz/en/section/archives/business-as-usual-after-the-1948-coup

www.radio.cz/en/section/archives/the-unresolved-mystery-of-the-death-of-jan-masaryk

www.radio.cz/en/section/archives/milada-horakova-dignity-in-the-face-of-fanaticism

www.radio.cz/en/section/archives/my-first-love-was-a-drill-building-the-socialist-state