Communist leaders support monument to victims of communism

Photo: CTK

The head of the Czech communist party Vojtech Filip and communist MEP Miloslav Randsorf have contributed financially to a planned memorial to Milada Horakova, a Czech politician executed by the Czechoslovak communist regime in 1950. The corner stone of the monument was laid on Tuesday near Prague’s Pankrac prison where Milada Horakova and other political prisoners were executed.

Vojtech Filip and Miloslav Ransdorf, photo: CTK
The corner stone of a future memorial to Czech politician Milada Horakova and other victims of communism was laid in Prague on Tuesday. The ceremony, held on the occasion of what would have been Ms Horakova’s 95th birthday, was also attended by communist MEP Miloslav Ransdorf. He and his party’s leader, Vojtech Filip, contributed financially to the project. Miloslav Ransdorf says he recognizes Milada Horakova as a great politician.

“I have to say that Milada Horakova was a patriot. Deep in her heart she was always for social justice, she was a socialist. This context makes the crime of the tribunal in the trial against the leadership of the Czech National Socialist Party even worse.”

Milada Horakova was a prominent member of the Czech National Socialist Party. She was imprisoned twice in her life: in 1940 by the Nazis and in 1949 by the communists. One year later, she was sentenced to death in a show trial and executed. Today, Miloslav Ransdorf and the communist party chairman Vojtech Filip are reflecting on the past of their own party. Miloslav Ransdorf again.

“It’s very difficult heritage of the past, and we should differentiate between what should be followed, what should continue, and what should be rejected. My deep conviction is that never in the future must law be used as an instrument of power. It is logical that some members of the party leadership contributed to the construction of the monument. Besides me, the chairman of the party Mr Filip contributed financially.”

Photo: CTK
One of the institutions behind the project is the modern Czech National Socialist Party which follows in the tradition of its post-war predecessor. Before the communist takeover of 1948, it was one of the strongest political parties in Czechoslovakia. Now it is mostly active in local politics and has three mayors among its members. The head of the party Jiri Stanislav says the project of the memorial to Milada Horakova is open for everyone.

“In democracy you cannot stop anyone who comes tries to help make democracy stronger, and to unveil the past. If a communist party member comes and wishes to tell the truth or say ‘I am sorry’, and if he shows it even with the financial assistance that he is sorry for what happened in the 1950s, and says so even publicly, it is very important for us, and for augmenting democracy.”

Foundation-stone of the memorial to Milada Horakova, photo: CTK
The memorial to Milada Horakova and other victims of communism is expected to be completed by 2010. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see whether other members of the Czech communist party will follow the example set by their leaders and chip in as well.