Probe to find remains of Zdena Mašínová in communist-era mass grave

The Prague authorities have ordered an archaeological probe of a mass grave in order to identify the precise location of the remains of Zdena Mašínová, who was the wife of war hero Josef Mašín and the mother of Ctirad and Josef Mašín, who escaped to the West in 1953. The Communist authorities dumped her body in a mass grave at the Ďáblice cemetery following her death in prison in 1956.

Last year Prague’s leaders agreed with her daughter, also called Zdena Mašínová, to exhume her remains. Councillor Milena Johnová said on Tuesday that according to period witnesses the body had been placed relatively close to the surface in a mass grave of children.

The Ďáblice graveyard contains the remains of around 14,000 people, including political prisoners, children born in prison and the victims of suicide.

Author: Ian Willoughby