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Court confirms Mašíns’ ownership of family farm in Bohemia

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Prague, Nov 14 (CTK) – Zdena and Josef Masins, offspring of a freedom fighter executed by the Nazis, are owners of the Masin family farm in Central Bohemia, since their father gave its ownership up under pressure, the Seznam Zpravy server has reported, citing a court decision.

Josef Masin, Czechoslovak military officer and member of the wartime underground anti-Nazi resistance, was arrested by the Nazis after a wild shoot-out in Prague in 1941 and executed on June 30, 1942.

The Masin family lived at the farm in Losany for centuries.

In 1940, Josef Masin had his ownership of the farm transferred to his three underage children. Later the farm was seized by the state.

After the fall of communism, Zdena Masinova regained two-eights of it in restitution, but the rest remained in the hands of the state, because her two brothers, Ctirad and Josef, did not return to the Czech Republic from U.S. exile.

The Masin brothers, Josef and now late Ctirad, are known for killing several people, including civilians, while fighting their way from the communist Czechoslovakia westwards in the early 1950s. The opinion of Czech politicians and the public is split on whether the Masins were brave freedom fighters or condemnable criminals.

Once settled in the USA, the brothers never returned to their Czech homeland.

In 2012, Zdena Masinova challenged the donation contract by which her father gave the family farm to his children. She said her father did so under pressure and that he was the real owner until his death.

Courts originally dismissed Masinova’s complaint, objecting that it was filed by only one of more heirs. In 2015, however, the Constitutional Court (US) said a lower-level court had failed to tell Masinova about her duty to act in coordination with the other heirs. Afterwards, her complaint was joined by her brother Josef and the heirs of Ctirad Masin, the other brother who died in 2011.

In March, the court recognised her argument and declared the donation contract void. As a result, Masinova could initiate new inheritance proceedings.

Since November 13, the farm’s new owners are Zdena and Josef Masins, Seznam Zpravy writes.

Masinova wants to create a memorial to her father at the family farm.

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