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Seven Czech anti-Communist personalities awarded

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Prague, Jan 24 (CTK) – The ethical commission for the third [anti-Communist] resistance has decorated seven personalities for their fight against and opposition to the Communist regime, Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said at the ceremony yesterday.
One of them, Bohuslav Hubalek, was awarded war veteran status, Herman said, adding that all the decorated people showed with their own lives that it is possible to live with a firm backbone.
“The truth always remains the truth, a lie remains a lie. In the atmosphere of big darkness, one can have hope and be a light,” he added.
On the day of his 84th birthday, Hubalek was decorated for having joined the activities of a U.S. CIC agent, Vaclav Kucera, after his return from former West Berlin in 1952.
Hubalek was involved in the smuggling of people across the Iron Curtain. He helped get stamps to forge Czechoslovak documents and passed on both documents and money.
In 1952, he was detained and sentenced to five years in prison and other punishments for high treason.
Jindrich Hanzlicek, 80, was decorated for his public political and social anti-Communist attitudes and active work against the currency reform in 1953. In it, the Communist regime all but cancelled the previous money and introduced new one, but at an exchange rate that harmed most of the population. This sparked off unrest across the country.
Frantisek Bim, 91, was decorated for his activities in the Association of Former Political Prisoners in Switzerland, Ivo Fiedler, 88, for active work in an anti-Communist resistance group and Karel Zizka, 67, for participation in a group of students who were spreading anti-regime leaflets and the exile paper Svedectvi (Testimony) between 1968 and 1970.
Karel Pokorny was posthumously decorated. He was given a six-year prison sentence for having helped a British intelligence service agent.
Frantisek Matejka also received a posthumous decoration. In 1950, he was given an eight-year prison sentence for having helped a fellow resistance member.
The ethical commission has discussed 371 cases of the people to whom the Interior Ministry has refused to grant the status of anti-Communist resistance member. It has given a positive decision on 45 cases.

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