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Executed Czech politician Horakova’s burial ground still unknown

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Prague, June 27 (CTK) – It is still unknown what the communist regime did with the bodily remains of the executed Czech democratic politician Milada Horakova (1901-1950), even 67 years after her death, Czech Senate deputy head Miluse Horska said at a commemorative meeting today.

It was held at the place of Horakova’s execution in the Prague Pankrac prison.

Horska (for Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) also said a number of politicians would like to have this chapter of the country’s history closed.

Historian Ales Kyr, expert on the prison service history, reminded that 177 opponents to the communist regime had been executed in the Pankrac prison, but their families had received urns with ashes only in 12 cases.

Horska said the death of Horakova was one of the most persuasive accusations of communism. It is beyond understanding that the communist way of thinking is still strong in society, she added.

Many people even in high political posts have not changed their style of thinking though they changed their party membership, she indicated.

“I see the main risk in the unresolved past and not in the Communist Party,” Horska also said, adding that the Communists had not yet condemned their crimes.

She mentioned the example of communist prosecutor Ludmila Brozova-Polednova who had never apologised for her role in the show trial of Horakova.

Brozova-Polednova was sentenced to six years in prison for participation in a judicial murder in September 2008, but her sentence was cut to three years later. President Vaclav Klaus pardoned her eventually for health reasons and high age.

During today’s commemorative event, Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) warned of the people questioning the Czech Republic’s geopolitical course towards the West. Such tendencies must be fought, he said.

“It is important to remind that it was the Communist Party that organised the judicial murder of Milada Horakova according to the Moscow pattern and along with advisers from Moscow,” he stressed

Out of the 177 opponents of the Communist regime, sentenced to death in political trials, 95 were buried secretly in mass graves at the Prague-Dablice cemetery, while the remaining 82 were cremated in the Motol and Strasnice crematories in Prague.

Horakova, a lawyer by profession, gave up her mandate of Czechoslovak parliament deputy in protest against the Communist takeover in 1948. Later she unsuccessfully initiated a concerted effort of non-Communist parties in this respect.

She was sentenced to death on trumped-up charges of treason and espionage, along with Jan Buchal, Zavis Kalandra and Oldrich Pecl, and executed on June 27, 1950 at the age of 48 years as the only woman to have been executed for political reasons in the country.

Horakova has a symbolic grave at the Prague-Vysehrad cemetery as her actual burial place is unknown.

The anniversary of her execution in the Prague-Pankrac prison, June 27, has been declared a significant day of the Czech Republic, marking the victims of the communist regime. On this day, the Milada Horakova Club organises a meeting at her symbolic grave.

However, according to Kyr, she can be remembered the strongest exactly at the site where she was hanged for alleged conspiracy and treason on June 27, 1950.

The place of her execution was uncovered during an archaeological exploration on the basis of the testimony of a former political prisoner in 1992. A wooden cross with a crown of thorns was raised there in her memory.

In 1949-1954, 165 regime opponents were executed at two execution yards in the Pankrac prison, while another 12 political prisoners were executed in the basement of a new prison building in 1954-1960.

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