Following World War II, Czechoslovakia was attempting to regain composure in a latterly chaotic world. Edvard Beneš returned from his exile in London and became the new Czechoslovakian President.

In order to hold the majority in the government, President Beneš created a coalition of multiple political parties, one of which was the Communist Party. The president himself was a member of the National Socialist Party, one of the other parties within his coalition. A government formed with positive intentions soon spiraled into a series of events that led to four decades of Communist rule for the people of Czechoslovakia.

The skeptical post-war United States government grew concerned about the potential Soviet influence over the Czechoslovakian nation, and their decision to not loan money to the struggling economy created outrage. The Communist Party surged forward in popularity as the nation rejected the West.

Moreover, the Communist Party worked on contaminating all aspects of the country. Not only did they become prevalent in the government, but Communists became leaders in the police and military forces. Events such as Communist orchestrated protests created the impression that Communism was favored much stronger than it was. Soon, the Communist Party wedged out all other parties from President Beneš’ coalition. On the 25th of February 1948, President Beneš collapsed under the Communist Party’s pressure. Ultimately, the Communists were in control of the Czechoslovakian government.

The Czechoslovakian nation remained under the control of Communists until the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Even today, many of us live with the reminders of a political situation that began over seventy years ago. While some sources claim the 1948 February Coup d’État to be “relatively bloodless,” take time this February to remember the many lives and families that were devastated by decades of Communism in Czechoslovakia.

Featured image is in public domain.

Michaela Dehning
Czech-American art history major at Arizona State University who lives in Prague. Passions include history, art, and culture.
Michaela Dehning
Michaela Dehning

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