The Birth of Communism..

The Birth of Communism in Eastern European Countries

The establishment of the communist regime was preceded by countless forms of tyranny. The communist party was only the mean/instrument of the terror. Not only the supporters of the preceding fascist power were persecuted but also the resistant, impartial, or even innocent people. Sometimes those as well, who were previously incarcerated in Nazi prisons and labor camps – they also experienced the repressive machinery of the communist retaliation. These persecutions ignored every international agreement about protecting civil or human rights.

Right after World War II, the steady and stable position of communist parties as single parties was ensured solely in Yugoslavia and Albany. In other countries of the region (Eastern Europe) – except for Czechoslovakia – the power of the communist parties was insignificant; they consisted only of some hundred members. Thus it was evident that they could not get into power in a democratic way. Nevertheless, they were supported by the ‘liberator’ Red Army. So, through a series of illegal acts and deceptions, propaganda campaigns and the well-known Salami-slice strategy, they reached their goal of gaining more influence on political life, so that they could finally take over control of the governance of the country by raw aggression. The society – exhausted and weakened due to the war – was completely unable to resist, so their only way was to bow to the new situation.

The new power set aside and put away its opponents systematically. Their most important instrument was the show trial which ensured legal background to the endless row of incarcerations and executions. The main goal of the retaliation was to get rid of the real or imagined enemy as well as to make an example of them, to intimidate the society and to make all of its classes surrender. In the background of every decision was Moscow, and its leader Stalin. It was Moscow that determined policies, imposed guidelines, and local powers were obliged to accept its will and politics.

However, not only individuals were enemies of the new regime. Civil associations, clubs, societies, institutions, churches all counterbalanced to the state power, owing to which they formed a barrier in front of the new regime. This was the reason for which they got banned or were forced to disband, while their fortune got confiscated, their leaders got into prison, and their members were intimidated. Following the principle of ‘the end justifies the means’, there were no limit of ferocity and aggression, due to which more hundred thousand, all in all more million human lives were ruined or destroyed in Middle and Eastern Europe.
The new power had to face serious difficulties when trying to disband the Catholic Church, mainly because its roots were dig deeply in the society. This social formation could not be easily put away, only through tough cruelty. Hundreds of church superiors, bishops and priests were either arrested, incarcerated, got under house arrest – or the new power tried to have them cooperate. Religious orders were banished and their monastic quarters were closed.

The Greek Catholic Church experienced the same in Czechoslovakia and Romania – or rather, it was attached to the Orthodox Church. In the latter country, 1.5 million people were follower of Greek Catholic Church out of 15 million…

The system of camps – which operated quite well by the Nazis in the Second World War – was now enlarged. In peacetime, it assured a place to separate or punish certain classes of society, however, in the same time, it also meant a resource of disciplined and cheap work force that could be employed anywhere the new regime required it. The task of these ‘modern slaves’ were not to build pyramids, but to build factory buildings, to work in mines – under inhuman circumstances – which often led to full exhaustion and finally death.

Nevertheless, the victims were either brainwashed or could experience the techniques of torture. There were a lot of techniques in common; however, in their labor camps, all of the countries enriched the history of torture of the 20th century.

The aim of the new regime was to intimidate, to dominate, to terrorize the whole society, and to gain its complete obedience. After the new power managed to put away, to set aside its opponents, the arms of the terror machine reached the followers of its own party, even the senior leaders of it. At first, members in the third line, later those on the top of the apparatus were reached by the suspicion of Moscow, because – according to the Bolshevik theory – from that point on, the enemy had to be looked for among the own members of the Party, in order to maintain the fear in everyone, even in the supreme leaders. These show trials had to demonstrate and justify the policy of Moscow, e.g. the Rajk Trial in Hungary, the Slánský Trial in Czechoslovakia, or the Kostov Trial in Bulgaria.

The pretext for Trials was the Tito-Stalin Split. The victims were accused of being Titoist, Zionists or ‘national deviationists’ (Poland). The essence of the regime was demonstrated by the fact that – while in Soviet satellite states people were accused of Titoism – in Yugoslavia, it happened vice versa: Stalinists who wanted to fasten the relationship between Yugoslavia and Moscow were persecuted.

We must put an emphasis on that neither the ‘conditions of that era’ nor the Cold War justified such a horrible terror. (The Cold War defined the future of the world from 1947 on, and reached its peak with the so called ‘Hot War’ that took place between 1950 and 1953 in Korea.) The system, the terror was operated by people, so the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the people who created it, contributed to it, helped it or who closed their eyes to the justice of the victims.

Everyone who believes in justice should pay tribute to the victims of this era by commemorating them in a proper way.

Ferenc Tampu