The Slansky Trial: introduction

Submitted by Matthew on 6 February, 2012 - 8:43

2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the so-called Trial of the Anti-State Conspiratorial Centre led by Rudolf Slansky.

The Slansky trial: contents.

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The Slansky Trial was one of a series of Eastern European post-war Stalinist show-trials in which leading Communist Party members confessed — after prolonged physical and psychological torture — to being longstanding agents of American imperialism.

But the trial also broke new ground. It was the first show-trial in which state-sponsored anti-semitism played a central role. As the New York Times, reporting under the headline “Tragi-Comedy in Prague”, put it:

“There is something new in this latest trial. The charge (is) that Slansky and the majority of his fellow-defendants, who are of Jewish origin, were members of a vast Jewish conspiracy... Here we have the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but in the Stalinist version. So the Prague trial is not merely a comedy; rather it may well mark the beginning of a major tragedy as the Kremlin swings further and further towards anti-semitism masked as anti-Zionism.”