- On 22 November 1952, Rudolf Slansky and 13 other former leaders of the Czechoslovak Communist Party were tried for treason, charged with espionage for the United States and Israel. All were convicted and 11 were immediately hanged. Slansky and his codefendants were Jews, victims of Joseph Stalin’s decision to scapegoat Jews in the Soviet Union and the East European satellites as part of a rolling purge of the party and police apparatus. Many historians of the period believe that the Slansky trial was a dress rehearsal for a mass trial of Soviet doctors charged with poisoning members of the Soviet Politburo. Scholars believe that these trials were to unleash a massive purge of the Soviet political elite. Within Czechoslovakia, the Slansky trial set off a series of new arrests, trials, and executions that lasted until mid-1954.
Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. Robert W. Pringle. 2014.
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