Author: Adam Zítek

Summary

The history of the Czech minority in Volhynia can be traced back to the late 19th century. The Czech emigrants who lived there for decades suffered not only during two world wars but also under the Soviet system and as a result of communist policies. They returned to their homeland after the Second World War, but in left-wing-orientated Czechoslovakia their stories of life in the USSR were given little credence. Their open hostility to the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia soon escalated into a conflict. When the communists took over power completely in February 1948 some Volhynian Czechs participated in the organised opposition to one-party rule. However, despite their experience and fighting tradition and some evidence of potential open opposition, especially before the coup d’état of February 1948, this never developed into large-scale resistance.

In: Violent Resistance
From the Baltics to Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe 1944–1956
The end of the Second World war did not mean the end of violence for many regions in Eastern Europe. The establishment of Communist-led governments often met not only civil but also armed resistance. These actions were taken by partisan groups and paramilitary forces which in some cases had been formed already during the war to support axis forces. In other cases – like Poland’s Armia Krajowa – they fought Nazi and Soviet occupiers with the same fervour. The aims of the fighters were the end of Communist rule and – like in the Baltic region – independence from the Soviet Union. Difficulties in accessing sources and research taboos as well as a focus on other aspects of the Cold War are reasons why violent resistance in Europe after the Second World War is a topic yet rather underestimated and comparably little investigated by historiography. This book gives a comprehensive first overview of the ultimately futile attempts to end the rule of Moscow and her proxies.