Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Ministerstvo národní bezpečnosti (Ministry of National Security)

Document | Accession Number: 2016.268.1 | RG Number: RG-48.021

Court proceedings, protocols, letters, photographs from the trial of Rudolf Slánský. On 20 November 1952, Rudolf Slánský, General Secretary of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), and 13 other leading party members, 11 of them Jews, were accused of participating in a Trotskyite-Titoite-Zionist conspiracy and convicted: 11 including Slánský were hanged in Prague on December 3, 1952. The state prosecutor at the trial in Prague was Josef Urválek. Among the accused were two Israelis: Mordechai Oren sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and Mordechai Orenstein convicted to life sentence. Accusation of Oren and Orenstein in being agents of American imperialism arouse a wide discussion among the left wing of Mapam party and Kibutz movement which coursed to its split. Those put on trial confessed to all crimes (under duress or after torture) and were sentenced to punishment. Slánský, tried to commit suicide twice in prison. The public humiliation did not end with the victims’ deaths. Their ashes were dumped at a construction site near Prague. When Stalin died in March of 1953, the strict USSR policy of purges weakened. The Slánský Trial victims were cleared of the charges during April of 1963. In May of 1968, they were rehabilitated and exonerated. However, political trials did not come to an end in Communist Czechoslovakia. Many innocent political prisoners were sentenced to death or wound up toiling in labor camps. The Slánský Trial has been the focus of books and a film. Rudolf Slánský’s son, also Rudolf, was a dissident during Communist rule, and when Vaclav Havel became president, he appointed Slánský Czech ambassador to the Soviet Union. The collection also includes investigation records from other postwar trials in Chechoslovakia, including records related to American spies Noel and Herta Field.

Alternate Title
Trial of Rudolf Slánský
creation:  1952
236,241 digital images : JPEG ; 959 GB .
Credit Line
Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:14:32
This page: