From the fateful days of the Munich crisis in September 1938 to the final coup in February 1948, the Communists gradually infiltrated Czechoslovakia. This is the record of that tragic conquest, written by the former head of Jan Masaryk's Cabinet in the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Korbel reveals the gradual erosion of all areas of the nation’s life-political, economic, cultural, military, social-by Communist techniques. He traces the hopeless attempts at coexistence on the part of such democratic statesmen as Edvard Benes and Jan Masaryk, as they tried to negotiate with such Communists as Klement Gottwald and Stalin himself. The campaign of infiltration followed a preconceived plan, first capturing the mind through persuasion and protestations of nationalism, freedom, democracy; then moving inexorably from the local to the national level, in labor unions, political organizations, channels of communication, the police, the army, the government. This is a moving and objective record of an important event in modern history, and a revealing case study of the Communist capture of a country. Mr. Korbel has based his account on interviews with participants, on unpublished memoirs and documents, on Communist materials published after their seizure of power, and on his own firsthand knowledge and experience.
Originally published in 1959.
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Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Josef Korbel: