THE INTERVENTION OF THE REGIME AGAINST THE FREEDOM PARTY IN THE YEAR 1956, THE CASE OF VINCENT POKOJNY AND HIS ASSOCIATES (Mocensky zasah proti Strane slobody v roku 1956, pripad Vincent Pokojny a spol.)
The Freedom Party (Strana slobody) was one of the two satellite parties, which existed in Slovakia after the year 1948. It had no political influence and was forced to operate as a 'party of activists' with a minimal membership base. Part of its leadership, headed by its chairman Vincent Pokojny, a member of the National Assembly, strove to activate the party and widen its membership base in the mid fifties. Another part of the leadership, represented by the general secretary Frantisek Stefanik, disagreed with this and denounced Pokojny and his associates to the leadership of the Communist Party of Slovakia, especially Karol Bacilka and Pavol David. In 1955 Stefanik gave them some programme documents formulating the approach of the Freedom Party in the event of the collapse of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. At the beginning of 1956, Pokojny was forced to give up his seat in the National Assembly. The State Security Service detained him and accused him of preparing a counter revolution and the restoration of capitalism in Czechoslovakia. In July 1956, the members of Pokojny's group were convicted in a show trial and given long prison sentences. The longest - 11 years - was given to Pokojny himself. The sentences were reduced after an appeal in September 1956, but remained unjustifiably harsh and unjust. This was also a 'warning' to the other satellite political parties not to attempt any activation.
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