CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Rudolf the Red-Haired Comrade

Rudolf Slansky, a tall, red-haired butcher's son from a village near Pilsen, was a devoted Communist. A member of the Czech party since he was 18, he made a fine hatchetman—unmoved by compassion, unhampered by principle, unburdened with personal loyalties. Unlike so many Czech politicos who fled to London in World War II, he went to Moscow. There he lived for six years in a special compound reserved for the elite among foreign Communists. He became a better Muscovite than a Czech, which made him a fine teammate for another graduate of...

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