CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Spiders, Bugs, Rats

Thread by thread, like the work of an insane weaver, the grotesque fabric of lies and self-accusations was assembled. At last it was finished. The state prosecutor demanded the death penalty for all 14 of the accused. The "defense attorneys" vied with each other in admitting that the case against the defendants had been abundantly proved, but they asked for leniency on the ground that their full and frank confessions had made the prosecution's task easier.

Next day, in the courtroom of Prague's Pankrac prison, sentence was pronounced. Moscow-trained Rudolf Slansky, onetime secretary general of the Czechoslovak Communist Party was...

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