Klement Gottwald's Red-style Horatio Alger story had taken him from a Moravian carpenter's shop to Hradcany Castle and power over all Czechoslovakia. Last week his body lay in state in the castle's mirrored Spanish Hall, where Habsburgs had danced in a brighter time. The foreign source of his climb to power was never more apparent than in his funeral: the bands played Russian music; the troops used the Russian parade step and carried Russian machine pistols. The most notable mourners were Russia's Marshal Bulganin and Red China's Chou Enlai.

Prime Minister Antonin...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!