JUDr. Gustav Husak

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8th President of Czechoslovakia Gustav Husak ( 1913-1991)

He was born on January 10, 1913 in a peasant family in Dúbravka ( now part of Bratislava ). He studied at a grammar school in Bratislava, where he also worked as an official of the school self-government and as a 16-year-old he joined the Communist Youth Union. From 1933 he studied at the Faculty of Law of the Comenius University in Bratislava, in the same year he also joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. During his studies, he contributed to the left-wing cultural-political review DAV ( co-founded by V. Clementis ) and there he also joined the left-wing Union of Slovak Students and became a leader of the Socialist Association of Academics.

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From March 1934 he wrote for the magazine Šíp. Although he was an intellectual, he had qualities such as dexterity in gaining political allies and the ability to respond to current political issues that many lacked, making him clearly different from other communist officials. In the mid-1930s, he worked for the Czechoslovak Republic as an official and probably because he belonged within the Communist Party to a generation that trusted the policies of the USSR and the Communist International and rejected the Republic as a failure of the Versailles system, as a "dungeon of nations" like Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, there was a growing opposition to it and to its state officials, such as President Beneš. He graduated with a doctorate in law in 1937.

And with his help, the Technical University in Košice was opened in 1938.

During the Slovak state, he was engaged in illegal activities - he was a member of the management of the KSS (Communist Party of Slovakia) municipal organization in Bratislava, together with Karol Šmidke and Ladislav Novomeský he was a member of the fifth illegal committee of the KSS. In November 1940, he and another 100 communists were imprisoned in a concentration camp in Ilava, but soon after he was released on parole ( after the intervention of his former law teacher, Imrich Karvaš, whom he later "repaid" by telling the Gestapo a lot about him during his interrogation). During the uprising, Karvaš was included in the list of personalities drawn up by the Sicherheitdienst, on which Husák did not figure due to the smaller bribe, and refused to confirm Karvaš's papers on his participation in the SNP as commissioner for internal affairs after the war). Central State Security and transferred to Bratislava. On May 22, 1942, he was arrested by an ÚŠB agent on suspicion of anti-state activities, in which case the Regional Court in Bratislava acquitted him in November 1943.

During the SNP he served as vice-chairman of the insurgent Slovak National Council in Banská Bystrica (he was a co-creator and signatory of its program, the so-called Christmas Agreement ), in charge of the Interior Commission and after suppression of the uprising by the Germans, he and other partisans where they survived the winter. At that time, he thought that after the war he would promote the annexation of Slovak territory to the Soviet Union, but later abandoned this plan. During the signing of the Košice government program, he was of the opinion that Slovakia is an integral part of Czechoslovakia, but that it should have considerable autonomy in that union.

In the elections in 1946, the Democratic Party won the elections in Slovakia with a gain of about 60%. In June, a united front of Czech political parties, with Husák's support, managed to force DS representatives to sign the so-called Third Prague Agreement. From that moment on, the decisions of the Slovak National Council were subject to approval by the central government in Prague, and the individual commissioners were directly subordinate to the ministers of the Prague government. Gustáv Husák was appointed Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.He strengthened his power, directly controlled the SNR and the State Security Service in Slovakia and organized provocative actions against the Democrats, and under pressure he expelled non-communist commissioners from their offices. During the political crisis in the government, on February 21, 1948, he sent a letter to members of the Corps on behalf of the DS stating that the resignation of members of the Prague government should also be considered the resignation of DS representatives in the Board of Commissioners.

After the coup, together with other intellectuals and members of the KSS insurgent leadership, it became undesirable for some Slovak politicians ( V. Široký , K. Bacílek ) who did not participate in the uprising or played a negligible role and who now saw an opportunity to eliminate their competitors. In 1950, Husák was removed from the post of chairman of the Board of Commissioners , arrested by the police in February 1951 and followed by a fabricated trial of " bourgeois nationalists ", which took place in April 1954 in Bratislava. Husak collected a lifetime on it.

In 1960, thanks to Czech reform historians, many of these prisoners, including Husák, were released and rehabilitated in 1963.

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In the second half of the 1960s, he was one of the leading figures in the Reform current. He supported the revival process of 1968 and acted as a faithful collaborator of Alexander Dubcek. In April 1968, when he became deputy prime minister, he was in charge of drafting a federation law, signed on October 30, 1968. After the arrival of Warsaw Pact intervention troops in August 1968, he took part in Moscow talks with the Soviet party, which could save the tarnished reputation of the USSR and ensure that the goal of the invasion of Czechoslovakia is met. In 1969, he replaced Dubček as the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party .


Husák (right) on a visit to Banská Bystrica, together with the President of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, General Ludvík Svoboda, 1969
Peter Zelizňák, commons.wikimedia.org

In 1971, he became the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and held this position until 1975, when, after the abdication of L. Svoboda, he was elected President of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic with the consent of the Soviets. He was re-elected in 1980 and 1985. The period of normalization following the so-called Prague Spring will forever be associated with his name.

In order to stay in power for as long as possible, he carried out all nonsensical orders from Moscow and surrounded himself with incompetent party officials such as V. Biľak , A. Indra, A. Kapek ...

In 1987, he was replaced by Miloš Jakeš in the highest party position.


Husák is inscribed in the Golden Book of Visitors to East Berlin, on the left is the Mayor of East Berlin, Erhard Krack, 1987.
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1987-0529-043; Zimmermann, Peter; commons.wikimedia.org

After the student demonstrations and social changes in November 1989, when it was already clear that the Iron Curtain would definitely fall and with it the one - party government, On 10th December, he appointed Marián Čalfa "government of national understanding " and resigned on the same day after 14 years at Prague Castle.


On December 10, 1989, Gustav Husak appointed the government of national understanding as the last communist president of Czechoslovakia. Marián Čalfa became its prime minister, Jiří Dienstbier and Václav Klaus sat next to him,
Vladimír Dlouhý or Valtr Komárek.
From left: Vladimír Dlouhý, Gustav Husák , František Reichel, Valtr Komárek, Marián Čalfa, Václav Klaus

He died in Bratislava on November 18, 1991.

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Husák, as its long-time high official, has never been punished for the crimes of communism.

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