So-called Normalization and Activities of Dissent

Era of the communist regime following after the military crushing of the so-called Czechoslovak Spring in 1968 is often referred to as period of normalization. It was the re-establishing of Brezhnev-type communism in the CSSR. The Moscow-loyal Communist Party of Czechoslovakia with G. Husák at its head took over the country’s leadership. The regime wasn’t as brutal as during the 1950s, but it also harshly persecuted its opponents mainly by obstructing their possibilities of adequate social prosperity. Therefore from the citizens who were closed again behind the iron curtain (i.e. they were prohibited to freely travel abroad) it created outwardly loyal mass of people that never expressed own political opinions. Also many political judicial trials took place in the years of normalization.

Photo: Ernest Kyrály


Even though he was persecuted because of his origin and had many conflicts with the communist regime, Ernest Kyrály had always believed in justice. Unfortunately, he neither achieved justice during the totalitarian era, nor afterwards.

Photo: Ivan Polanský


This deeply religious man devoted himself to spreading God’s word. He shared his ideas and attitudes with the other members of secret groups and societies at their gatherings. He proved his courage mainly when he started the publication and distribution of various samizdat periodicals and collections. He also used to make audio and written records of the broadcast of the Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and Vatican Radio that he copied and subsequently distributed among people. In June 1988 the Regional Court in Banská Bystrica sentenced him for an offence of subversion of the republic to four years of imprisonment.

Photo: Emil Švec


He was arrested by the State Security and sentenced to six years of prison for high treason. After releasing from the custody, he couldn´t find any job so he fled to Austria in a crop-dusting airplane. In 1961 he was convicted in absentia for espionage and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Later on, he was attacked, wounded, and kidnapped from Austria to Czechoslovakia by the State Security forces.