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07-04-2005, 11:01 PM
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"Also, members of the national ice hockey team who were falsely accused of treason in 1950 and jailed for several years were all fully rehabilitated in June 1968."

I'm guessing by rehabilitated they are referring to pardons, because this is what directly preceded that statement.

"At the end of July, the Supreme Court posthumously annulled two shameful death penalties of the post-1948 era. One of these victims was Dr Milada Horakova, a National Assembly deputy for the Socialist Party who had been falsely accused of high treason. She was the only woman ever executed for political reasons in Czechoslovakia. The other was Zavis Kalandra, a leftist writer and literary critic. "

Some may have died/been executed but they don't mention it in that article.

And the motherload from here.

They were champions of the world. But, all too soon the victory laurels would be overshadowed by two unexpected events. In 1949, when the Czech team was scheduled to play in London, six players were killed when their plane crashed. Then, March 13th, 1950, the team was meant to go to London once again to take part in the world championship. But, at the airport players found out there would be no take-off. Player Vaclav Rozinak told Czech Radio in 1968 the details of what had transpired.

"In London, we wanted to prove that the team was good, that the world title we won in 1949 had not been a coincidence. But, then some people appeared and said that we would not be going because visas for the reporters had not been obtained. Two days later it was clear we would have to stay. Of course, we were annoyed. The whole thing peaked at a pub when undercover secret police showed up. Somehow a fight broke out and we ended up at the police station. We thought it was all a joke and thought we'd only stay there over night. Even in court, when we were suddenly found guilty of treason and espionage, we laughed and didn't take the charade seriously. But the fun was over when we ended up in prison with our hair shaved off. We released[sic] then they truly were not going to let us go."

Vaclav Rozinak got ten years in prison, while ten others got sentences ranging from one to fifteen years, in a show trial orchestrated for fear by the communists the whole team might have emigrated to England, pleading asylum. In 1955 the players were released under amnesty, and were officially rehabilitated in 1968. But seven players died later from forced labor suffered in uranium mines. There was no real going back.

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