Artur London

Artur London

Birth
Ostrava, Okres Ostrava-mesto, Moravskoslezský (Moravian-Silesian), Czech Republic
Death 8 Nov 1986 (aged 71)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Ivry-sur-Seine, Departement du Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France
Memorial ID 23604220 · View Source
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Czech Communist Politician, Author. He won international fame for his memoir "L'Aveu" ("The Confession", 1966). Describing his ordeal as a co-defendant in Prague's notorious 1952 Slansky Trial, he brutally exposed the madness and paranoia of Stalinism in Eastern Europe. London was born into a Jewish family in Ostrava, Austria-Hungary. He fought with the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War and in 1941 was arrested by the Nazis for underground activities in occupied France. He survived four years in the Mauthausen concentration camp. After the war London settled Prague, where he rose to power in the Communist Party under General Secretary Rudolf Slansky, and was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1948. In November 1951, Slansky, London, and 12 other high-ranking Czech officials were arrested as part of dictator Josef Stalin's largely anti-Semitic political purges of Soviet bloc countries. After prolonged torture and isolation, London confessed to being a Zionist, a Trotskyite, and to other imaginary crimes, which he duly repeated at the Slansky show trial in November 1952. He and two other defendants were given life sentences; the rest, including Slansky, were executed. He was released in 1955, during the "thaw" following Stalin's death, and was officially exonerated in 1963. Five years later he was awarded Czechoslovakia's Order of the Republic. By then he had moved to France and published "L'Aveu". London acted as technical advisor for its 1970 screen adaptation, directed by Costa-Gavras and starring Yves Montand and Simone Signoret; even more than the book, the film sent shock waves from Prague to Moscow and London was stripped of his Czech citizenship. Despite his experiences, he remained faithful to Communism his whole life. He died in Paris.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 28 Dec 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23604220
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Artur London (1 Feb 1915–8 Nov 1986), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23604220, citing Cimetiere d'Ivry, Ivry-sur-Seine, Departement du Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .