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London, Artur

LONDON, ARTUR

LONDON, ARTUR (1915–1986), Czechoslovak statesman and Communist leader. He was born in Ostrava. In 1937 he went to Spain and joined the Communists within the International Brigade fighting in the Spanish Civil War. After the defeat of the Republican cause, London lived in France. Following the fall of France in 1940, he was arrested by the Nazis and deported to Buchenwald. London returned to France in 1945 where he represented the Czechoslovak information board. He was a prominent figure in the Czech Communist Party and following the Communist coup d'état of 1948 he was recalled to Prague to become a member of the central committee of the Communist Party. In the same year he became deputy minister of foreign affairs and as director of the ministry was responsible for the appointment of the diplomatic service. In 1951 London was arrested and charged with being a Zionist and a Trotskyite. He was one of the accused at the *Slansky Trial and in 1952 was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released in 1955, however, and was later rehabilitated, becoming a member of the editorial staff of the monthly Mezinárodní Politika. In 1963 he left Czechoslovakia to join his family in France and in 1969 published his book L'AveuDans l'engrenage du procès de Prague (ed. Gallimard), an account of the Slansky Trial, which was made into a film in 1970.

bibliography:

P. Meyer et al., Jews in the Soviet Satellites (1953), index; Procès des Dirigeants du Centre de Conspiration contre l'État dirigé par Rudolf Slansky (1953), 200–20; E. Loebl, Sentenced and Tried (1969), 143–50; S. Orenstein, Lefi Pekuddah mi-Moskvah (1969), 165–74.

[Erich Kulka]

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