published: 30.08.2013, 19:28 | updated: 30.08.2013 19:48:48
Brno - The daughter of Czech Communist prosecutor and judge Karel Vas (1916-2012), who assisted in many judicial murders, has decided to donate money from his inheritance to charity purposes, historian Pavel Palecek, who has shot a documentary on Vas, told CTK today.
Vas´s daughter, who requests anonymity, has sent 400,000 crowns to various non-profit organisations, Palecek said.
"It has been for the first time since (the fall of communism in) 1989 that a close relative of a Communist criminal takes such an open stance on the past," Palecek said.
After Communists seized power in 1948, Vas was responsible for hundreds of people who were unlawfully sent to prison and over 20 who were executed on political grounds, including General Heliodor Pika, war hero, who was sentenced to death in a show trial in 1949.
Before the screening of the documentary on Vas, his daughter expressed regret at the people murdered by the communists and the suffering of their family members.
She said it had always been difficult for her to cope with her father´s behaviour towards his own family and with the consequences of his crimes.
Vas died in December 2012. The inheritance proceedings was completed last week.
Part of the money from the inheritance will go to the Conditio humana civic association that will spend it on the publishing of another volume on the resettlement of Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia after WWII.
According to historians, Vas actively participated in violence against Germans in 1945.
Another sum will be sent to the Post Bellum association that is creating the Nation´s Memory digital archive, recording people´s memories of the totalitarian regimes. The association has also recorded a number of testimonies about Vas.
Besides, Vas´s daughter gave some money to the old people´s home where Vas died.
She donated all written material from Vas´s inheritance, including unique historical documents on his activities, to the Czech National Archive.
Vas, born in Carpathian Ruthenia in 1916, joined the Communist Party at the age of 17. During WWII he worked in the military counter-intelligence service on the Eastern front.
He became a prosecutor and investigating judge in 1947. Political prisoners dubbed him "the judge-executioner."
Later Vas himself paradoxically fell victim to the communist judiciary. He was convicted of treason and order to shoot Belgian Emil DeBacker and he spent five and a half years in prison. He was rehabilitated in 1956 and then he worked as a assistant at Charles University and a journalist.
After the fall of the communist regime in 1989, Vas was charged with the judicial murder of General Pika. Vas was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2001, but a court of appeal later annulled the verdict as it fell under the statute of limitations.
Vas pleaded not guilty till the end of his life.
A total of 20,000 people have seen Palecek´s full-length documentary film "Murderer by Profession. The Suffering of Judge Karel Vas" in cinemas and on the Internet.
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