Antonín Zápotocký

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Antonín Zápotocký
Antonín Zápotocký.JPG
6th President of Czechoslovakia
In office
21 March 1953 – 13 November 1957
Preceded by Klement Gottwald
Succeeded by Antonín Novotný
15th Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia
In office
15 June 1948 – 14 March 1953
Preceded by Klement Gottwald
Succeeded by Viliam Široký
Personal details
Born (1884-12-19)19 December 1884
Zákolany, Kladno District, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary
Died 13 November 1957(1957-11-13) (aged 72)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
(now Czech Republic)
Political party Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
Other political
Czechoslovak Social Democratic Workers' Party
Spouse(s) Marie Zápotocká

Antonín Zápotocký (19 December 1884 – 13 November 1957) was communist Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia from 1948 to 1953 and President of Czechoslovakia from 1953 to 1957.

He was born in Zákolany, Kladno District, Bohemia (then in Austria-Hungary, now in the Czech Republic). His father was Ladislav Zápotocký, one of the founders of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), together with Josef Boleslav Pecka-Strahovský and Josef Hybeš.

He was a delegate of the Left Wing of the ČSSD to the Second Comintern Congress, held in Petrograd, 19 July – 7 August 1920. Together with Bohumír Šmeral, he co-founded the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) when it broke away from the ČSSD in 1921. He was General Secretary of the KSČ from 1922 to 1925. In 1940, he was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. He was released in 1945.

From June 18, to July 18, 1946 he was Chairman of the Constituent National Assembly.

Zápotocký became Prime Minister on 15 June 1948, replacing Klement Gottwald, who became President. On 14 March 1953, shortly after his return from Joseph Stalin's funeral, Gottwald died. As per the Ninth-of-May Constitution, Zápotocký took over most presidential duties until he was elected President in his own right a week later.

Zápotocký favoured a more humane way of governing, but was outflanked by the Stalinist first secretary, Antonín Novotný. Sporadic riots against monetary reform gave Novotný a chance to seize the upper hand. [1] At a meeting in Moscow, Zápotocký was told to adhere to "collective leadership"—in effect, give up power to Novotný.

Zápotocký stayed in office till his death in Prague in 1957.

Zápotocký penned several novels, two of which were filmed (Rudá záře nad Kladnem and Vstanou noví bojovníci).

External links[edit]

  • Biography
  • H. Gordon Skilling, "The Formation of a Communist Party in Czechoslovakia", American Slavic and East European Review, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Oct., 1955), p. 346-358 doi:10.2307/3000944
  • H. Gordon Skilling, "The Comintern and Czechoslovak Communism: 1921-1929", American Slavic and East European Review, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Apr., 1960), p. 234-247 doi:10.2307/3004193


Political offices
Preceded by
Klement Gottwald
Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia
Succeeded by
Viliam Široký
Preceded by
Klement Gottwald
President of Czechoslovakia
Succeeded by
Antonín Novotný