Czech anti-communist fighter Masin dies in US

August 13, 2011 17:37

PRAGUE - A Czech anti-communist resistance fighter who shot his way to freedom in a daring 1953 escape that embarrassed Cold War totalitarian rulers died on Saturday in the United States, Czech Television reported.

Ctirad Masin, 81, was part of the Masin brothers group that killed seven people in the early days of the Cold War, including German soldiers and a Czech civilian. The group carried out raids in Czechoslovakia before escaping to West Berlin.

The escape inspired a number of documentaries and books but the group's actions continue to divide Czechs and their view of four decades of Communist totalitarian rule that started in 1948 and ended with the peaceful 1989 Velvet Revolution.

Masin died in a war veteran's sanatorium in Ohio after an illness, Czech media said.

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