The show trial against Rudolf Slánský, the second-in-command of Czechoslovakia’s regime until his arrest, was one of the most emblematic and important cases among the purges organised by Stalin in the "people’s democracies". This trial took place in No-vember 1952 in Prague, and is considered as a turning point due to the profile of the people involved and the relevance given to the charge of "Zionism". This turning point has to be seen in accordance with the changes occurring in the Middle East pol-icy of the Kremlin as well as with an increase of anti-Semitic campaigns and measures, which culminated - on January 13, 1953 - in the "doctors’ plot" complaint. This essay has the twofold aim of analysing the approach of Italian communists, socialists and social democrats to the Slánský case, and of presenting the subsequent heated con-frontation among the Italian Left Parties. This essay shows how the Slánský Trial trig-gered the discussion on such key subjects as anti-Semitism and the nature of the re-gime arisen from the Bolshevik revolution. The discussion among the Italian Left Par-ties was deeply influenced by political alignments during the first years of the Cold War and was also intertwined with the controversy on the Rosenbergs’ sentence in the United States and on the so-called legge truffa.
Keywords: Italian Left, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, show trials, Stalinism, "people’s democra-cies"