|First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia|
5 January 1968 –17 April 1969
|Preceded by||Antonín Novotný|
|Succeeded by||Gustáv Husák|
|Chairman of Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia|
28 December 1989 –25 June 1992
|Preceded by||Alois Indra|
|Succeeded by||Michal Kováč|
28 April 1969 –15 October 1969
|Preceded by||Peter Colotka|
|Succeeded by||Dalibor Hanes|
|Born||27 November 1921|
|Died||7 November 1992 70) (aged|
(now Czech Republic)
|Political party|| Communist Party of Slovakia (1939–1948)|
Alexander Dubček (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈalɛksandɛr ˈduptʃɛk] ; 27 November 1921 – 7 November 1992) was a Czechoslovak and Slovak politician who served as the First Secretary of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) (de facto leader of Czechoslovakia) from January 1968 to April 1969. He attempted to reform the communist government during the Prague Spring but was forced to resign following the Warsaw Pact invasion in August 1968.
The Slovaks are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Slovakia who share a common ancestry, culture, history and speak the Slovak language.
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia was a Communist and Marxist–Leninist political party in Czechoslovakia that existed between 1921 and 1992. It was a member of the Comintern. Between 1929 and 1953 it was led by Klement Gottwald. After its election victory in 1946 it seized power in the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état and established a one-party state allied with the Soviet Union. Nationalization of virtually all private enterprises followed.
The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was the name of Czechoslovakia from 1948 to 23 April 1990, when the country was under communist rule. Formally known as the Fourth Czechoslovak Republic, it has been regarded as a satellite state of the Soviet Union.
During his leadership, under the slogan of " Socialism with a human face ", Czechoslovakia lifted censorship on the media and liberalized Czechoslovak society, fuelling the so-called New Wave in Czechoslovak filmography. However, he was put under pressure by Stalinist voices inside the party as well as the Soviet leadership, who disliked the direction the country was taking and feared that Czechoslovakia could loosen ties with the Soviet Union and become more westernized. As a result, the country was invaded by the other Warsaw Pact countries on 20–21 August 1968, effectively ending the process known as the Prague Spring. Dubček resigned in April 1969 and was succeeded by Gustáv Husák, who initiated normalization . Dubček was then expelled from the Communist Party in 1970.
Socialism with a human face was a political programme announced by Alexander Dubček and his colleagues agreed at the Presidium of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in April 1968, after he became chairman of the Party in January 1968. The first author of this slogan was Radovan Richta. It was a process of mild democratization and political liberalization that sought to build an advanced socialist society that valued democratic Czechoslovakian tradition. It would still enable the Communist Party to maintain real power. It initiated the Prague spring which, on the night of 20-21 August 1968, was stopped by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by a government, private institutions, and corporations.
The Czechoslovak New Wave is a term used for the 1960s films of Czech directors Miloš Forman, František Vláčil, Věra Chytilová, Ivan Passer, Pavel Juráček, Jaroslav Papoušek, Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec, Jaromil Jireš, Vojtěch Jasný, Evald Schorm, Elmar Klos and Slovak directors Dušan Hanák, Juraj Herz, Juraj Jakubisko, Štefan Uher, Ján Kadár, Elo Havetta and others. The quality and openness of the films led the genre to be called the Czechoslovak film miracle.
Later, after the overthrow of the communist regime in 1989, he was Chairman of the federal Czechoslovak parliament. Also in 1989, the European Parliament awarded Dubček the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
The Federal Assembly was the federal parliament of Czechoslovakia from January 1, 1969 to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on December 31, 1992. It was Czechoslovakia's highest legislative institution.
The European Parliament (EP) is the legislative branch of the European Union and one of its seven institutions. Together with the European Commission and the Council of the European Union it exercises the tripartite legislative function of the European Union. The Parliament is composed of 751 members (MEPs), intended to become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature because of specific provisions adopted about Brexit, who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world.
Alexander Dubček was born in Czechoslovakia on 27 November 1921.When he was three, the family moved to the Soviet Union, in part to help build socialism and in part because jobs were scarce in Czechoslovakia; so that he was raised until 12 in the Kirghiz SSR of the Soviet Union (now Kyrgyzstan) as a member of the Esperantist and Idist industrial cooperative Interhelpo. In 1933, the family moved to Gorky, now Nizhny Novgorod, and in 1938 returned to Czechoslovakia.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a Marxist-Leninist sovereign state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
Kyrgyzstan, officially the Kyrgyz Republic, and also known as Kirghizia, is a country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country with mountainous terrain. It is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek.
Esperanto culture refers to the shared cultural experience of the Esperantujo, or Esperanto-speaking community. Despite being a constructed language, Esperanto has a history dating back to the late 19th century, and shared cultural social mores have developed among its speakers. Some of these can be traced back to the initial ideas of the language's creator, Ludwig Zamenhof, including the theory that a global second language would foster international communication. Others have developed over time, as the language has allowed different national and linguistic cultures to blend together.
During the Second World War, Alexander Dubček joined the underground resistance against the wartime pro-German Slovak state headed by Jozef Tiso. In August 1944, Dubček fought in the Jan Žižka partisan brigadeduring the Slovak National Uprising and was wounded twice, while his brother, Július, was killed.
The (First) Slovak Republic, otherwise known as the Slovak State, was a client state of Nazi Germany which existed between 14 March 1939 and 4 April 1945. It was created out of the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia one day before of the start of the German occupation. The Slovak Republic controlled the majority of the territory of present-day Slovakia but without its current southern and eastern parts, which had been ceded to Hungary in 1938. The Republic bordered Germany and constituent parts of "Großdeutschland": the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the General Government – along with independent Hungary.
Jozef Tiso was a Slovak politician and Roman Catholic priest who governed the Slovak Republic, a client state of Nazi Germany during World War II, from 1939 to 1945. After the war, he was executed in 1947 for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bratislava.
The 1st Czechoslovak Partisan Brigade of Jan Žižka, initially known as Ušiak-Murzin Unit, was the largest partisan unit in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. After its core membership of Soviet-trained paratroopers were dropped into Slovakia in August 1944, the brigade crossed into Moravia and began operations in earnest at the end of 1944. Its focus was guerrilla warfare, especially sabotage and intelligence gathering.
During the war, Alexander Dubček joined the Communist Party of Slovakia (KSS),which had been created after the formation of the Slovak state and in 1948 was transformed into the Slovak branch of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ).
The Communist Party of Slovakia was a communist party in Slovakia. It was formed in May 1939, when the Slovak Republic was created, as the Slovak branches of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) were separated from the mother party. When Czechoslovakia was again established as a unified state, the KSS was still a separate party for a while (1945–1948). On 29 September 1948, it was reunited with the KSČ and continued to exist as an "organizational territorial unit of the KSČ on the territory of Slovakia". Its main organ was Pravda.
After the war, he steadily rose through the ranks in Communist Czechoslovakia. From 1951 to 1955 he was a member of the National Assembly, the parliament of Czechoslovakia. In 1953, he was sent to the Moscow Political College, where he graduated in 1958.In 1955 he joined the Central Committee of the Slovak branch and in 1962 became a member of the presidium. In 1958 he also joined the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which he served as a secretary from 1960 to 1962 and as a member of the presidium after 1962. From 1960 to 1968 he once more was a member of the federal parliament.
In 1963, a power struggle in the leadership of the Slovak branch unseated Karol Bacílek and Pavol David, hard-line allies of Antonín Novotný, First Secretary of the KSČ and President of Czechoslovakia. In their place, a new generation of Slovak Communists took control of party and state organs in Slovakia, led by Alexander Dubček, who became First Secretary of the Slovak branch of the party.
Under Dubček's leadership, Slovakia began to evolve toward political liberalization. Because Novotný and his Stalinist predecessors had denigrated Slovak "bourgeois nationalists", most notably Gustáv Husák and Vladimír Clementis, in the 1950s, the Slovak branch worked to promote Slovak identity. This mainly took the form of celebrations and commemorations, such as the 150th birthdays of 19th century leaders of the Slovak National Revival Ľudovít Štúr and Jozef Miloslav Hurban, the centenary of the Matica slovenská in 1963, and the twentieth anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising. At the same time, the political and intellectual climate in Slovakia became freer than that in the Czech lands.This was exemplified by the rising readership of Kultúrny život, the weekly newspaper of the Union of Slovak Writers, which published frank discussions of liberalization, federalization and democratization, written by the most progressive or controversial writers – both Slovak and Czech. Kultúrny život consequently became the first Slovak publication to gain a wide following among Czechs.
The Czechoslovak planned economy in the 1960s was in serious decline and the imposition of central control from Prague disappointed local Communists, while the destalinization program caused further disquiet. In October 1967, a number of reformers, most notably Ota Šik and Alexander Dubček, took action: they challenged First Secretary Antonín Novotný at a Central Committee meeting.Novotný faced a mutiny in the Central Committee, so he secretly invited Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet leader, to make a whirlwind visit to Prague in December 1967 in order to shore up his own position. When Brezhnev arrived in Prague and met with the Central Committee members, he was stunned to learn of the extent of the opposition to Novotný, leading Brezhnev to opt for non-interference, and paving the way for the Central Committee to force Novotný's resignation. Dubček, with his background and training in Russia, was seen by the USSR as a safe pair of hands. “Our Sasha” became the new First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia on 5 January 1968.
The period following Novotný's downfall became known as the Prague Spring. During this time, Dubček and other reformers sought to liberalize the Communist government—creating "socialism with a human face". [ citation needed ] while a poll gave him 78% public support. Yet Dubček found himself in an increasingly untenable position. The program of reform gained momentum, leading to pressures for further liberalization and democratization. At the same time, hard-line Communists in Czechoslovakia and the leaders of other Warsaw Pact countries pressured Dubček to rein in the Prague Spring. Though Dubček wanted to oversee the reform movement, he refused to resort to any draconian measures to do so, while still stressing the leading role of the Party and the centrality of the Warsaw Pact.Though this loosened the party's influence on the country, Dubček remained a devoted Communist and intended to preserve the party's rule. However, during the Prague Spring, he and other reform-minded Communists sought to win popular support for the Communist government by eliminating its worst, most repressive features, allowing greater freedom of expression and tolerating political and social organizations not under Communist control. "Dubček! Svoboda!" became the popular refrain of student demonstrations during this period,
The Soviet leadership tried to slow down or stop the changes in Czechoslovakia through a series of negotiations. The Soviet Union agreed to bilateral talks with Czechoslovakia in July at Čierna nad Tisou, near the Slovak-Soviet border.At the meeting, Dubček tried to reassure the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact leaders that he was still friendly to Moscow, arguing that the reforms were an internal matter. He thought he had learned an important lesson from the failing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, in which the leaders had gone as far as withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact. Dubček believed that the Kremlin would allow him a free hand in pursuing domestic reform as long as Czechoslovakia remained a faithful member of the Soviet bloc. Despite Dubček's continuing efforts to stress these commitments, Brezhnev and other Warsaw Pact leaders remained wary, seeing a free press as threatening an end to one-party rule in Czechoslovakia, and (by extension) elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
On the night of 20–21 August 1968, military forces from every Warsaw Pact member state (except Romania) entered Czechoslovakia. The occupying armies quickly seized control of Prague and the Central Committee's building, taking Dubček and other reformers into Soviet custody. But, before they were arrested, Dubček urged the people not to resist militarily, on the grounds that “presenting a military defence would have meant exposing the Czech and Slovak peoples to a senseless bloodbath”.Later in the day, Dubček and the others were taken to Moscow on a Soviet military transport aircraft.
The inspired non-violent resistance of the Czech and Slovak population, which delayed full loss of control to the Warsaw Pact forces for a full eight months (in contrast to the Soviet military's estimate of four days), became a prime example of civilian-based defense. A latter-day Good Soldier Schweik wrote mockingly of “the comradely pranks of changing street names and road signs, of pretending not to understand Russian, and of putting out a great variety of humorous welcoming posters”Meanwhile, radio stations called for the invaders to return home: “Long live freedom, Svoboda, Dubcek”. Nevertheless, the reformers were forced to accede to Soviet demands, signing the Moscow protocols, (with only František Kriegel refusing to sign): the tanks had crushed Dubcek's Prague Spring.
Dubček and most of the reformers were returned to Prague on 27 August, and Dubček retained his post as the party's first secretary until April 1969;and indeed, the achievements of the Prague Spring were not reversed overnight, but over a period of several months.
In January 1969, Dubček was hospitalized in Bratislava complaining of a cold and had to cancel a speech. Rumours sprang up that his illness was radiation sickness and that it was caused by radioactive strontium being placed in his soup during his stay in Moscow in an attempt to kill him. However, a U.S. intelligence report discounted this for lack of evidence.
Dubček was forced to resign as First Secretary in April 1969, following the Czechoslovak Hockey Riots. He was re-elected to the Federal Assembly (as the federal parliament was now called) and became its chairman. He was later sent as ambassador to Turkey (1969–70),allegedly in the hope that he would defect to the West, which however did not occur. In 1970, he was expelled from the Communist party and lost his seats in the Slovak parliament (which he had held continuously since 1964) and the Federal Assembly.
After his expulsion from the party, Dubček worked in the Forestry Service in Slovakia. He remained a popular figure among the Slovaks and Czechs he encountered on the job, using this reverence to procure scarce and hard-to-find materials for his workplace. Dubček and his wife, Anna, continued to live in a comfortable villa in a nice neighbourhood in Bratislava. In 1988, Dubček was allowed to travel to Italy to accept an honorary doctorate from Bologna University, and, while there, he gave an interview with Italian Communist Party daily newspaper L'Unità , his first public remarks to the press since 1970. Dubček's appearance and interview helped to return him to international prominence.
In 1989, he was awarded the annual Sakharov Prize in its second year of existence.
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During the Velvet Revolution of 1989, he supported the Public against Violence (VPN) and the Civic Forum. On the night of 24 November, Dubček appeared with Václav Havel on a balcony overlooking Wenceslas Square, where he was greeted with tremendous applause from the throngs of protesters below and embraced as a symbol of democratic freedom. Several onlookers even chanted, "Dubček na hrad!" ("Dubček to the Castle"—i.e., Dubček for President). He disappointed the crowd somewhat by calling the revolution a chance to continue the work he had started 20 years earlier, and prune out what was wrong with Communism. By that time, the demonstrators in Prague wanted nothing to do with Communism of any sort, even Dubček's humane version. Later that night, Dubček was on stage with Havel at the Laterna Magika theatre, the headquarters of Civic Forum, when the entire leadership of the Communist Party resigned, in effect ending Communist rule in Czechoslovakia.
Dubček was elected Chairman of the Federal Assembly (the Czechoslovak Parliament) on 28 December 1989, and re-elected in 1990 and 1992.
At the time of the overthrow of Communist party rule, Dubček described the Velvet Revolution as a victory for his humanistic socialist outlook. In 1990, he received the International Humanist Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union. He also gave the commencement address to the graduates of the Class of 1990 at The American University in Washington, D.C.; it was his first trip to the United States.
In 1992, he became leader of the Social Democratic Party of Slovakia and represented that party in the Federal Assembly. At that time, Dubček passively supported the union between Czechs and Slovaks in a single Czecho-Slovak federation against the (ultimately successful) push towards an independent Slovak state.
Dubček died on 7 November 1992, as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash that took place on 1 September on the Czech D1 highway, near Humpolec.He was buried in Slávičie údolie cemetery in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The Brezhnev Doctrine was a Soviet foreign policy that proclaimed any threat to socialist rule in any state of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe was a threat to them all, and therefore justifies the intervention of fellow socialist states. It was proclaimed in order to justify the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia earlier in 1968, with the overthrow of the reform government there. Mikhail Gorbachev repudiated the doctrine in the late 1980s, as the Kremlin accepted the peaceful overthrow of communist rule in all its satellite countries in Eastern Europe.
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization and mass protest in Czechoslovakia as a Communist state after World War II. It began on 5 January 1968, when reformist Alexander Dubček was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), and continued until 21 August 1968, when the Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact invaded the country to suppress the reforms.
From the Communist coup d'état in February 1948 to the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Czechoslovakia was ruled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The country belonged to the Eastern Bloc and was a member of the Warsaw Pact and of Comecon. During the era of Communist Party rule, thousands of Czechoslovaks faced political persecution for various offences, such as trying to emigrate across the Iron Curtain.
In the history of Czechoslovakia, normalization is a name commonly given to the period following the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 and up to the glasnost era of liberalization that began in the Soviet Union and its neighboring nations in 1987. It was characterized by the restoration of the conditions prevailing before the Prague Spring reform period led by First Secretary Alexander Dubček of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) earlier in 1968 and the subsequent preservation of the new status quo. Some historians date the period from the signing of the Moscow Protocol by Dubček and the other jailed Czechoslovak leaders on August 26, 1968, while others date it from the replacement of Dubček by Gustáv Husák on April 17, 1969, followed by the official normalization policies referred to as Husakism.
Although political control of Communist Czechoslovakia was largely monopolized by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) the political power was technically shared with the National Front and openly influenced by the foreign policies of the Soviet Union.
With the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy at the end of World War I, the independent country of Czechoslovakia was formed as a result of the critical intervention of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, among others.
Gustáv Husák was a Slovak politician, president of Czechoslovakia and a long-term First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (1969–1987). His rule is known as the period of the so-called "Normalization" after the Prague Spring.
Antonín Josef Novotný was First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from 1953 to 1968, and also held the post of President of Czechoslovakia from 1957 to 1968. An ardent hardliner, Novotný was forced to yield the reins of power to Alexander Dubček during the short-lived reform movement of 1968.
Ludvík Svoboda was a Czechoslovak general and politician. He fought in both World Wars, for which he was regarded as a national hero, and he later served as President of Czechoslovakia from 1968 to 1975.
Ota Šik was a Czech economist and politician. He was the man behind the New Economic Model and was one of the key figures in the Prague Spring.
The Action Programme is a political plan, devised by Alexander Dubček and his associates in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), that was published on April 5, 1968. The program suggested that the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (ČSSR) find its own path towards mature socialism rather than follow the Soviet Union. AP called for the acknowledgment of individual liberties, the introduction of political and economic reforms, and a change in the structure of the nation. In many ways, the document was the basis for Prague Spring and prompted the ensuing Warsaw Pact invasion of the ČSSR in August 1968.
Jan Šejna, also Sejna in English, was, in the time of communist Czechoslovakia, a Major General of the Czechoslovak Army. After losing political power and influence at the beginning of the Prague Spring, he sought refuge in the US consulate in Trieste and defected to the United States. He is the second highest-ranked officer to ever defect to the West from the Eastern Bloc, behind Lieutenant General Ion Mihai Pacepa of the Romanian Securitate. Significant motive for escape were his economic crimes. Among others, he illegally supplied collective farms with clover seed, hence he got nickname The Seed General .
Ludvík Vaculík[ˈludviːk ˈvatsuˌliːk] was a Czech writer and journalist. He was born in Brumov, Moravian Wallachia. A prominent samizdat writer, he was best known as the author of the "Two Thousand Words" manifesto of June 1968.
The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, officially known as Operation Danube, was a joint invasion of Czechoslovakia by five Warsaw Pact countries – the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany and Hungary – on the night of 20–21 August 1968. Approximately 250,000 Warsaw pact troops attacked Czechoslovakia that night, with Romania and Albania refusing to participate. East German forces, except for a small number of specialists, did not participate in the invasion because they were ordered from Moscow not to cross the Czechoslovak border just hours before the invasion. 137 Czechoslovakian civilians were killed and 500 seriously wounded during the occupation.
Josef Špaček was a Czechoslovak communist politician who was an important member of the government during the 1968 reformist period known as the Prague Spring. He was appointed to the Central Committee of the communist party of Czechoslovakia after communist party leader Antonín Novotný was replaced by Slovak politician Alexander Dubček. Along with Dubček and other Central Committee members, Špaček was arrested by the Soviets during the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. In the years following the collapse of the Dubček government, Špaček was relegated to low-level, non-political positions, including working as a forestry official. Following the restoration of democracy in 1989, he was again politically active and in 1990 was elected to the national parliament.
Čestmír Císař was a Czech and Czechoslovak politician and diplomat. He served as the first Chairman of the Czech National Council from 1968 to 1969 when the Czech Republic was part of Czechoslovakia during the Communist era. A leading advocate for reforms of the Communist Party, Císař introduced a series of liberal reforms to Communist Czechoslovakia, becoming a major figure in the Prague Spring as a result. He sought to create a new form of socialism with a "human face." His reforms were repealed following the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. He was removed from office and expelled from the Communist Party until the Velvet Revolution of 1989.
Martin Dzúr was a Slovak military officer and a communist politician, who served as defense minister from 1968 to 1985.
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|Party political offices|
| First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia |
5 January 1968–17 April 1969
| Chairman of Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia |
28 December 1989 – 25 June 1992
| Chairman of Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia |
28 April 1969 – 15 October 1969