Dubcek’s effort to establish “communism with a human face” was celebrated across the country, and the brief period of freedom became known as the Prague Spring . But on August 20, 1968, the Soviet Union answered Dubcek’s reforms with invasion of Czechoslovakia by 600,000 Warsaw Pact troops.
What caused the Prague Spring ? The hard-line communist leader, Antonin Novotny, was unpopular. His rule was characterised by censorship of the press and a lack of personal freedom for ordinary citizens. The Czech economy was weak and many Czechs were bitter that the USSR controlled their economy for its own benefit.
The Prague Spring was a peaceful but unsuccessful attempt to liberalise and reform socialism in Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was liberated and occupied by Soviet troops after World War II. After a communist coup in 1948, it became a one-party socialist state under a Stalinist leader. 3.
During the invasion 72 Czechs and Slovaks were killed (19 of those in Slovakia), 266 severely wounded and another 436 slightly injured. Alexander Dubček called upon his people not to resist. Nevertheless, there was scattered resistance in the streets.
Prague Spring, brief period of liberalization in Czechoslovakia under Alexander Dubček in 1968.
The USSR was very suspicious of the changes taking place in Czechoslovakia. It feared that the developments would spread to other member states of the Warsaw Pact too. On the night of the 20th to the 21st of August 1968, Soviet tanks moved into Prague .
On August 20, 1968, the Soviet Union led Warsaw Pact troops in an invasion of Czechoslovakia to crack down on reformist trends in Prague. In the 1960s, however, changes in the leadership in Prague led to a series of reforms to soften or humanize the application of communist doctrines within Czech borders.
He attempted to reform the communist government during the Prague Spring but was forced to resign following the Warsaw Pact invasion in August 1968. Dubček resigned in April 1969 and was succeeded by Gustáv Husák, who initiated normalization. Dubček was then expelled from the Communist Party in 1970.
The USSR feared liberal ideas would spread to other Eastern European states causing instability and threatening the security of the Soviet Union . They feared growing trade links between Czechoslovakia and West Germany would lead to an increase in Western influence in Eastern Europe.
Gustav Husak , who replaced reform-minded Alexander Dubcek in 1969 and for the next two decades presided over Czechoslovakia’s hard-line Communist regime, died Monday. Husak was 78 and last year underwent several operations for suspected stomach cancer.
Following the coup d’état of February 1948 , when the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia seized power with the support of the Soviet Union, the country was declared a socialist republic after the Ninth-of-May Constitution became effective. Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
|Origins of Czechoslovakia||1918|
|Dissolution of Czechoslovakia||1993|
The American reaction was comparatively mild, chiefly because the USA and its leadership were more focused on the worsening situation with the Vietnam War. The USA believed that if they acted behind the Iron Curtain , the USSR would see support to Czechoslovakia as an ‘act of war’.
Hungarian Revolution, popular uprising in Hungary in 1956, following a speech by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in which he attacked the period of Joseph Stalin’s rule. On November 4 the Soviet Union invaded Hungary to stop the revolution, and Nagy was executed for treason in 1958.
Stalin believed that economic integration with the West would allow Eastern Bloc countries to escape Soviet control, and that the U.S. was trying to buy a pro-U.S. realignment of Europe. Stalin therefore prevented Eastern Bloc nations from receiving Marshall Plan aid .