The 1968 Invasion Of Czechoslovakia Essay Research — страница 2

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would freely support a reforming Communist Party. They criticized Dubcek for allowing censorship to lapse the country and attacked him for loosing control over the country. They became very nervous and very afraid that people in their countries would call for the same reforms and liberalization as it was in Czechoslovakia. Indeed, Polish students prepared demonstrations demanding the abolition of censorship and organized sit-ins at the universities. There were also some small demonstrations in East Germany. Moreover, Dubcek dismissed many Czech army officers appointed on Soviet recommendation earlier, and replaced them with officers he trusted. This happened all without asking for an agreement of Moscow. By doing this, the Soviets lost their agents in the Czechoslovak army.

Another unacceptable event was publishing of a manifesto titled Two Thousand Words. Writers, scholars, artists, athletes, and workers signed the document. It expressed the strongest condemnation of the past practices of the party. It stated that: In the past, the party had been a power organization attractive to egoists, avid to rule, to calculating cowards and to people with bad consciences. (Daintier, 1990) People signing this document demanded resignation of those politicians who opposed democratization and called for establishment of committees for defense of freedom of expression . (Dienstbier, 1990) Along the publishing of Two Thousand Words, it came to rebirth of the Social Democratic Party. However, Dubcek strongly disagreed with publishing of this document and refused

any intention of establishing a multiparty system. He spoke of making the party more popular and responsible to people s wishes. After these events, the Soviet leadership became very worried by what was going on in Czechoslovakia. On May 1968, East German, Polish, Hungarian, and Bulgarian party leaders met with Soviet leaders in Moscow. Moscow was egged on by the nervous leaders of Poland and East Germany, so it became even more critical of Dubcek and his policies. The Soviet bloc leaders sent a very strong letter to the Czechoslovak Party Central Committee. They expressed their anxiety at the reactionaries offensive, supported by imperialism, which was endangering the interest of the entire Socialist system. They also said that they did not want to interfere, but could not allow

hostile forces to create the threat the Czechoslovakia may break away from the Socialistic Commonwealth. In this letter, they came to a final conclusion that supports the military invasion. This is no longer your own affair. (Brezhnev, 1968) Soon, many Soviet tourists came to Prague. Today, we know that they were soldiers. Also, the Warsaw Pact maneuvers in Czechoslovakia were a preparation for the invasion. Soviet leaders tried to persuade Dubcek to give up his reforms. They planned to replace him and his supporters with their own people, people such as Vasil Bilak and Alois Indra who were strongly against Dubcek and supported the Soviets ideas. But the plan to replace Dubcek failed and the last possible solution for the Soviets was the invasion. The Soviet Politburo took the

final decision to invade Czechoslovakia on the night of August 16-17th. They knew that the Czechoslovak Party s Presidium was to meet on August 20th and the Slovak Party Congress was due to convene on August 23rd. They wanted to prevent the second event happen, for it would be the first Slovak step to legalize the party statute. Therefore, on the night of August 20-21st, the Warsaw Pact forces invaded Czechoslovakia. There were three main reasons given the prevention of a union between Czechoslovakia and West Germany, the saving of socialism in Czechoslovakia, and the third one was a claim that these forces had come in at the request of Czechoslovak party and state authorities. The first claim was, of course, nonsense. None of the politicians has ever thought about such a union.

The second claim was false because Czechoslovakia was a socialist country. Dubcek s aim was to make this socialism more popular among people. The third one was immediately disproved by the declaration of the Czechoslovak Party Presidium condemning the invasion. The presidium also appealed to all citizens not to resist the armed forces moving in which was done to avert bloodbaths. Politicians supporting the invasion tried to establish a new party leadership but they failed to get a majority in the Central Committee. Soviet KGB officers arrested Dubcek and his key supporters Kriegel, Smrkovsky, Spacek, and few others. All this happened in the name of the workers and peasants government (Frost M., 1998). They were not allowed to meet together and were told that they would be brought