Cold War Confrontation by 81a2A3IL


									Cold War Confrontation

 The Prague Spring From Museum of the City of Bratislava

                  Prague Spring
• Czechoslovakia resulted from the division of the
  Austrian-Hungarian Empire after WWI.
• Communists obtained power through free elections and
• Czechoslovakia became a satellite state of the Soviet
  Union between 1945 and 1948.
• Unlike other European nations, the majority of
  Czechoslovaks supported communism.
• In the 1960s an economical recession weakened the
  communist political control of the country.

Prague Spring;
                           Causes of Revolution
•     The people began to demand
      change in their political system,                                      Alexander Dubcek: The Czechoslovak politician

      and as the dissent grew, change                                        responsible for newly implemented liberal reform
      would come in the form of
      Alexander Dubcek
•     Alexander Dubcek became First
      Party Secretary of the Communist
      Party of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
•     Dubcek was focused on reform of
      the political and administrative
      structure of the country
•     He was motivated by the will of
      the Czech people to make liberal
      reforms in his plan of “Action
•     A loved and respected politician,
      Dubcek openly voiced his desire
      to spread liberation to other
      communist nations.
•     Prague Spring became known as
      the short-lived liberal reform
Radio Prague;, 1997
Image from Prague Spring;
                             Liberal Reforms
• Liberal reforms were rapidly implemented through out the nation.
• In March 1968, censorship of the press, radio and television was
• Tolerance for non-communist organizations was encouraged.
• An organization called Club 231 was formed in an effort to better
  monitor the humane treatment of political prisoners.
• In April, certain rights were guaranteed for all citizens such as right
  to travel abroad, freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
• The Communist party stated that nomenklatura (the practice of only
  appointing bureaucrats from party ranks) should end, and that a
  multi-party, more democratic system should be installed.
• In September of 1968, it was the party’s intention to formalize all of
  the new liberal reforms at the Party Congress.
• Another part of Dubcek’s plan was to eventually divide
  Czechoslovakia into two separate Republics.
Mitchner, E. Alyn; Global Forces of the Twentieth Century, Reidmore Books, 1997
• Dubcek called it “socialism with a face”
BBC News World: Europe Remembering the Prague Spring
                             Liberal Reforms…
•    “The reform harks back half a century
     in spirit to 1918, when Woodrow
     Wilson's Fourteen Points proclaimed
     the self-determination of peoples and
     enabled Czechoslovakia to be born as
     an independent state. This time,
     Czechoslovakia was announcing its
     own self-determination—a
     determination to regain control of its
     destiny and shuck off the worst
     features of an alien Communist
     system.”-----Into Unexplored Terrain; Time
     Magazine, April 5th 1968

Image and quote from Time Archive 1923-Present,16641,19680405,00.html
                                  Soviet Reaction
• Czechoslovakia was strategically essential to the Soviet Union,
  since it was in the centre of Europe where new liberal ideals could
  spread easily among communist nations.
• Security of the Soviet Bloc was at risk in a time when the
  maintenance of Soviet ideology was the priority.

•    “Dubček has no intention of breaking Czechoslovakia's links with the Soviet
     Union and his socialist neighbors, but they view the events in
     Czechoslovakia with considerable alarm. They are all too aware that the
     success of Dubček's reforms would almost certainly have a spillover effect,
     causing their populaces to seek more liberalization at home. When Dubček
     was summoned to Dresden two weeks ago to tell party bosses from Russia,
     Poland, Hungary and East Germany just where he thought he was leading
     Czechoslovakia, he reportedly told them that he planned no big changes in
     foreign policy but intended to go right ahead with his internal reforms.”------
     Time Magazine------ Into Unexplored Terrain; Time Magazine April 5th 1968

Quote from Time Archive 1923-Present,16641,19680405,00.html
• In initial negotiations for liberal reforms, Dubcek agreed to support
  the Warsaw Pact and COMECON, but in return, the Czechoslovak
  government would prevent any political dissent, or “antisocialist”
• In August of 1968, representatives from the Soviet Union, East
  Germany, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia met in
  Bratislava and signed the Bratislava Declaration. This declaration
  affirmed their loyalty to the communist ideologies of the Soviet
• The Soviet Union declared that it would intervene in a Warsaw Pact
  country if a "bourgeois" system, or non-communist political system,
  was ever established.
• In exchange for Czechoslovakia’s loyalty, Soviet troops left the
  territory but stayed on Czechoslovak borders.

Springtime for Prague;
“‘How could they do this to me?’ asked a
dazed Dubcek. ‘I have served the cause
                                            •   As mentioned before, due to the success of national
of the Soviet Union and Communism all of        communism in Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union
my life.’”---Russians Go Home! Time             feared a chain reaction that would result in more
Magazine, August 30, 1968                       Eastern European countries following nationalistic
                                            •   To prevent a “spill-over”, all the Eastern Bloc
                                                countries, except Romania, invaded Czechoslovakia
                                                in August 1968.
                                            •   Between 5,000 to 7,000 tanks invaded
                                                Czechoslovakia, accompanied by Warsaw Pact
                                                troops ranging from 200,000 to 600,000 in number.
                                                72 Czechs and Slovaks died, and hundreds were
                                            •   Citizens opposed the invasions by refusing troops
                                                food and water etc. There was extreme opposition
                                                met to the Soviet invasion, but Dubcek encouraged
                                                his people to remain out of the conflict.
                                            •   The Western reaction to the invasion was nothing
                                                more than a vocal criticism as the West was
                                                unwilling to confront the Soviet military force.
                                            •   Czech politicians were forced to pledge allegiance to
                                                communism and to other countries of the Eastern

                                            Springtime for Prague;
                                            Image and quote from Time Archive 1923-Present
    “Normalization” and the Brezhnev
    Following the military intervention, the opposite of the liberal reforms were
•   This process of re-establishing communist policies and eliminating liberal reforms
    was called the “process of normalization
•   Until stability was achieved, the foreign troops remained in Czechoslovakia
•   The intervention was labelled “help” by the Soviet Union, given to Czechoslovakia in
    their fight against the reformist forces
•   “Only Indra, Kolder and Bilak (Czech politicians) seemed unsurprised by the invasion,
    raising the suspicion that it was they who had provided Moscow with the slim pretext
    for the invasion. That pretext, as described by Tass, was ‘that party and government
    leaders’ of Czechoslovakia ‘have asked the Soviet Union and other allied states to
    render the fraternal Czechoslovak people urgent assistance, including assistance
    with armed forces.’”---Russians Go Home! Time Magazine, August 30, 1968
Prague Spring
Quote from Time Archive 1923-Present,16641,19680830,00.html

•   The Brezhnev Doctrine demanded that no country could leave the Warsaw Pact, or
    compromise the communist control in any Eastern Bloc nations.
•   The Doctrine was used to justify the invasion of Czechoslovakia which ensued from
    the Prague Spring in 1968, since the liberal movement had the potential to destroy
    communist control in the nation.

Halsall, Paul; Modern History Source Book;, 1997
                                         Citizens of Czechoslovakia fiercely resist Soviet
                                         tanks--- BBC News World: Europe Remembering
                                         the Prague Spring

•   Hundreds of thousands of Czechoslovaks fled to the West after the
•   In the political purges following, over half a million people were expelled
    from the Communist Party.
•   Dubcek was taken to Moscow to be executed; however, an agreement was
    made and he compromised his liberal reforms for his political position in
•   The name Prague Spring was lent to the Chinese liberal revolution in the
    late 1970’s called the Beijing Spring.

To top