[…] you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow.




Is Caesar going to die

no spoilers please



On this day in History August 20, 1968: Reacting to the rise of more liberal and democratic reforms in the Warsaw Pact country of Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact members Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary and Poland invade Czechoslovakia. 

The reformist movement known as The Prague Spring called for a more liberal society. Students and writers were complaining about the lack of freedom, and the poor performance of the Czechoslovak economy. With this in mind, the first act was the removal of conservative leader Antonin Novotny as the head of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in the beginning of 1968. Novotny was replaced by Alexander Dubček  a reformer. Dubček reaffirmed to not only to the Czechs but specifically the Soviet Union, that he committed to remaining in the Warsaw Pact and not removing the Marxist-Leninist State model though reforms were sought in Czechoslovakia. 

Here are some of the reforms that came about during the Prague Spring:

  • Freedom of the Press
  • Removal of State Controls over Industry
  • Removal of Censorship over books, plays and other banned works
  • Increased Collective Bargaining Rights for the Trade Unions
  • Creation of Independent Cooperatives for the Czechoslovakian farmers 

In July 1968, Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev, fearing Czechoslovakian independence met with Dubček and demanded that he re-institute strict communist control and to scale back his reforms. After nothing occurred to the satisfactory of Brezhnev and the Soviet Communist party, the Soviets (along with fellow Warsaw Pact members) decided to invade. Invoked was the philosophy of the Brezhnev Doctrine which called for the intervention in any country where a communist government had been threatened by any and all means. 

According to the article The Prague Spring – a summary from the History in an Hour website:

Half a million Soviet troops (including token numbers from Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany and Poland) and 2,000 tanks moved in quickly, taking control of Prague’s airport and vital points of communication before making a forceful presence on the streets of the capital

Unlike the invasion to squash the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, there were calls for no resistance by the Czechoslovakian people on the orders of Dubček. Though it is believed that there was some resistance by students.  

The Communist party in Czechoslovakia was purged including the re-education of Dubček. For the first time, Russian troops would be stationed in Czechoslovakia to ensure that there was no threat to the Communist party and communist ideals. All reforms that came about during the Prague Spring were eliminated. 

Communism would finally collapse in Czechoslovakia in December 1989. Dubček would return to Czechoslovakia and according to the BBC, he became chairman of the new post-Communist administration in what became known as the "Velvet Revolution".

For Further Reading:


Dilf Wolf

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