Alexander Dubček

first Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (1921-1992)

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. He later returned as Chairman of the National Federal Assembly after the Velvet Revolution.

The role of the party is to recognize people’s understanding, to raise it to a higher plain, to support progressive thinking and acts.

Quotes edit

  • My problem was not having a crystal ball to foresee the Russian invasion. At no point between January and August 20, in fact, did I believe that it would happen.
    • As quoted in "Hope Dies Last: The Autobiography of Alexander Dubcek" (1993) by Jiri Hochman, Kodansha International, pp. 128

Quotes about edit

  • With the wall breached, everything was possible. On November 10th, Todor Zhivkov, Bulgaria's ruler since 1954, announced that he was stepping down; soon the Bulgarian Communist Party was negotiating with the opposition and promising free elections. On November 17th, demonstrations broke out in Prague and quickly spread throughout Czechoslovakia. Within weeks, a coalition government had ousted the communists, and by the end of the year Alexander Dubcek, who had presided over the 1968 "Prague spring," was installed as chairman of the national assembly, reporting to the new president of Czechoslovakia—Václav Havel.
  • Dubcek, the bureaucrat with a pleasant smile, was a confusing blend of contradictions. He spent his entire career as the cog in a totalitarian machine and then, when he emerged on top, declared himself a democrat. He was a pragmatist and a dreamer. He could be a skilled maneuverer in the baroque labyrinth of communist politics. But in the end even he admitted that he could be incredibly naïve.

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