Australian Left Review

Authors

Jiri Pelikan

Abstract

APART FROM the oddity that it was really a second performance — the first having been held on August 22, 1968 — the 14th Congress of the Czechoslovak Communist Party in May was chiefly notable for its attempt to lend some semblance of legality to the “normalization” so laboriously achieved by the Husak leadership. Having won power in April 1969 by an inner-party putsch, and being entirely dependent on Brezhnev’s backing, Husak and his team felt they needed some kind of “mandate” from the home front. And Brezhnev wanted to be present when thanks were given for “salvation” by his tanks, in Prague, the city that three years ago had been as rebellious as the Hussites against the Pope.

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