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See Monika Tantzscher, “Was in Polen geschieht, ist für die DDR eine Lebensfrage!'—Das MfS und die polnische Krise 1980/81," Materialien der Enquete-Kommission “Aufarbeitung von Geschichte und Folgen der SED-Diktatur in Deutschland" (12. Wahlperiode des Deutschen Bundestages), Deutscher Bundestag, vol. V/3: Deutschlandpolitik, innerdeutsche Beziehungen und internationale Rahmenbedingungen (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1995), pp. 2601-2760, here p. 2616 ff.
"Information on the Situation in Poland,” Militärisches Zwischenarchiv im Bundesarchiv (MZA-BArch) Strb AZN 28895, 11. 5-10. These files of the former Military Archive in Potsdam are now available in the Military Archive in Freiburg/ Br. See, e.g. “Information on the Situation in Poland,” 20 August 1980, MZA Strb AZN 28895, 11. 11-14.
For an analysis of the attitude of GDR workers toward the events in Poland see Burkhard Olschowsky, Die Haltung der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands und der DDR-Gesellschaft gegenüber den Ereignissen in Polen in den Jahren 1980-1983 Magisterarbeit (Ms.), Berlin, April 1997, pp. 53 ff.; and Olschowsky, “Die Haltung der Berliner Arbeitnehmer zu den Ereignissen in Polen 1980/81," in Zeitschrift des Forschungsverbundes SED-Staat, No. 6, to be published in Summer 1998.
See Kubina and Wilke, eds., SED contra Polen, pp. 17 ff.
See Krolikowski's note documented in the annex “Comment on the report of the PB to the 13th plenum of the SED CC, which was prepared and submitted by Guenther Mittag," handwritten, 5 December 1980; his “Information on a talk between Willi Stoph and Erich Mielke on 13th November, 1980," handwritten, 5 December 1980, also Przybylski vol. 2, pp. 353-357.
On the CC plenum on 11-12 December 1980 and the politburo report, see Kubina and Wilke, eds., SED contra Polen, pp. 126-134.
Krolikowski, “The lessons for the X. Party Congress of the SED,” handwritten, 12 November 1980.
Krolikowski, “On the relationship between EH und GM," handwritten, 12 November 1980, also in Przybylski, vol. 2, pp. 353-357.
Krolikowski, “On the relationship between EH und GM," handwritten, 12 November 1980, also in Przybylski, vol. 2, pp. 353-357.
On the attitude of Stoph and Mielke toward Honecker see, “Byl li Chonekker igrushkoy v rukach Moskvy," interview by Sergej Guky with Yury Andropov, Izvestia, 11 August 1992, p. 6; “Wir wechselten zum Du,” Der Spiegel, 17, August 1992, pp. 20-22. According to Abrasimov, Mielke in Moscow often “dumped on him,” whereby Honecker is to have been completely unsuspecting of Mielke's double role.
P.A. Abrasimov was Soviet Ambassador in East Berlin from 1975 until 1983.
See “Information on a talk between Willi Stoph and Erich Mielke on 13th November 1980,” handwritten, 5 December 1980, also in Przybylski, vol. 2, pp. 353-357.
Mielke is talking here about Honecker's so-called “Gera Demands.” After the SPD-FDP coalition in West Germany had won the elections, Honecker demanded that the FRG clear up some fundamental questions with the GDR before talks could resume on "humanitarian improvements.” For further information, see the literature cited in Kubina and Wilke, SED contra Polen, p. 11 (fn. 10).
“Information on a talk between Willi Stoph and Erich Mielke on 13 November 1980,” handwritten, 5 December 1980,
also in Przybylski, vol. 2, pp. 353-357.
Tisch is not expressing himself here in a grammatically correct way, and this particular sentence, as it is in the source, is confusing. From the context, however, follows quite clearly what he wanted to say. The passage has been translated to reflect what he meant to say. The German original reads as follows: "... und wo Honecker um die Vollmacht gebeten hat, alle Schritte einzuleiten, daß da nichts passieren kann, ohne daß er das Politbüro noch mal fragen muß."
Interview with Harry Tisch for the TV documentary That was the GDR—a history of the other Germany, broadcast on 3 October 1993 by German television (ARD). The quoted passage can be found in the book which was published under the same title by Wolfgang Kenntemich, Manfred Durniok, and Thomas Karlan (Berlin: Rowohlt, 1993). The omission in the quotation is in the source. Despite permission from the broadcasting corporation, MDR, to see the complete interview with Harry Tisch, Manfred Durniok, whose film company produced the documentary on behalf of the MDR, rejected the author's request to view the entire interview, “because we made the interviews with the contemporary witnesses only for the MDR.” Letter to the author, 29 August 1996.
208. See politburo minutes No. 48/80 of the extraordinary session from 28 November 1980 in Strausberg, in Kubina and Wilke, eds., SED contra Polen, pp. 123 ff.
32 Editor's note: On this day in 1956, all units of the National People's Army declared their combat readiness.
Honecker to Brezhnev, 26 November 1980, in Kubina and Wilke, SED contra Polen, pp. 122 ff.; for an English translation, see Cold War International History Project Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), p. 127.
See politburo minutes No. 48/80 of the extraordinary session of 28 November 1980, in Strausberg, in Kubina and Wilke, eds., SED contra Polen, p. 123 f.
See “Es war eine sowjetische Intervention.' Oberst a.D. Wolfgang Wünsche zur militärischen Erdrosselung des Prager Reformkurses 1968," interview with Karlen Vesper in Neues Deutschland, 21 August 1995, p. 12.
See Kubina and Wilke, eds., SED contra Polen, pp. 17-31.
See politburo minutes No. 49/80 of the session from 2 December 1980, in Kubina and Wilke, SED contra Polen, pp. 138 ff.
See stenographic record of the meeting of leading representatives of Warsaw Pact states in Moscow on 5 December 1980 in Kubina and Wilke, eds., SED contra Polen, pp. 140-195; for Honecker's speech see pp. 166-171. For an English translation, see this issue of the Bulletin (below).
pp. 171-178. “Commentary,” handwritten, 16 December 80, also in Przybylski, vol. 1, pp. 340-344.
See politburo minutes No. 50/80 of the session of 9 December 1980, in Manfred Wilke, Peter Erler, Martin G. Goerner, Michael Kubina, Horst Laude, und Hans-Peter Mueller, eds., SED-Politbüro und polnische Krise 1980-82. Aus den Protokollen des Politbüros des ZK der SED zu Polen, den innerdeutschen Beziehungen und der Wirtschaftskrise der DDR, vol. I: 1980, Berlin, January 1993 (Arbeitspapiere des Forschungsverbundes SED-Staat No. 3/1993), p. 533.
Bulgaria and the Political Crises
By Jordan Baev
n recent years, new evidence has come to light from put our armies in action.” The statement of Zhivkov is Bulgarian archives concerning the position of the indirectly confirmed by documents from the former Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) and state
Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) archives in leadership on the events in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and in Moscow. At a CPSU CC Plenum on 21 March 1968 Poland in 1980/81.'
dedicated to the situation in Czechoslovakia, Brezhnev
remarked: “In Sofia and afterwards Com[rades] Živkov, Bulgaria and the Prague Spring
[Polish Leader Władysław] Gomułka, (and Hungarian In the fall 1993 issue of the CWIHP Bulletin, Mark leader János) Kádár addressed us with requests to Kramer presented hypotheses on the role Bulgarian leader undertake some steps for regulation of the situation in Todor Živkov played in the suppression of the "Prague Czechoslovakia.” Consequently, it was decided to Spring.”2 The documents kept in the former BCP Central convene a meeting of Soviet, East German, Polish, and Committee (CC) archive clarify this matter unambiguously Hungarian representatives with the Czechoslovak and definitely discredit the statements made by Živkov in leadership in Dresden (on 23 March 1968). At Živkov's his memoirs thirty years later, claiming that he had
explicit insistence, a Bulgarian delegation was invited to opposed the August 1968 Soviet invasion and had been take part in the meeting, too.' Expressions such as the sympathetic to the reform efforts. We now also have at following are typical of those delivered to the BCP CC our disposal clear evidence of the Bulgarian leadership's Politburo regarding the Dresden discussions: “The attitude toward the Polish crisis of 1980/1981, which was attention of the Czechoslovak comrades has been drawn to presented at the Jachranka conference on “Poland 1980- the necessity of looking more closely at their people, at 82: Internal Crisis, International Dimensions" (in
those whose heads are not quite in order. .. so that the November 1997). Less information is available, however, incipient counter-revolution will be cut down..." Should concerning the Bulgarian society's reaction to the political the Czechoslovak leadership fail to undertake the crises in the two East-European countries as well as to necessary measures for “smashing counterrevolutionary Bulgarian military participation in the Warsaw Pact
acts,” the remaining Warsaw Pact countries would not be “Danube .68" operation against Czechoslovakia.
able “to remain indifferent since they have bonds of unity In February 1968, on the occasion of the 20th
with Czechoslovakia as well as common interests, and anniversary of the February 1948 Communist takeover in they cannot permit a counterrevolution in the heart of Czechoslovakia, Warsaw Pact leaders met in Prague. In Europe."" At a special BCP CC Plenum on 29 March the speeches delivered by the attending heads-of-state 1968, CC Secretary Stanko Todorov, delivered a detailed there was no hint whatsoever of any discord. The
report (55 pages) on the Dresden meeting which lasted for Bulgarian leader, Zhivkov, declared "full unity" with the 11 hours. "expert and wise" leadership of the Czechoslovak
The line marked out in BCP CC Politburo's decision Communist Party (CPCz) and stated: “Between us there gives a perfectly clear idea of the direction which the have never been and there are not any matters of
reports of the Bulgarian Embassy in Prague were to follow difference.” A session of the Warsaw Pact Political and the way in which the Bulgarian mass media portrayed Consultative Committee took place ten days later, on 6-7 the Czechoslovak events. While previous reports of Rayko March 1968, in Sofia. The official communiqué regarding Nikolov, Political Counselor at the Bulgarian Embassy, the "open exchange of opinions" did not even mention attempted to analyze the "interesting processes" taking Czechoslovakia. Nor did it appear in the text of the
place in Czechoslovakia, the reports of Ambassador declaration made at the joint session of the BCP CC and Stoyan Nedelchev after March 1968 put forward the idea the People's Republic of Bulgaria (PRB) Council of of a “creeping counterrevolution” which was in full Ministers which heard a report by first Deputy Prime harmony with Sofia's views. On June 30, Nedelchev sent a Minister Živko about the PCC session in Sofia. In another, report couched in dark terms stating that the internal confidential report however, Živkov said: “During the political crisis in Czechoslovakia could develop into an session of the Political [Consultative] Committee of the irrevocable process which would bring about important Warsaw Pact we decided to share with the Soviet comrades consequences unfavorable to "socialism" if "sound
“ our anxiety over the events in Czechoslovakia... We forces” in the CPCz did not immediately intervene. categorically declared to Comrade [Leonid I.] Brezhnev and Todor Živkov headed the Bulgarian delegation at the Comrade (Alexei) Kosygin that we had to be prepared to meeting of the leaders of the USSR, Bulgaria, East
Germany, Poland and Hungary on 14-15 July 1968 in Warsaw. Several influential BCP Politburo membersStanko Todorov, Boris Velchev, and Pencho Kubadinsky —also attended. In the letter to the CPCz CC adopted by the five parties at the meeting, the Brezhnev Doctrine's postulates of “limited sovereignty” of members of the Socialist Commonwealth were outlined.
After the Bulgarian delegation returned from Warsaw the BCP CC Politburo discussed the situation on July 16.9 At a special Party Plenum, Stanko Todorov delivered a detailed informational report on the results of the Warsaw meeting. Its content completely undermines later claims made in the West'o that Bulgaria took a special position against the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia. In compliance with the plenum's resolutions the Bulgarian press opened a “campaign of clarification" of the situation in Czechoslovakia in the spirit of the five Warsaw Pact Parties' letter. This activity provoked an official protest on the Czechoslovak side, expressed at the meeting of Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiři Hájek with the Bulgarian Ambassador Nedelchev on 27 July 1968."
At 1 a.m. on August 21 the armed forces of the five Warsaw Pact countries taking part in Operation “Danube '68” entered Czechoslovak territory. Bulgarian participation consisted of military formations of two regiments of the Third Army numbering 2,164 troops. (The size of the Bulgarian contingent, compared with that of other Warsaw Pact forces sent into Czechoslovakia, shows that Bulgarian participation in the operation was mainly symbolic.) As early as mid-July the Bulgarian forces that were to take part in the Warsaw Pact military action were installed in field camps and started intensive military and psychological preparation. They trained in strict isolation from the civil population in order to preserve military secrecy. After a written battle order for "participation in a military exercise" on Soviet territory, on July 21 the formations of 12th “Elhovsky” regiment under the command of Col. Alexander Genchev were transported to USSR by sea, where, according to the order, they came under the command of the Commander-inChief of the Odessa Military District. From there, they were transferred in mid-August to a location near Uzhgorod, close to the Soviet-Slovak border. On August 21 in accelerated battle march, the Elhovo regiment formations reached (via Košice) their assigned regions of Slovakia (Banska Bistrica, Zvolen, Brezno). Formations of the 22nd Harmanli regiment under the command of Col. Ivan Chavdarov were transported by air to Prague, in order to guard Czechoslovakia's primary airport, Ruzině.
During their stay in Czechoslovakia, the Bulgarian military units did not participate directly in any military actions. The entire time they were on Czechoslovak territory (August 21–October 23) they were under direct Soviet command. Nevertheless, the Bulgarian soldiers also felt the hostility of Czechoslovak citizens who opposed the foreign military intervention on their territory. The field diaries of the Bulgarian military formations reported a
number of incidents during their two-month stay on Czechoslovak territory. In the only existing Bulgarian study on this matter, Maj. Gen. Dimiter Naidenov mentioned some of the armed incidents: "On August 22nd at 01.55 A.M. positions of two of our formations were fired on. Around 02.40 A.M. two shots were (fired) over the company of Captain Gochkov, and around 02.44 A.M. there was shooting at the battle row of Captain Valkov's company originating from nearby buildings. On August 24th by 01.07 A.M. an intensive round of firing from automatic guns towards Officer Sabi Dimitrov's formation was noted.” At the end of August the Bulgarian newspapers published an account entitled, “A sentry at Ruzině,” in which it was stated: “On the night of August 26th to 27th shots were fired toward the position of Warrant-Officer Vassilev from the near-by houses....??!2
There is no information on the participation of Bulgarian soldiers in military actions against Czechoslovak citizens, and Bulgarian military units in Czechoslovakia suffered only one casuality. On the evening of 9 September 1968, in a Prague suburb, JuniorSergeant Nikolay Nikolov was kidnapped and shot with three bullets from a 7.65 mm gun.
During the “Prague Spring” and after the intervention of the five Warsaw Pact countries in Czechoslovakia in August 1968, there were isolated acts of protest among Bulgarian intellectuals. Three History Department students at the University of Sofia were arrested and sentenced to varying prison terms; several of their professors were expelled from the Communist Party. '3 The State Security services carefully observed any reactions among Czechoslovak youth vacationing in the Bulgarian Black Sea resorts at the time of the invasion.
The Bulgarian Embassy in Prague and General Consulate in Bratislava documented numerous protests of different strata of Czechoslovak society against the armed intervention. In the various reports from Czechoslovakia, opinions were quoted regarding the great mistake" made by the Warsaw Pact countries, who with their action, had "hurt the feelings of national dignity of Czechs and Slovaks." Prior to the invasion, Gen. Koday, Commandant of the East Czechoslovak Military District, had supported a hard-line position, often stating that more decisive actions were required against the “anti-socialist forces." Yet, early in November 1968, Gen. Koday admitted to Stefan Velikov, Bulgarian General Consul in Bratislava: “The shock was too great." He told about the offense he suffered on the night of August 21s: “He was nearly arrested, his headquarters were surrounded and machinegunners rushed into his office.” The Czechoslovak military leader underlined several times during the confidential talks there had been no need to send Warsaw Pact regiments. The Commander of the Bratislava Garrison backed this opinion, saying that “our countries have lost a lot with the invasion."]4
The Bulgarian authorities, however, were explicit and unanimous in their statements concerning the necessity of
their actions which had saved the Czechoslovak people from a "counterrevolution" and had prevented an inevitable Western intervention. They firmly maintained this position in front of representatives of Western Communist Parties who had opposed the military action in Czechoslovakia as well. During the extremely controversial and long discussions with the head of the International Department of the Italian Communist Party, Carlo Galuzi, on 16 September 1968, the BCP leaders repeated many times: "We do not consider that our interference was a mistake. We believe that by our intervention undertaken in a timely manner, we terminated the dangerous process of counterrevolution which could have only ended with a victory of the counterrevolution and in no other way... That could have been a dreadful flaw in the defense of the Socialist camp in Europe...."15 Five years later Zhivkov maintained the same view in his talks with Italian CP leader Enrico Berlinguer.
The position of the Bulgarian Party and State leadership regarding the 1980-81 Polish Crisis
Until the beginning of August 1980 no particular concern with the Polish crisis was shown in Bulgaria, though reports of public discontent and incipient upheaval had begun circulating. On the eve of Bulgarian Prime Minister Stanko Todorov's visit to Poland in July 1980 the usual memos and references were prepared, one of which stated: “The dissidents are now in fact an insignificant group of people isolated from society, they have lost their public influence, are people disunited from inward struggles... The people are in a state of sound moral and political unity...Poland is a strong socialist unit...." After his official visit on July 14-15, Todorov, in a report to the BCP CC Politburo, declared: “I believe that the Party and State leadership in Poland, with regard to their current economic problems, are approaching the complicated problems with a sense of realism and are taking active steps to overcome them, taking into consideration the working people's feelings."16 One would hardly assume that in such confidential documents propaganda clichés would be deliberately used in place of a real evaluation. Obviously, at the time Bulgarian ruling circles did not realize the real social and political situation in Poland. In August - September 1980, however, the Embassy in Warsaw sent several informational reports on the changes in the situation and the formation of the political opposition to the Communist regime. No doubt, such news should have reached Sofia from Moscow as well.
On 15 September 1980, Todor Živkov received Politburo member Kazimierz Barcikowski who was sent to Sofia to inform the Bulgarian leaders of the situation in his country. During that conversation, Živkov said: "We do not dramatize the events in Poland but they require all the socialist countries to draw certain conclusions for themselves, too." He added that the Bulgarian leadership would “follow the development of the matters in Poland" and concluded: “We, the Socialist countries, work in a
hostile environment and we have to admit that our enemies won certain points. Your case, one could say, is a link in the chain of the total imperialistic offensive against us... Soon after the meeting, Živkov prepared a special memo on the matter, and the Polish situation was discussed at two Politburo sessions, on October 21 and 25. Živkov also maintained the hard line of an “offensive against the antisocialist forces” at the summit meeting of the Warsaw Pact leaders on 5 December 1980 in Moscow. Following instructions, the State Security structures became more active in their “preventive” measures and in their periodic analyses of the Polish crisis which laid particular stress on its influence in Bulgaria.
In the first half of 1981, nearly all information coming from the Bulgarian Embassy in Warsaw referred to the development of the political crisis. In a memo regarding bilateral Bulgarian-Polish relations in May 1981, Mariy Ivanov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated to the BCP CC: “In the last ten months relations between the mass trade unions, youth, women's and other public organizations (in both countries) have practically been cut off..."8 In a report to the Foreign Ministry, the Bulgarian ambassador in Poland, Ivan Nedev, related the reaction of a high ranking Polish army officer: “[We will put up with] anything rather than Soviet-style socialism!"'19
The review of the political and diplomatic documents on the Polish crisis, compared to other important archival sources as well, prompts the following conclusions:
Though publicly not as active as his Czechoslovak and East German colleagues Gustáv Husák and Erich Honecker, the Bulgarian leader Todor Živkov was another firm supporter of the hard line of "decisive struggle" against the “counterrevolution” and the “anti-socialist forces” in Poland. In the spirit of the times, the expert evaluation and the diplomatic analyses usually accorded with Živkov's and his entourage's attitudes. The position of Foreign Minister Peter Mladenov, who often backed Živkov's opinions, did not stray much. The Bulgarian leadership's reaction demonstrated the unwillingness and incapability of the administration to draw even most general conclusions from the Polish events and to undertake political reforms even to the slightest degree.
As in previous decades, the development of the latest internal political crisis in the East European countries failed to provoke Bulgarian leaders to reconsider prevailing conceptions and attitudes, a rethinking which might have contributed to a transformation and modernization of the existing political regime. On the contrary, those crises induced a "hardening" of the Kremlin and East European rulers' positions. Just as in the case of the 1956 and 1968 events, after those in Poland in 1980-1981 led to increased bitterness in Bulgarian party politics, resulting, e.g. in the dismissal of well-known figures in political and cultural circles, such as Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev. This line of behavior fit very well with the general pattern of confrontation between Moscow and Washington in the early 1980s. At the same time, however it exposed an important feature of the
Bulgarian regime: its lack of adaptive mechanisms for overcoming the contradictions and crisis in the political elite under existing circumstances of a dictatorial personal rule. That, together with the no less important outside factors, such as U.S. policy, predetermined the unavoidable collapse of the system at the end of the decade without any choice of alternative paths.
| The author has also contributed newly declassified Bulgarian documents on the 1956 events in Hungary to the forthcoming National Security Archive reader on the crisis. I am grateful to Georgi Chernev, Chief of the Central State Archive; Avgustina Daskalova, Chief of the Diplomatic Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Serafim Stoykov, Chief of the Archive of the Ministry of the Interior; and Danail Danailov, Division Head at the same archive, for their assistance in getting access to some confidential records. I would like to stress in particular that for the first time diplomatic and State Security confidential documents of the period are declassified especially for the CWIHP Bulletin and CWIHP Electronic Bulletin.
2 Mark Kramer, “The Prague Spring and the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia: New Interpretations (part 2),” CWIHP Bulletin No. 3 (Fall 1993), pp. 4-6.
3 T. Zhivkov, Memoirs (Sofia 1997) (in Bulgarian).
* Foreign Policy of the People's Republic of Bulgaria. Documents, vol. II (Sofia, 1971), p. 422 (in Bulgarian).
5 R. Pichoya, “Czechoslovakia 1968: Vzgliad iz Moskvi. Po dokumentam CC CPSU,” Novaja I noveishaja istorija No. 6 (1994), p. 11.
Central State Archive (CDA), Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis 35, A. E. (File] 127, List 6-13. 7 CDA, Fond 1-B, Opis 58, A. E. 4, 1. 2-57.
Diplomatic Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DA MVNR), Sofia, Opis 24-P, A. E. 2988.
CDA, Fond 1-B, Opis 35, A. E. 255, 1. 1-2. 10 RFE Report, Open Society Archives, Budapest, Fond 300, Subfond 20, Folder 1, Box 89.
" DA MVNR, Opis 24-P, A. E. 3020, 1. 202-203. Hájek delivered also a letter from Czechoslovak Prime Minister Cernik to Zhivkov regarding the additional measures taken with respect to the protection of the State border with West Germany.
12 Main Political Department of Bulgarian People's Army. Classified. For official use only. Major-General D. Naidenov, Internationalism in action: Socio-political and military-historic analysis on the struggle against the counterrevolution in CSSR1968 (Sofia 1979), pp. 102, 117 (In Bulgarian).
13 Homo Bohemicus No. 3, (1994). One of the mentioned students, Valentin Radev, was a friend of mine. He was in jail for 18 months and later worked at the National History Museum in Sofia. He died from a heart attack at age 48 in 1995.
TODOR ŽIVKOV:' [...] The discussions have shown that no concluding speech is needed as it has turned out we are unanimous with regard to the evaluation of the situation in Czechoslovakia made by the fraternal [Communist) parties in Dresden (on 23 March 1968). Let us hope that no extreme steps will be required but if the worst comes to worst we will use our armies.
MISHO MISHEV:2 In what state is the Czechoslovak army?
ŽIVKO ŽIVKOV: It is in state of ineffectiveness.
TODOR ŽIVKOV: The situation is extremely difficult. What is the state of Politburo? The forces backing the Soviet Union and our policy are all now nearly driven out of the Politburo. You have the (Oldřich] Černík's statement. He is behind all this. Now, he is supposed to become the next prime minister. Other vacillating persons have been admitted to the leadership as well. (Alexander) Dubček himself has neither the experience nor the intellectual capacity and willpower to take the leadership of the party into his own hands. One can only hope that there will be forces in the Presidium and the Central Committee capable of moving things ahead firmly. The situation there is much more difficult than the one we had to face after the April Plenary Session here. Here, too, the situation could have turned very difficult but we immediately thought and found the support of our party members, our working class, of the sound forces within our intellectual circles. In our country the blow aimed at the army's leadership. It was repeated at the meeting of the Central Committee that those were (Stepan] Chervenkov's people, the DC (State Security) institutions were attacked. What did we do? We gave credit to the leaderships of the Army and the DC, we mobilized the Party's resources and the situation was saved. That is the thing they ought to do now in Czechoslovakia. Let us hope that inner strength can be found there to carry this out. If this is not done, the situation will get even more complicated. We should openly inform our party that there is a counterrevolutionary situation there. They are not yet out in the streets with arms but who can guarantee they will not do that tomorrow? It is quite possible that the counterrevolution could take a temporary hold and stabilize gradually. They have drawn their conclusions from the events in Hungary.
What does the present leadership have under its control? Nothing. It has no control over the army; it is demoralized, ineffective. They keep calling sessions, meetings, vote on resolutions to oust this or that person from his post in the army. The trade unions, the organized force of the working class, are crushed. Their official newspaper has turned into hotbed of the counterrevolution. The editorial staff of Rude Pravo is not under the Party's control. What does that mean? You do understand that the Dresden meeting was not called for
event K'T hesh elopment
14 DA MVNR. Opis 24-P, A. E. 2987, 1. 58-64.
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