The Prague Spring 1968: A National Security Archive Documents Reader

By JaromÍr NavrÁtil | Go to book overview

DOCUMENT No. 46: Letter of the CPSU CC Politburo to the CPCz CC
Presidium, July 4,1968

Source: ÚSD, AÚV KSČ, F. 07/15; Vondrová & Navrátil, vol. 1, pp. 253–257.

This letter from the CPSU CC Politburo was the first of several concerned letters that the Czechoslovak
authorities received between July 4 and July 6—part of a well-coordinated campaign by the "Warsaw
Five" nations to step up their political pressure on Czechoslovakia. This communication harshly attacked
the "ever more active anti-socialist forces," using the publication of the "Two Thousand Words"an
"open and cunning attempt" to "subvert socialism in Czechoslovakia"as ammunition. "To ensure
victory in this struggle," it advises, the USSR is "ready to provide all the necessary help."

The Politburo conveyed these views, as well as much of the phrasing of this letter, to the Soviet public
a week later in a lengthy commentary by I. Aleksandrov (a pseudonym) in the CPSU daily Pravda, under
the title "Attacks Against the Foundations of Socialism in Czechoslovakia. "Subsequently, the July 4 letter
became the basis for the drafting of the Warsaw communiqué approved during a meeting of the "Five"
on July 14–15.

(See also Document No. 53.)

Conditions in the ČSSR are becoming even more dangerous than before. As a counterweight to the CPCz there is a growing political opposition, which rejects Marxism-Leninism, calls for a basic change in the current system of society and state management, and is seeking the restoration of a capitalist system in Czechoslovakia. In Prague, in other cities, and in outlying regions, countless legal and illegal groups have sprung up, and the tone of these groups has been set by non-proletarian elements and people from the exploitative classes.

Anti-socialist forces have become ever more active. They are dividing Czechoslovak society by pitting the party against the people, the trade unions against the party, the intelligentsia against the working class, and the younger generation against the older. They are persistently trying to achieve the destruction of the leading role of the communist party in the National Front, and to exclude communists from organs of power and management and from the leadership of social organizations. They are bringing together under one political roof everyone who can serve their anti-socialist aims, ranging from the muddle-headed and those who are disoriented by the complicated political situation to open class enemies of the socialist system, from right-wing social democrats to former Hitlerites, who are actively using the various "clubs" and other organizations for their subversive aims and are persistently working toward the establishment of a Social Democratic Party.

In their speeches, anti-socialist representatives have openly demanded the removal of the CPCz from the leadership of society. The mass media find themselves in the hands of anti-party elements who use them as a tribunal conducting incessant propaganda against the CPCz and socialism, and from which open counterrevolutionary and anti-Soviet appeals can be heard.

In fact, all activities and all the basic directions of CPCz policy have come under attack. We are firmly convinced that all attacks by anti-socialist elements are being led by a conspiratorial center of organization, which issues and changes slogans and indicates the direction of attacks at every turn in the situation.

What is particularly alarming is that these things are finding support among a certain section of CPCz members and even among individual members of the Central Committee. What is doubly and triply alarming is that all this is going on two months before the party's Extraordinary Congress begins its work.7

7 The Extraordinary 14th Congress of the CPCz was due to start on September 9, 1968.

-194-

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