Years of Shame, The Stalinist Years 1948-1962
If by now any sort of thesis has emerged from what has been written here, it should go something like this:
-----that there remains in the national tradition of Czechoslovaks a kind of ethnic memory of a former idealism and heroism which, like seeds, lie dormant in the soil, but which, given a bit of the sun of tranquillity, flowers into a passion for freedom and social justice unusual in kind and degree in all of Eastern Europe;
-----that there also remains a conditioned reflex for survival, nurtured carefully during 300 years of oppression, in which every trick of cautious advance and hasty retreat has been carefully explored and well learned;
-----that when this passion for freedom and social justice, and the will to survive are suddenly opposed in separate and conflicting orbits of events, survival becomes the first law.
No period of time in history of twentieth-century Czechoslovakia so dramatically and shamefully proclaims the truth of that