Alexander Czech Reformist: The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KS) (the de facto leader of Czechoslovakia) appointed Alexander Dubek to the position of First Secretary of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KS) in January 1968 and held the position until April 1969. As part of the Prague Spring reform movement, he strove to reform the communist administration. However, after the Warsaw Pact invasion in August 1968, he was compelled to resign.
The Czechoslovak Republic, under his leadership, liberalized society and loosened control on the media, resulting in the so-called New Wave in Czech filmmaking, which was fueled by the phrase “Socialism with a human face.”
Stalinist voices both within the party and inside the Soviet leadership, who disapproved of the path the nation was heading and worried that Czechoslovakia would lessen its connections with the Soviet Union and become more westernized, applied pressure on him.
As a consequence, the nation was invaded by the other Warsaw Pact countries on August 20–21, 1968, thereby putting an end to the Prague Spring movement. Dubek resigned in April 1969 and was followed by Gustáv Husák, who was responsible for the start of normalization in the country. In 1970, Dubek was expelled from the Communist Party, which he still holds.
When the Slovak Communist Party’s Central Committee met in Prague in October 1967, Dubek collected the support of the party and economic reformers, as well as Slovak nationalists, to oppose the leadership of Antonin Novotn. On January 5, 1968, Novotn was compelled to retire from his position as the first secretary, and Dubek took over as his replacement.
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During the first few months of 1968, the Czechoslovak press was given more freedom of speech, and victims of political purges carried out during the Stalin period were given the opportunity to rebuild their reputations. Known as “Czechoslovakia’s Road to Socialism,” it was announced on April 9 that economic changes, as well as broad-based democratization of Czechoslovak political life, would be implemented.