Where Are They Now? Czechoslovakian Leader Alexander Dubcek Part 2

About the Czechoslovakian Leader Alexander Dubcek, history and biography of the Soviet Czech leader.

Headline--1968: ALEXANDER DUBCEK

Viewed by the party as a promising young turk, Dubcek was sent to the Higher Party School in Moscow in 1955, where he was put through close scrutiny and testing until 1958. That year he was sent home to become chief secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist party in Bratislava--the city he would come to call home. Within 2 years he was a member of the Presidium and was also the industrial secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party, with headquarters in Prague. As head of all industry in the country, Dubcek became the right-hand man of Antonin Novotny, then the pro-Stalinist President of Czechoslovakia. Novotny saw to it that Dubcek would share the spoils of the Khrushchev "liberalization" era and appointed Dubeck the 1st secretary of the Slovak party in 1963. Dubcek, allegedly on the advice of a known Soviet agent named Vasil Bilak, took advantage of ethnic polarities in his politically confused country. In January, 1968, he replaced Novotny as 1st secretary and President.

The "springtime of freedom" in Czechoslovakia was short-lived. In August, 1968, the Soviet Army invaded with its tanks and curfews. In April, 1969, Dubcek was forced to step down, surrendering the Presidency to Dr. Gustav Husak, an old enemy.

And Today: Alexander Dubcek is a victim of what Life magazine crassly called "socialist downward mobility." From April to October, 1969, he served as chairman of the National Assembly. In January, 1970, he was named Ambassador to Turkey, only to be recalled in June of that year and ousted from the party. In the late spring of 1971, it was discovered that he managed a garage for the Bratislava parks department and he was photographed commuting on city trains with his fellow "comrades." In the fall of 1972, Dubcek was reportedly working at a desk job and wearing a green uniform at the Regional Forestry Administration. At that time he lived with his family in Bratislava on Mouse Street--perhaps an apt name. Recently, the Czechoslovak Embassy in Washington confirmed that Alexander Dubcek still labored as a clerk in Bratislava. However, during 1975, Dubcek began to openly criticize the Czech Government. Fearing a resurgence of support for Dubcek and his democratic ideals, the Government launched a strong propaganda campaign against him and told him that he was free to leave the country forever.

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