Cover Osteuropa 5-6/2013

In Osteuropa 5-6/2013

Support in Their Own Country
The Communists in Czechoslovakia

Jiří Pernes

Deutsche Fassung


The communist order in Czechoslovakia was not established on the bayonets of the Soviet Army. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia emerged from the 1946 elections as the strongest party in the Czech part of the country. It controlled the Ministry of Interior, the police, and the intelligence services. The Communists undermined the country’s parliamentary democracy. They shut down parties and other opposing forces such as the church. The public supported this course, which led to communist dictatorship, dependence on Moscow, and the creation of a Soviet-style economic order. Structural shortcomings and developmental weaknesses allowed political and economic reforms to mature. These culminated in the Prague Spring. The Czechoslovak Communist Party’s rule in the 1970s and 1980s, not the Soviet intervention in 1968, led to the hopelessness and malaise that brought people to rebel against the regime.

(Osteuropa 5-6/2013, pp. 191–206)