Cover Osteuropa 4-6/2021

In Osteuropa 4-6/2021

The Prague Spring as Cause for Thought
Between Disillusion, Grief, and Melancholy

Pavel Kolář

Deutsche Fassung


The military suppression of the Prague Spring was a turning point. Protagonists from back then and historians agree that the crackdown was accompanied by enormous disillusionment. In global historical terms, 1968 was a defeat for socialism and a part of the left’s decline. The left showed itself unable to come to terms with the causes in a critical manner. It sought refuge into melancholy or cynicism. Some seek to toss the Prague Spring on the ash heap of history. But working through the grief and the memory of that era’s yearnings and experiments could provide cause for thought with regard to the present.

(Osteuropa 4-6/2021, pp. 411–424)