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FOREIGN OFFICE FILES: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Series Three: The Cold War
(Public Record Office Class FO 371 & Related Files)
Part 2: The Prague Spring and Soviet Intervention in Czechoslovakia, 1967-1968
(PRO Classes PREM 13/1373, 1993-1994 & FCO 28/38-57, 68-70, 73-75, 87-145, 571-579 and 615-619)

The second major flash point of the Cold War is documented in these FCO and PREM files covering the Prague Spring and Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia. There is strong material on:

  • The replacement of Novotny by Dubcek’s who promised to steer a middle way between communism and reform, leading to the Prague Spring.
  • Pressure from intellectuals and students demanding radical reforms.
  • Soviets fears the ideological consequences of Dubcek’s reforms.
  • The deterioration in relations between Czechoslovakia and her Warsaw Pact partners culminating in the Soviet invasion in August 1968.
  • The fate of the "counter-revolutionaries".
  • Reactions to the invasion.
  • The threat posed to the security of Western Europe and East-West relations.
  • The repercussions of the crisis.
  • UN Security Council debates.
  • Interviews with Lahoda, the Czech Number Two, at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva in September 1968, with Oldrich Cernik, with Colonel Viliam Šalgovic, former Chairman of the Slovak Party Central Committee Control and Auditing Commission, and with Vasil Bilak, Secretary of the CPCz Central Committee.
"The tragic news from Czechoslovakia shocks the conscience of the world. The Soviet Union and its allies have invaded a defenceless country to stamp out a resurgence of ordinary human freedom. It is a sad commentary on the Communist mind that a sign of liberty in Czechoslovakia is deemed a fundamental threat to the security of the Soviet system." President Johnson.

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