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Dispatch from Budapest Outlining Hungarian Concerns about Events in Czechoslovakia after the Dresden Meeting, April 6, 1968
Our Source: Navratil,
Jaromir. "The Prague Spring 1968". Hungary: Central European Press,
1998, pp. 81-82
Original Source: Sb. KV, K – Archiv MZV, Dispatches Received 2950/1968; Vondrová & Navratíl, vol. 1, pp. 128-129
Translated by: Mark Kramer, Joy Moss and Ruth Tosek
Comment: This document is a summery of the HSWP Politburo meeting, right after the Dresden meeting, sent by the Czechoslovak ambassador in Hungaria.
The plenary session of the HSWP Central Committee met on 27 March. The press contained only scanty reports about the proceedings. Komocsin reported on the meeting in Dresden, and at a later gathering of top party officials he made an assessment of the events in the ČSSR. He said there bad been fundamental changes in the political life of the ČSSR, which were continuing. The HSWP was worried that as the situation unfolded, the Action Program would gradually take on a revisionist character. The HSWP bad expected the situation to calm down after the January CPCz plenary session, but the very opposite, happened. They were afraid that a situation analogous to that in Hungary in 1956 would arise. Komocsin said they bad told this to Dubček, who rejected such an allegation, arguing that Prague would not become Budapest. Dubček went on to say that an internal revolution and a process of renewal were taking place in the ČSSR gradually, and that political leadership was firmly under the control of the CPCz. The HSWP did not share this assessment and did not agree, The HSWP bad its own information indicating that the communist party in the ČSSR bad lost control of events and that decisions about the way things in the ČSSR should proceed were now being made in the streets rather than in the CC. The Czechoslovak press and radio openly approved efforts to introduce a new electoral law that would provide for a system of bourgeois democracy in the future. There are no signs that the party can regain control over events. Everything is being solved in the streets. Communists, including members of the CPCz Central Committee, have joined forces with elements in the streets and are backing them. They are acting on the basis of their own political platform, including some who want to rehabilitate themselves in the public's eyes and others who wish to do so for their own peace of mind. Some time ago Dubček invited journalists from the press, radio, and television to see him and asked them to stop putting down the results of 20 years of work, to avoid writing in anti-Soviet terms, and to abandon demands for neutrality. Such activities, Dubček said, were giving impetus to a pro-Western orientation, and that did not serve the interests of the CPCz. /.../
Pangelov, a secretary at the embassy of the Bulgarian People's Republic, declared that diplomats of the socialist camp in the Hungarian People's Republic were of the same opinion that there must not be a return of capitalism in the ČSSR. It is possible for our camp to lose the GDR but never the ČSSR, which is neither Vietnam nor Korea. It is in the center of Europe. The fate of the world revolution will always be determined in Europe. If there were a breach in the socialist camp, the socialist countries would not hesitate to use military force against the ČSSR as a last resort.