'); else base.writeln(''); base.writeln('
'); base.close(); } } //-->
Letter from Leonid Brezhnev to Alexander Dubček Regarding the CPCz´s Purported Failure to Carry Out Pledges Made at Čierna and Bratislava, August 16, 1968
Our Source: Navratil, Jaromir.
"The Prague Spring 1968". Hungary: Central European Press, 1998, pp. 366-367
Original Source: ÚSD, AÚD KSČ, F. 07/15; Vondrová & Navrátil, vol. 2, pp. 187-189
Translated by: Mark Kramer, Joy Moss and Ruth Tosek
Comment: This letter was sent to Alexander Dubček from Leonid Brezhnev on August 16, 1968. Brezhnev is still fuming because the Czechoslovak authorities have ignored him.
After the long telephone conversation with you on 13 August I am compelled once again to return to the subject we discussed. I am doing this because of certain points in that conversation which I have no right or reason to ignore.
Above all, I wish to stress the seriousness and gravity of our talks with you concerning the results of the meetings between the CPSU CC Politburo and the CPCz CC Presidium when all members were present and also when just certain representatives from the CPSU CC Politburo and the CPCz CC Presidium got together. These results were of great significance for our parties, for our states, and for the entire socialist camp.
All of us, as representatives of the fraternal parties that met in Bratislava, attach enormous importance to these talks and to the decisions and commitments that were approved. It seems that, without question, the main thing now is to fulfill the programmatic clauses of the document adopted in Bratislava and also to take practical measures to fulfil the agreements reached in Čierna nad Tisou. The latter agreements include those adopted at the plenary session of the CPCz CC Presidium and the CPSU CC Politburo, as well as at the talks involving just four representatives per side from the CPSU CC Politburo and the CPCz CC Presidium.
However, the course of events shows that the mass media have begun describing the results of the talks from right-wing positions and are continuing their anti-Soviet, anti-socialist attacks.
A witch-hunt has begun against workers at the Auto-Praha factory. I will not repeat all the facts I spoke you about on the phone. You must understand that the complexity of the situation in the CPCz and the organized attacks of right-wing, anti-socialist, and counterrevolutionary elements disturb us. For this very reason I decided to call you in the hope of receiving the proper replies. I want to be frank and say that as regards the measures taken by the CPCz toward the mass media, I have, in fact, received no reply. What specific measures are being taken by the CPCz CC Presidium on this matter?
During the talks in Čierna nad Tisou you told us about your decision to divide the bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in order to strengthen the security of the country. At the time, Cde. Černik declared that a government decision on this matter was ready and would be turned over in the near future to Cde. Smrkovský in the National Assembly, and Cde. Smrkovský declared that by 25 August this bill would be passed. During my phone conversation with you, I had the impression that the implementation of this decision was being postponed to an unspecified date.
On personnel matters:
In Čierna nad Tisou you told us firmly that you would release Cdes. Kriegel, Císař, and Pelikán from their posts. During the telephone conversation, you for some reason seemed nervous when, this point came up. It was difficult to understand what brought that on, and furthermore I did not understand what was being done in this regard.
Overall, I had the impression that the CPCz CC Presidium is not demonstrating the necessary initiative and determination in fulfilling the measures that we agreed upon. All these measures were meant to put up serious resistance to the rightist forces and the anti-socialist and counterrevolutionary elements, and to defend the CPCz and the gains of socialism in Czechoslovakia. Perhaps you were agitated by some sort of private matter, as sometimes happens in our lives.
At the end of our talk you apologized, but the questions that interest us were not explained satisfactorily. I do not wish to jump to conclusions about the reason for this delay, and therefore I decided to request you to send me an answer through Cde. Chervonenko.