HUSAK, GRAFFITI PORTRAIT
Prague Travel Blog› entry 10 of 13 › view all entries
February 13th, 2009 – by: pragkid
Gustav Husak was a native Slovak who left an indelible mark on Czech history as the last communist president of Czechoslovakia.
The 1960s saw a softening of the political climate in Czechoslovakia, as reformist elements within the Communist Party sought to establish the “socialism with a human face” espoused by people like Alexander Dubcek.
Initially many were dazzled by Husak’s seemingly zealous enthusiasm for reform during the time of the Prague Spring, which helped him become Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party under Alexander Dubcek in 1968. Unfortunately, however supporters of reform were to discover that Husak would prove to be more interested in his own self-advancement than in effecting any great social changes:
The defining moment in Husak’s political career arrived during the cataclysmic events of August 1968, the invasion of Soviet Tanks, the suppression of the Prague Spring. Once he had been installed as Party Secretary in April 1969, Husak quickly abandoned any reformist pretensions and reinstituted strong Party control over the Czechoslovak economy, state, and society.
During this period of so-called “normalization” Czechoslovakia became a police state with a huge network of government informants. It is a period many Czechs consider to be one of the darkest in their history.
Husak was forced to resign as president following the collapse of communism in 1989.
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