August 21, 2005

THE HUMAN FACE:

Strongman sorry for Prague Spring (AFP, August 22, 2005)

FORMER Polish communist strongman, Wojciech Jaruzelski, has apologised to the Czech Republic and Slovakia for Poland's role in the Soviet-led invasion in August 1968 that crushed a pro-democracy movement.

"I have felt bad, I have been tormented by that," said Jaruzelski during a broadcast on Czech public television, 37 years to the day after the invasion of then Czechoslovakia.

Troops from the Soviet Union and four former Warsaw Pact countries squashed the so-called "Prague Spring", a movement led by Slovak reformer Alexander Dubcek that tried to put "a human face on socialism" through democratic reforms to the totalitarian regime in power in Prague.

"It was a stupid political act," said Jaruzelski, 82, who was Poland's defence minister at the time.

"I now make my apologies."


Perhaps the key to understanding communism is that the blood-drenched General Jaruzelski was the very best man it could produce.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 21, 2005 7:25 PM
Comments

Very interesting link.

The reviewer's decade-old conclusion is reinforced by the EU's recent decision to admit both Poland and the Czech Republic.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 21, 2005 10:32 PM

All the old Communists are alive to reflect on the fact that each and every one of them has been suffered to go on drawing breath by virtue of the values they had struggled so long to overthrow.

Posted by: Lou Gots at August 21, 2005 11:01 PM
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