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