Jaroslav Šabata's Study: The Breakthrough Moment of the Prague Spring
Jaroslav Šabata analysed the events of August 1968 and wrote several studies about the occupation of Czechoslovakia. One of them was “The Breakthrough Moment of the Prague Spring”, which he wrote after 1973. This study, in preserved form, also includes an interview with Jaroslav Šabata about the events of the Prague Spring for an unpublished German magazine.
Part of this volume is also an interview with Jaroslav Šabata. The interview was held on 9/8/ 1990 in Brno in the presence of Dr. Vlašánek, Dr. Povolný and Dr. Kavín. Dr. Kavin was invited by Jaroslav Šabata to testify as a significant co-witness. The questions are not explicitly highlighted in the text, but the discussion addressed different themes. They were interested in the political situation in Brno at the turn of 1967/1968, whether Brno participated in the exchange of the leading secretary of the party, and what role was played by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPC) Regional Organization in Brno and the Municipal Committee of the Communist Party in Brno. Vlašánek and Povolný also asked Šabata about the circumstances and reaction to the adoption of the action program and the meeting with Dubcek in May 1968. It also looked at whether informal initiatives and the seeds of a new social democratic party were at work in Brno. Šabata also reports its CPC policy from January to August 1968. The interviewees also wanted to know what the role of the Vysočany Congress was, and why it did not work until the return of politicians from Moscow. The conversation then continued on August 23, 1990, when Jaroslav Šabata was asked why he was not co-opted into the CPC Central Committee in August 1968, and what was going on with the Czech politicians who were in Moscow. They also wanted to know how Šabata engaged in the Moravian Movement in 1968 and how Jaroslav Šabata generally saw the message of 1968 to today's Czechoslovakia.
Jaroslav Šabata's article "The Breakthrough Moment of the Prague Spring” was a response to the text by Jan Moravec, "Need for a New Initiative" and "Second Center Platform" by V. Biľak". The interview, which is part of Šabata´s study, was conducted in German by Mathias Richter and Inka Thunecke in Brno on 3/7/2004. It contained questions about whether the Prague Spring was the last attempt of Europe to fight for democratic socialism, and whether it was a third position, between capitalism and socialism, what Dubcek's role in this process was, and whether they were inspired by the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. They also talked about the Charter 77 and its position on the ecological movement as well as the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl.
This whole set of documents is a unique testimony of Jaroslav Šabata's views, attitudes and memories of the Prague Spring and the occupation in August 1968, what preceded it and what the situation in Moravia looked like.
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- Vrtálková, Anna