The ‘Anti-Prague Spring’: Neo-Stalinist and Ultra-Leftist Extremism in Czechoslovakia, 1968–70

  • Kevin McDermottEmail author
  • Vítězslav Sommer


McDermott and Sommer’s chapter focuses on an important, but under-researched controversy in the history of the Prague Spring: the beliefs, mentalities and impact of the ultra-reactionary ‘neo-Stalinists’ in the Czechoslovak Communist Party. Conventional wisdom has it that the party and nation stood solidly behind Dubček’s reforms, aside from a tiny band of ‘traitors’. The authors suggest that while the bulk of party activists broadly supported the ‘renewal process’, there was a tenacious core of sectarians vocally promoting the thesis that ‘counter-revolution’ was stalking Czechoslovakia and, crucially, such ideas influenced large swathes of regional officials, party members and industrial workers. McDermott and Sommer conclude that these diffuse anti-reformist undercurrents were mobilised after the invasion to affect the relatively smooth transition from the Prague Spring to ‘normalisation’.


Czechoslovak Politics Fraternal Assistance Political Cabinet Warsaw Pact Invasion Social Fascists 
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We wish to thank Jitka Bílková, Pavel Kobera, Božena Vlčková, Jitka Vondrová and especially Jiří Hoppe for their kind assistance in locating archival sources for this chapter.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK
  2. 2.Institute of Contemporary HistoryCzech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic

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