Czechoslovakia: Reason to Hope

Czechoslovakia's Party Boss Antonín Novotný rose to the top in 1953—the year of Stalin's death—but never quite adjusted to the Kremlin's new softer line or Eastern Europe's post-Stalin era of liberalization. Only a few months ago, he severely warned the country's intellectuals that he would never tolerate "the spread of liberalism" or any other contaminating Western ideology. In turn, Czechoslovakia never really adjusted to Novotný. Recently, an increasingly vocal opposition to his hardlining ways percolated right up to the innermost circles of the Communist Party. Last month the ruling Presidium voted 8-2 to fire Novotný as party chief, and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!