Czechoslovakia: Joy & Guilt

The orgy of breast-beating confessions was reminiscent of the old days, but the roles were curiously reversed. At Prague's Hradčany castle last week, deposed Party Boss Antonín Novotný led members of his old guard in recanting past mistakes before the Communist Party's Central Committee. He had, Novotný admitted, been guilty of "serious errors and aberrations" that had left "a dark stain" on the country. The reformers, many of whom had been humiliated by worse rituals in the past, did not linger long over their triumphal moment. After days of debate and amendment, they...

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