On Jan. 5, 1968, Alexander Dubcek became first secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. He initiated the “Prague Spring,” a period of liberalization in the socialist state that prompted violent Soviet suppression.
On 5 January 1968, reformist Alexander Dubček was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and continued until 21 August when the Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact invaded the country to halt his reforms. The period became known as the Prague Spring. Czechoslovakia remained controlled until 1989 when the Velvet Revolution ended pro-Soviet rule peacefully, undoubtedly drawing upon the successes of the non-violent resistance twenty years earlier.
Jozef Lenart and Milous Jakes, Jozef Lenart, who has died of heart failure aged 80, was the hardline prime minister of communist Czechoslovakia from 1963 to 1968. In 2002, he was finally acquitted of treason in relation to the Soviet invasion of 1968; an intervention which ended the Prague Spring and the project symbolised by Alexander Dubcek's "socialism with a human face". Lenart was one of the highest communist functionaries to be called to account for his actions.