In 1968 Czechoslovakia began a brief period of loosening Communist control. However, the Prague Spring ended swiftly with the Soviet invasion of August 1968. In this activity students will learn about the developments leading up to the invasion by reading the transcript of an important telephone conversation that took place one week before the invasion.
Students will go to the Prague Spring '68 Web site to read a transcript of an important conversation between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and Czechoslovak Communist Party leader Alexander Dubcek. After answering a series of questions about the conversation, students will interpret the intentions of Brezhnev and Dubcek. Each student will compile some important statements from the conversation and then offer an interpretation of the two leaders' statements.
- Students will be able to analyze transcripts of a telephone conversation between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and Czechoslovak Communist Party leader Alexander Dubcek.
- Students will be able to apply what they have learned about the Prague Spring to analyze and evaluate the statements made in the transcript of the telephone conversation.
Student Web Activity Answers
- Brezhnev's main concern is the growing number of attacks on the Soviet Union in the news media of Czechoslovakia.
- Brezhnev's main accusation is that Dubcek is intentionally deceiving him and the Soviet leadership.
- Cierna nad Tisou and Bratislava were the locations of previous discussions between Dubcek and the Soviet leadership at which Dubcek agreed to halt the anti-Soviet reformist movement in Czechoslovakia.
- According to Brezhnev, Dubcek promised at Cierna nad Tisou to crack down on the media and to remove certain reformist, or "rightist," officials from their posts within the Czechoslovak government.
- Students' examples and explanations will vary.
Go To Student Web Activity