In the months before August 1968, a number of the most dyed-in-the-wool members of the Czechoslovak Communist Party had authored a letter to the Soviet government, inviting Soviet troops to invade the country to put an end to the so-called Prague Spring.  This the Soviets duly did on the night of 20 August, 1968, thereby cutting short the Czechoslovak experiment with “socialism with a human face” and ushering in another thirty years of de facto slavery.

Only one of the signatories of this so-called letter of invitation is still alive today.  It is the Slovak Vasil Bil’ak, who is a very healthy 95 today and living in a high-class part of Bratislava.  As every other functionary from those “bad old days,” he has escaped punishment.  In his particular case, prosecution foundered on the need to examine the original letter of invitation to verify the authenticity of Comrade Bil’ak’s signature.  Not surprisingly, the Soviets Russians refused to provide the evidence.

As unjust as this is, it is the right way to go.  In a democracy, conviction can only result from the available evidence.

In the meanwhile, however, there is nothing wrong with occasionally reminding Bil’ak and other Communist-era criminals of what they had done.  And this is exactly what Slovak Parliamentarian Alojz Hlina did on this year’s anniversary of the invasion (h/t iDNES).  The inventive Mr. Hlina had a Soviet tank transported to the street in front of Bil’ak’s villa and had the barrel pointed at one of the windows.  “Let Comrade Bil’ak see what it feels like to have a tank gun aimed at his house,” Mr. Hlina said.

Mr. Hlina is planning a similar action on November 17th, the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.  His target will be Alojz Lorenc, the last head of the Communist-era state secret police (StB) who, like Bil’ak, is living in the lap of luxury.


About Michael J. Kubat

I'm a grumpy Czech-born clinical social worker who is vitally interested in the survival in the United States as a viable democracy and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
This entry was posted in Czechoslovakia, democracy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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