3.2 A pamphlet about events in Czechoslovakia

No 3 : 30 August 1968

Pamphlets containing protests against the occupation of Czechoslovakia have begun circulating widely in Moscow. The text of one of these documents is printed below.

“LET  US  THINK  FOR  OURSELVES

“The Central Committee and the majority of members of the Communist Party of China, also of the Communist Parties of Albania, Indonesia, North Korea and the so-called “parallel [pro-Chinese] Communist Parties” of Japan, India and Australia declare that ‘bourgeois revisionism’ and open counter-revolution are triumphant in the USSR, that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, having unmasked the cult of Stalin and his crimes and not having recognized the genius of Mao, ‘has betrayed the ideals of proletarian dictatorship’, that ‘the Soviet press slanders China’, and so on.

“But supposing a few of our ardent heirs of Stalin or Beria suddenly decided to call on our Chinese, Albanian and other brothers to come to their aid?

“What if the tanks and parachutists of these brothers suddenly appeared during the night in the streets of our towns? And if their soldiers, in the name of rescuing and defending the ideals of communism — as they understand them — began to arrest the leaders of our Party and State, to close the newspapers, shut down the radio stations, and shoot those who dared to resist?

“Not only the overwhelming majority of Czech and Slovak communists, but also all the Italian, French, English, Swedish and Norwegian communists, as well as Rumanian and Yugoslav communists, in short the huge majority of communists of the whole world — among them the leaders of the 78 (out of 90) parties which have so far supported the Soviet party in its quarrel with the Chinese party — are convinced that after January 1968 Czechoslovakia had for the first time really begun to implement the ideas of Marx, and that in all our writings about ‘counter-revolutionary threats’ and ‘revisionist degeneration’ in Czechoslovakia there was not a single word of truth.

“What if these foreign communists — and with them the great many like-minded people in Hungary, Poland, the GDR [East Germany] and Bulgaria — communists who are convinced that the Soviet party is committing serious political errors, that the consequences of the Stalin cult have not only not been eliminated in our country but have even been considerably strengthened, and that the unprovoked military invasion of a peaceful socialist country bears witness to just this; supposing they all decided to ‘rescue’ us, and to set up in our country the type of socialism that they considered correct, with the help of tanks, guns and parachutists?

“What if there were to appear on the streets of our towns tanks and propagandists with machine-guns, from Yugoslavia, Rumania, Czechoslovakia and the GDR, and they were to begin to prove to us that this signified nothing other than brotherly help and an expression of proletarian solidarity?

“Let us think about all this. Let us think whom all the events of 21 August have really helped, and whom they have harmed.”