Dubček, Alexander (Czech Republic)
Alexander Dubček was First Secretary of the Czechoslovakian Communist Party in 1968–69 and was responsible for a period of social and political reform that came to be known as the Prague Spring. His programme aroused opposition in the Soviet Union and a number of other Eastern Bloc countries, and led to an invasion by Warsaw Pact Troops in Aug. 1968. Dubček was removed from power and most of his reforms overturned but, following the Velvet Revolution in 1989, he returned as Chairman of the Federal Assembly.
Dubček was born on 27 Nov. 1921 in Uhrovec in what is now Slovakia. His father was a cabinet maker and both his parents were communists. They moved to the Soviet Union (to an area that is now part of Kyrgyzstan) when Dubček was 4 years old, returning to Slovakia in 1938. The following year Dubček joined the illegal Czechoslovakia Communist Party (KSC). During World War II he worked in an armaments factory and was active in the resistance movement, also taking...