Rede von Ludvík Vaculík, 1967
The IV. Congress of the Czechoslovak Writer’s Union took place from 27-29 June 1967. Criticism of limitations on publishing, complete control over freedom of speech and opinion as well as the unquestioned “leading role” of the Communist Party voiced by those present reached a crescendo. Milan Kundera, Vaclav Havel, Pavel Kohout, Karl Kosik, Ivan Klima, Antonim Liehm and Ludvík Vaculík stressed the necessity for societal reforms so fervently that the official delegation of the KPČ symbolically left the room, later ejecting Vasulik, Klima, Liehm and others from the party. Their remarks were copied and distributed widely, assisting the “Prague Spring” movement in finding its footing. Vaculík’s statements were translated into German. This Leporello (folding book) containing Vaculík’s “On Power” and from the East German Samizdat is now in the Archive of Opposition to the GDR. It remains unknown who translated the work, or who put it into circulation, however, its reception is documented. In 1968, Vaculík was rehabilitated and elected Member of the Central Committee of the Writer’s Union; in 1969, however, after being found to be the author of the “Manifest of Two-thousand words” again ejected from the KPČ. He is purported to have been a co—founder of Charta 77.
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- Sonnenberg, Uwe