This film report was made in July 1968. This was at the height of the reform
period in Czechoslovakia.
The reforms began in January 1968. Alexander Dubcek wanted to give Communist
rule 'a human face'. He removed censorship, restricted the activities of the
secret police and brought in economic reforms.
At the same time, he was loyal to Moscow and had no intention of leaving
the Warsaw Pact.
Dubcek's reforms were popular and successful in Czechosloakia. However,
they alarmed Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. He took over in 1964 and was not
a reformer like Khrushchev had been.
Brezhnev was pressured by Communist leaders in East Germany, Poland and
Romania to stop Dubcek. They were worried that their own people would demand
reforms if Dubcek carried on without the USSR stopping him.
Brezhnev tried to pressure Dubcek in a series of tense meetings in the
Summer of 1968. Tensions seemed to be easing when Soviet tanks suddenly
entered Czechoslovakia in August 1968.