Alexander Dubček (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: After becoming first secretary of the Czechoslovakian Communist Party on January 5, 1968, Dubček led the liberalization movement known as the Prague Spring. He attempted, unsuccessfully, to move Czechoslovakian politics and economy away from Stalinist notions of Marxist socialism.
Alexander Dubček was born in Uhrovec, Czechoslovakia, on November 27, 1921. His father, Stefan, and his mother, Pavlina, had returned to Slovakia from Chicago only a few months before his birth. Although he had become a United States citizen in 1916 at age twenty-five, Stefan was disenchanted with the United States. In 1917, he joined the American Socialist Party, led by Eugene V. Debs, and shortly thereafter was imprisoned for eighteen months when he refused to honor a draft notice. Following his release, and with the encouragement of Pavlina, Stefan began to study the writings of Karl Marx. Their great dissatisfaction with the United States led Stefan and Pavlina to return to their homeland in 1921. By this time, West Slovakia was part of the new state of Czechoslovakia.
In March, 1925, the Dubčeks moved across the Soviet Union to Frunze, a village in Kirgiz Soviet Socialist Republic. Stefan and Pavlina, along with hundreds of other West Slovaks, were responding to an appeal from the Comintern for workers to help the Soviet Union in the construction of a Communist state. Life was difficult in...
(The entire section is 2341 words.)
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