Alexander Dubček (November 27, 1921 - November 7, 1992) was a Slovak politician and briefly leader of Czechoslovakia.
An overview of his functions:
- 1951-1955 and 1960-1968 and 1969-1970: member of/ in 1969 speaker of the federal parliament (National Assembly, since 1969 called Federal Assembly)
- 1964 -1970: member of the Slovak parliament (Slovak National Comitee)
- 1955 -1968 : member of / since 1962 member of the presidium of / since 1963 first secretary of the Central Comitee of the Communist Party of Slovakia
- 1958- 1969: member of / 1960-1962 secretary of / since 1962 member of the presidium of / since 1968 first secretary of the Central Comitee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
- 1969 -1970: ambassador to Turkey
- 1970: expelled from the Communist party
- 1989 - 1992: member of the VPN party (later called ODÚ-VPN)
- 1989 - 1992: speaker of the federal parliament (Federal Assembly)
- 1992 : president and member of the SSDS (Slovak Social Democratic Party); after the 1992 election, member of the parliament representing the SSDS
Under Communism the Czechoslovakian economy in the 1960s was in serious decline and the imposition of central control from Prague disappointed local Communists while the de-Stalinization program caused further disquiet. In October 1967 a number of reformers took action, they challenged First Secretary Antonin Novotny at a Central Committee meeting. Novotny failed to secure support from either his fellow Communists or from Moscow and was forced to resign, Dubcek became the new First Secretary on January 5, 1968. The period from March to August 1968 is termed the Prague Spring, Dubcek attempted to liberalise the government and allow "socialism with a human face".
Dubček was careful enough to attempt to reassure the Soviets that he was still friendly to Moscow, arguing that the reforms were an internal matter. The Prague Spring ended on August 21, when Soviet forces entered Prague. Dubček urged the people not to resist before he and other key reformers were seized and taken to Moscow where they were forced to accede to Soviet demands. Dubček was returned to Prague on August 27 and retained his post as First Secretary for a while.In April 1969 Dubček lost the Secretaryship and was made ambassador to Turkey (1969-70) before being expelled from the party in 1970.
Dubček was considered a "Checko-Slovakist" who for most of his life supported the union of the Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia with Slovakia in a single, although federal, state. His death was seen by many as a fatal blow to those who sought to resist the Velvet Divorce which took place on January 1, 1993, as well as to the new Slovak Republic, that needed a politician with Dubček's international recognition.