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Monday, February 01, 2010


The Velvet Revolution was the triumph of freedom in Czechoslovakia when people rose up against the communists & without violence, overthrew them & established a free & democratic society.

The Velvet Revolution was a fraud, orchestrated by a hidden conspiracy directed from the Kremlin

These look like 2 incompatible theories, one held by all right thinking people who trust their free & democratic governments & the other by a small group of paranoid, probably extreme right wing, conspiracy nuts.

The fact is that both are true. Governments were falling across eastern Europe, which had been held in power by the now failing USSR. That the people did mostly hate the government & want it replaced by democracy & freedom. The fact is also that the actual revolution was organised by Russians & their local friends in an attempt to stop Russia being embarrassed by the remaining hard line eastern European state & hopefully to set up a liberal Gorbachevian regime which would remain committed to socialism.

The author of this article clearly doesn't like the conspiracy theory but admits to the facts
According to the official version, the Velvet Revolution started on November the 17th , when the Socialist Youth Organization (SSM) arranged a demonstration in Prague’s Albertov district to commemorate Jan Opletal, a medic who was shot dead by the Nazi occupants in 1939. After some brief speeches, the students marched to Karel Hynek Mácha’s grave at Vyšehrad – and then towards the centre of Prague.

By the time they reached the end of the Národní Avenue, where special riot police forces blocked access to Wenceslas Square, the students were accompanied by tens of thousands of ordinary citizens, who peacefully chanted freedom slogans. Yet the Special Forces reacted with a brutality uncommon even to the Bolshevik regime. When the savage beatings ceased an hour later, nearly forty demonstrators had been rushed off to hospitals, and one student was even reported murdered by the police.

The violent action on the evening of November the 17th later became known as the “Massacre on the Národní Avenue” (a rather pathetic monument to commemorate the event has been installed in the arcade outside Národní 16). The word “massacre” may seem a bit exaggerated, since the only dead demonstrator, as it was established some days later, was actually a fake (although the alleged police murder served as an effective reminder of Jan Palach). Nevertheless, the regime’s brutal behaviour against defenceless students triggered a strike among Czech actors and subsequent demonstrations and civic protests in nearly every city and town in the country.

In the following days, the Bolsheviks were forced to renounce one privilege after another. After two weeks of mass demonstrations – some of them attended by almost one million Czechs – the regime collapsed entirely. “Love and truth” had finally defeated “lies and hate”, and the Czechs had added a bright – and much-needed – chapter to their modern history. Or was everything different? Visit any hospoda in this country, and you’ll probably hear another version. To quite a few Czechs, the Velvet Revolution was, in reality, a reform-communist putsch that failed.

One of the best “proofs” of this conspiracy theory is that the students, participating in the demonstrations on November the 17th were led to the centre of Prague by an agent from the secret police, or StB who acted as a radical SSM agitator (the agent’s presence was later documented). At Národní Avenue, the same secret agent supposedly played the role of the student who was beaten to death by the police. The purpose? To publicly discredit the orthodox leadership of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and thus help the Party’s reform wing gain power.

In other words, Czech secret police staged the Velvet Revolution with political backing from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his reform-minded comrades in Czechoslovakia. Both the students and dissident movement were exploited as unknowing instruments, but for some reason or other, the plot didn’t succeed.
There is no question that this happened since the student beaten to death whose death was the catalyst of the revolution is known & is alive.
Ludvík Zifčák and assisted by other secret agents (those who took him to hospital and initially disseminated the rumor). Zifčák is currently a chairman of the "Communist Party of Czechoslovakia", a non-parliamentary group willing to re-establish a Communist regime, with popular support below 1%, and rejects all inquiries relating to his role in the revolution


The Army and People's Militia were ready to attack the demonstrators, but did not receive orders to do so.
Secret police carried out surveillance on all the leaders of the revolution and had the ability to arrest them. However, they did not do so and let the revolution progress.
A Soviet military advisor was present in the control center of the police force, which beat the demonstrators on November 17. Supposedly, he did not intervene, but his role is unclear.
But it seems likely that, having started the revolution Gorbachov found that the man he wished to put in charge of a revamped socialist Czechoslovakia, Zdenek Mylanr didn't want the job
Following the Velvet Revolution of November 1989, there were rumours that Gorbachev's reform-minded KGB and their Czechoslovak collaborators had plotted to install Mlynar as the leader of a revamped CPCz to prevent the complete collapse of communism

What does this show. Well it shows the real world is much stranger if we do not ignore the men behind the curtain. It shows that conspiracies are endemic to human society even though they get written out later. But it also shows that conspirators are not the all knowing grandmasters of the chess board of existence but as fallible as the rest of us whose conspiracies, by the very nature of their complexity, are likely to break down & achieve something quite different to what was intended. And it shows that inconvenient individuals, making a stand at the appropriate, or inappropriate, time can, in this chaotic universe, have astonishing influence.

Zdenek Mylanr 1930-1997

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