Havel’s Biafra of spirit? Prague Spring and the student movement

by Jan Kavan

Continuing our special series connected with the Cambridge Central European Conference: Prague Spring and its legacies on Saturday 28 April 2018, Czech politician Jan Kavan, a student leader in the 1960s and founder of the Palach Press Agency, looks back at the impact of the student movement on the events of 1968 and vice versa.

I was one of the Czech student leaders in the period 1963–1969 and therefore involved in the movement that brought about the Prague Spring of 1968. By the end of that year, I was one of the Czech student leaders who formed an alliance with individual industrial trade unions as part of the resistance against the Soviet occupation and especially against the concession-making government.