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Czechoslovakia Table of Contents



Evaluating public opinion within such a rigid and closed political climate is difficult. Following the 1968 invasion, information emanated largely from Czechoslovak emigres and Western visitors to Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovak citizens risked official retaliation by speaking openly about political matters. Such sources were remarkably consistent, nevertheless, in reporting that the Husak government held the active support of some 10 percent of the population. One study conducted by a group of "former" sociologists in 1974 found that active support existed among 10 to 15 percent of the population. This group, according to the study, consisted of persons involved in the Stalinist repression who feared that a liberal regime would force them to account for their crimes, as well as paid party bureaucrats, old-age pensioners, careerists, "parasites" who would serve any regime, and a handful of extremist communist ideologues. One observer noted that "there has not been such a gap between the ruler and the ruled since the Nazi occupation."

Data as of August 1987