Accessibility links

Breaking News

Famous Czech Dissident Writer Vaculik Dies

Ludvik Vaculik, an anticommunist dissident writer and journalist whose Two Thousand Words manifesto was a key document in the 1968 Prague Spring movement, has died at the age of 88.

Vaculik's death was reported on June 6.

Vaculik wrote Two Thousand Words at the request of leading scientists to support the reform process in communist Czechoslovakia.

It also contributed to the Kremlin's decision to invade Czechoslovakia and put down the Prague Spring.

Vaculik wrote in the manifesto that, due to communist rule, "the nation reached a point where its spiritual health and character are under threat."

Two Thousand Words was published on July 27, 1968 in four major newspapers one day after media censorship was temporarily abolished.

Hundreds of thousands of Czechoslovaks signed the manifesto in support of reforms.

But, a few months later, Soviet leader Leonid Brehznev launched an invasion that ended reforms and ousted reformist Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubcek.

Vaculik's major books include The Guinea Pigs, The Czech Dreambook, and A Cup Of Coffee with My Interrogator.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters