- Vladimir Tismaneanu: What source do you use in your classroom to help students understand the events of 1989?
- Vladimir Tismaneanu: How do you teach the letters found in Adam Michnik's book?
- Vladimir Tismaneanu: How do you teach Adam Michnik's book in the classroom?
- Vladimir Tismaneanu: How do you help your students interpret the passage you read about an independent, self-governing union?
- Bradley Abrams: How do you help students make sense of 1989?
- Bradley Abrams: What sources do you use to teach 1989?
- Bradley Abrams: What else is significant about the Declaration of the Creation of Charter 77?
- Bradley Abrams: How did the regime respond to Charter 77?
- Bradley Abrams: Why is the 28th of January remarkable?
- Bradley Abrams: How do you put the anti-Charter into context for students?
- Padraic Kenney: What is remarkable about the poem and the leaflet together?
- Padraic Kenney: How should students interpret the poem?
- Padraic Kenney: What is significant about the poem?
- Padraic Kenney: Does this poem help explain the strike?
- Padraic Kenney: How do you analyze the leaflet?
- Padraic Kenney: What is significant about the leaflet?
- Padraic Kenney: What sources help us understand the strikes?
- Maria Bucur: Is there a particular source that is important to study?
- Maria Bucur: How do students study 1989 in your classroom?
- Maria Bucur: What is difficult to understand about the "Common European Home" speech?
- Maria Bucur: What is important about Ceausescu's last speech?
- Maria Bucur: How do you help students understand Ceausescu's last speech?
- Maria Bucur: What is unique about viewing Ceausescu's last speech?
- Bradley Abrams: How do you use the Charter Declaration and the anti-Charter together with students?
Bradley Abrams: How did the regime respond to Charter 77?
My second source is one of the regime’s responses to Charter 77. After the Charter was published in the west, the regime responded initially with an article in Rude Pravo, the Communist Party daily newspaper.
It didn’t single out Charter 77, didn’t mention the document. It talked about people who were odpadliks, people who had fallen away from society. It talks about bankrupt politicians, obviously referring to people from 1968, talks about counter-revolutionaries. So the attentive reader could figure out that something was going on, but not exactly what was going on.
This got much worse on the 12th of January when an article that I translate as “wreckers” or “ruiners and usurpers” comes out. And it mentions the Charter explicitly and calls it the work of "international reaction which is trying to create the appearance of some kind of international front. And that the signatories were a group of people from the ranks of the bankrupt Czechoslovak bourgeoisie and also from the ranks of the bankrupt organizers of the counter-revolution of 1968." So now we’re getting a little bit closer to what’s going on.
They called the document an anti-state, anti-socialist, and anti-people against the people, __________ is the word that they use in Czech. And "demagogic libel which flagrantly and falsely slanders the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the revolutionary achievements of the people. Its authors blame our society because life in it is not arranged in accordance with their bourgeoisie and elitist preconceptions." So you have the mention of the document and you have some language against the writers. They call Vaclav Havel the committed, anti-socialist and they list some of the major figures and attach epithets to them.