LONDON (Jan. 23)
Two of Czechoslovakia’s most prominent liberals of the pre-Soviet invasion period–both Jews–returned unexpectedly to Prague yesterday and were immediately sworn into the Czech regional Parliament amid emotional reunions with their friends and former colleagues. They are Dr. Ota Sik, a former Deputy Prime Minister and architect of the economic reforms in the regime of Alexander Dubcek, and Dr. Eduard Goldstuecker, a leading author, former head of the Czech Writers Union and vice rector of Charles University in Prague.
Both were quoted as saying that they would stay in Czechoslovakia for a short time and then go abroad again to meet “commitments” to universities where they were studying and lecturing. They were also quoted as saying they expected to return to Czechoslovakia permanently after the end of the summer school term this year. Dr. Sik has been living in Basel, Switzerland, and Dr. Goldstuecker was working as a visiting professor of comparative literature at Sussex University in England.
Both men were denounced as “revisionists” and “anti-Socialist” by Soviet authorities at the time of the invasion of Czechoslovakia last August. It was reported then that warrants were issued for their arrests. There were no indications why they returned to their homeland at this time. Their return coincided with mounting protests against Soviet repression which has taken the form of hunger strikes and self-immolation by several Czech students, one of whom has died.