In 1978, the communist regime celebrated 30 years of its existence, and its position seemed unshakable. In a country fenced by barbed wire, society was striving to comply with the sixth five-year plan, while party members tried hard to meet the conclusions of the 15th Communist Party congress. But not everything was as flawless as the ruling communists wished.
The Praha radio station regularly broadcast a programme called Horizont 1978. One segment was called Freedom, But for Whom? It began like this: „Our people are very well aware how much our lives have changed in the last 30 years. These changes for the better, immanent in a socialist state, inspire anti-government elements to start different campaigns debasing our lives. They blame us for living a quiet and happy life.“
A year earlier, the Charter 77 described what the euphemism ‚happy life‘ meant at the time of normalisation: Violating elementary human rights, spying, communist ideology indoctrination from the earliest age, economic shortcomings. The Charter called for a dialogue, but the irritated regime responded with aggressive persecution. Some people in Prague and other cities started to carry „safety packages“ with them: A toothbrush, toothpaste and a supply of cigarettes to be used in case they were suddenly detained.
The secret police, the StB, arrested Václav Havel,Pavel Landovský and