The Warsaw Pact’s Bratislava Declaration (1968)

On August 3rd 1968 delegates from six Warsaw Pact countries signed what became known as the Bratislava Declaration. The declaration affirmed a commitment to Soviet socialism and the “struggle against bourgeois ideology and all anti-socialist forces”. It was motivated at least in part by the Prague Spring reforms in Czechoslovakia:

“In the years that have passed since the rout of fascism and the advent to power of the working class, the peoples of the European countries which have taken the road of socialism have scored victories in all spheres of public life. In these years the parties, overcoming difficulties and permanently improving their work, ensured the creation of powerful industry in every socialist country and the reorganisation of life in the countryside; achieved steady growth of people’s welfare and the flourishing of the national culture. Millions of working people have been awakened to conscious political life. The Soviet Union achieved particularly major successes in building socialism and communism. The international influence of socialist States [and] their role in solving major problems of world politics has grown immeasurably…

Unswerving loyalty to Marxism-Leninism, the education of the masses in the ideas of socialism and proletarian internationalism, and an irreconcilable struggle against bourgeois ideology and all anti-socialist forces, provide a guarantee of success in strengthening the positions of socialism and in administering a rebuff to the schemes of imperialism.

The fraternal parties firmly and resolutely set their unbreakable solidarity and their high degree of vigilance against each and every effort by imperialism, and also by all other anti-communist forces, to weaken the leading role of the working class and the communist parties. They will never allow anyone to drive a wedge between socialist States or to undermine the foundations of the socialist social system…

The participants in the Bratislava meeting discussed the situation in Europe and point out that the increasing activity on the part of the forces of revanchism, militarism, and neo-Nazism in West Germany directly affects the security of socialist States and creates a threat to the cause of world peace. We shall continue consistently to pursue a concerted policy in European affairs in keeping with the common interests of the socialist countries and the interests of European security, and shall continue to rebuff any attempts to revise the results of the Second World War and violate the frontiers that have taken shape in Europe.

We shall continue to insist that the Munich Agreements were null and void from the very outset. We shall continue to render resolute support to the German Democratic Republic. We shall go on rendering constant support to the Communist Party of Germany and to all forces which fight against militarism and revanchism
and for democratic progress…

Now, when the imperialist forces of the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, and other countries are flaunting their aggressive activity and making persistent attempts to weaken the socialist community, the representatives of the fraternal parties consider it necessary to emphasise once again the particular significance of the Warsaw Treaty… The treaty raises an insurmountable obstacle in the path of all those who would like to revise the results of the Second World War. It securely protects the gains of socialism and the sovereignty and independence of the fraternal States. It is aimed at consolidating European security and preserving world peace.

The present situation demands of us tireless efforts to enhance the defence potential of each socialist State and of the socialist community as a whole, and to consolidate political and military co-operation within the Warsaw Treaty Organisation. The participants in the conference regard it as their duty to fight consistently for consolidation of the cohesion of the international Communist movement…”