It was August 21st 1968, the world was turning upside-down in Czechoslovakia. The reform movement, which became known as the Prague Spring, was brutally crushed by the Soviet Union and her Warsaw Pact allies. In the days that followed the streets of every major city in the country, especially Prague and Bratislava, filled with people protesting the aggression, pleading with their occupiers to turn around and go home. Vaclav Zabransky left Czechoslovakia not long after the invasion, he now is a successful business man living in the United States.
A commemorative ceremony was held outside the Czech Radio building at Vinohradska street on Wednesday, August 21st to mark the 34th anniversary of the Soviet led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Some 150 people came to pay homage to the victims of the invasion and to recall the days when Warsaw Pact tanks rolled into Prague to crush the Prague Spring reform movement. At the end of the ceremony, people laid flowers under a plaque bearing the names of 15 people, among them several radio editors, who were killed in the street skirmishes.
August 21st is the anniversary of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, without question one of the bleakest days in the country's history. The invasion marked the end of the tentative reforms of the Prague Spring - which had given hope to so many - and the beginning of many years of stultifying repression by the Communist regime.
Newly-declassified documents released by Britain's Public Record Office on Thursday contained some fascinating revelations. According to a letter dated March 19, 1969, Britain and the United States were seriously discussing plans for a military conflict with the Soviet Union, in the wake of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. And as reports, London and Washington believed the NATO alliance could have collapsed if Soviet influence had been allowed to extend further into Europe. His report begins with a Czechoslovak Radio announcement from