In today's One on One I speak to Nandanie and Asoke Weerasinghe. Both are successful professionals in Alberta, Canada, thanks to their determination and a good education which started with a scholarship to study in Prague. Nandanie studied medicine at Charles University and Asoke engineering at Prague's Technical University. Prague is where they met; they eventually went on to complete their studies in Western Europe, emigrated to Canada and finally got married in their home country of Sri Lanka. They came to Czechoslovakia during the big changes
Poland's former Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski has apologised for the role his country played in the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. General Jaruzelski served as Defence Minister in August 1968, when 26,000 Polish troops joined the huge invasion force which crossed Czechoslovakia's borders.
Ceremonies took place throughout the Czech Republic on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops. The invasion 37 years ago marked an end to the democratisation process that came to be known as the Prague Spring. Czech President Vaclav Klaus spent part of the day in Brno, where he spoke at the opening of an exhibition of historic photographs and documents from the period.
Victims of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of the former Czechoslovakia may finally win compensation. The lower house of the Czech parliament has approved a bill, now awaiting Senate approval, which would provide compensation to relatives of those killed during the invasion, as well as to those killed, raped or injured by Soviet or Warsaw Pact troops who occupied the country until 1991.
The lower house of parliament has passed a bill under which the Czech Republic should pay compensation to victims of the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia between 1968 and 1991. The bill awards 150,000 crowns (6,631 dollars) to the families of dozens of people killed in the invasion, and smaller amounts to people injured or raped. Soviet troops and soldiers from four other communist countries invaded Czechoslovakia on August 21, 1968, to halt a liberalisation movement led by Czechoslovak Communist party chief Alexander Dubcek. After the invasion, the Soviet Union helped install a hard-line leadership which dismissed reformers from the party and jobs, and suppressed human rights and opposition movements. Soviet troops stayed in Czechoslovakia until 1991. The bill must still win the backing of the Senate.
Last weekend was the 36th anniversary of one of the most tragic events associated with the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. On 16th January 1969, a twenty-year-old student Jan Palach doused himself with petrol and set himself alight on Prague's Wenceslas Square. It was a desperate protest against the invasion and growing public apathy in the face of the process known as "normalization", as the hardliners gradually regained control. Jan Palach died from his burns three days later, and around the world his sacrifice became one of the
In this edition of Czechs in History, we look at the life and career of Gustav Husak, a Slovak native who left an indelible mark on Czech history as the last communist president of Czechoslovakia. Gustav Husak was born in Bratislava in 1913. A gifted and talented student, he trained as a lawyer at Comenius University, where he also joined the Communist Party in 1933.
The writer Jan Stavinoha was born in Prague in May 1945, a couple of weeks after the Soviet Red Army freed the Czechoslovak capital from Nazi control. In 1968 the Soviet Army returned to Prague not as liberators but as oppressors. Stavinoha, then a 23-year-old student of classical music, forged paperwork saying he was a "reliable person" worthy of a passport — and fled to the West. Today, nearly 40 years later, he is a popular 'Dutch' novelist, and, he says, a "tourist" in his homeland.
Czech historians are to be allowed access to much of the Russian archival material that was closed to them up to now. Likely to be of the greatest interest to Czech researchers is documentation connected to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, which brought an end to the country's attempt at reforms aimed at bringing "socialism with a human face".
Forgotten Czech net bag makes a comeback
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary
15 years later – was ending military service right move for Czech Republic?