Monday marks the 60th anniversary of the mysterious death of Jan Masaryk, foreign minister of Czechoslovakia in the 1940s and son of the country’s founder and its first president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. On the morning of March 10, Jan Masaryk’s body was found in the courtyard of Černín Palace, the seat of the Foreign Ministry. To this day his tragic death remains unexplained and is one of the great mysteries of modern Czech history.
Thirty years ago Vladimír Remek became the first man in space who was not from either the United States or the Soviet Union. Remek became a hero not in only in his native Czechoslovakia but throughout the Eastern Bloc after taking part in an eight-day Soviet space mission in March 1978. The former cosmonaut spoke to me about his memories of that historic flight – and the propaganda which accompanied it
Wednesday marks the 39th anniversary of the death of Jan Palach, a Prague student, who set himself alight on Prague’s Wenceslas Square in protest of the general apathy that followed the Soviet led invasion in Czechoslovakia in 1968. His funeral was attended by thousands of people and he became a symbol of Czechoslovak resistance. Students and politicians, including Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, gathered outside the Philosophical Faculty on Wednesday to commemorate Jan Palach’s sacrifice. The faculty has also presented its projects for next year’s 40th anniversary of Palach’s death.
A team of American experts who have been inspecting the potential site of the radar base in the Brdy locality say that if an agreement is reached they would not want to reside in barracks formerly used by Soviet troops who were stationed in the country following the crushing of the Prague Spring reforms. The US team said they would prefer to build their own housing facilities from scratch. The villages bordering on the locality are vehemently opposed to the US radar and the Czech government has attempted to soften their stand with the promise of millions of crowns in state subsidies.
Czech prime minister Mirek Topolanek and other state dignitaries have
attended a special ceremony in front of the Czech Radio building to mark
the 39th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Speaking at the event, Mr Topolanek praised the heroism of those who stood
up to the Warsaw Pact troops, whose invasion of Czechosovakia ended efforts
to establish a more liberal form of socialism in this country.
The prime minister also said it was important to remember the lessons learned from the fate of the so-called Prague Spring to ensure that such events were never repeated. He also paid tribute to Czechoslovak Radio for truthfully informing the people about what was happening in this country during the invasion. The Czech Radio building in Prague was the scene of some of the heaviest clashes between Soviet troops and Czech protesters during August 1968.
On August 21 1968, people woke up to discover that the dream of freedom they were living in the late 1960s had turned into a nightmare. Thirty-nine years ago, the streets of Prague and other cities and towns in Czechoslovakia were full of the tanks and soldiers of five armies led by the Soviet Union. Today, we look back at the anniversary of what for Czechs and Slovaks was one of the formative moments of the 20th century.
Rare hand-made posters dating from the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led forces have been discovered at Prague's Institute of Military History, Lidove noviny reported. A collection of almost 130 posters calling on citizens to resist the invasion was found in a bundle of maps, the paper said. They were originally placed around the top of Wenceslas Square, and were saved by somebody from the institute after an order was made for their removal. There are plans to exhibit the posters next August, 40 years after the invasion.
The second half of the 1960s in Czechoslovakia was a time of change. Things were happening that had not been seen, or even heard of, for almost two decades, since the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia took over the country in February 1948. Twenty years later, people in Czechoslovakia began to wonder whether Soviet-type of 'socialism' was the only way to go. On the eve of the anniversary of the crushing of that movement, we look back at a momentous era in modern Czech history.
Historians are planning a project which will map the stories of Czechoslovak citizens who died tragically during the Soviet-led invasion of Czechosl ovakia in 1968. The Institute of Contemporary History has reportedly begun contacting surviving relatives and friends for information, photographs, and other documentation. 72 people were killed in the first fourteen days or so following the August 21st invasion. The occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops crushed the period of reforms known as the Prague Spring. The project now underway will help mark the 40th anniversary of the invasion next year.
Historians are planning a project which will map the stories of Czechoslovak citizens who died tragically during the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The Institute of Contemporary History has reportedly begun contacting surviving relatives and friends for information, photographs, and other documentation. 72 people were killed in the first fourteen days or so following the August 21st invasion. The occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops crushed the period of reforms known as the Prague Spring. The project underway will help mark the 40th anniversary of the invasion next year.
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