The biggest public event marking the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia was a concert that filled Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Tuesday evening. The culmination of the free show came with Marta Kubišová’s rendition of A Prayer for Marta, a song that came to symbolise the 1968 invasion.
Thousands of people attended a concert on Prague’s Wenceslas Square on
Tuesday evening marking the 50th anniversary of the invasion of
Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led Warsaw Pact troops.
The concert, organised by Czech Radio, included greatest hits of the 1960s, performed by Czech and Slovak contemporary singers, such as Aneta Langerová, Tomáš Klus, Jana Kirschner and many others, who were accompanied by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The event culminated with a special video-mapping projection on the National Museum building, which is located on the top of Wenceslas Square.
Johnny Krcmar was a journalist working for the ctk news agency at the time of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. Like millions of others he was woken up in the early hours of August 21st to learn that his country had been invaded by the armies of the Warsaw Pact. He was later forced to emigrate within the secret police operation Asanace. Fifty years after the tragic event Mr. Krcmar visited Radio Prague’s studio to share his memories of that fateful day.
Finns Pentti Avomaa and Markku Pekonen were students when they visited Prague in August 1968, keen to learn about Communist Czechoslovakia’s liberal reforms at first hand. However, soon after their arrival they found themselves caught up in a Warsaw Pact military operation to crush the Prague Spring. Now in their early 70s, the pair have come back to Prague to take part in events marking the invasion’s 50th anniversary.
To mark the anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia of 1968, Czech Radio’s Creative Hub Group, in cooperation with Brainz digital agency, has prepared a special virtual reality studio. Visitors to the Czech Radio building can get a first-hand experience of what it feels like to stand in streets that are being invaded by Soviet tanks. I asked Edita Kudláčová, head of the Creative Hub Group, to tell me more about the project.
Czechoslovak Radio was a focal point of the Soviet-led invasion of 1968, with the streets around the station seeing the worst violence and the highest number of deaths. Today’s Czech Radio is marking those momentous events with a special 13-hour broadcast featuring both archival materials and new interviews with eye-witnesses.
On August 21, 1968 the citizens of Czechoslovakia woke to learn that their country had overnight been invaded by Soviet-led troops, deployed to crush the Prague Spring reform movement. Over 100 people were killed during the invasion, which began a two-decade occupation, sparked mass emigration and dashed dreams of a freer future for a generation.
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