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1968 in Prague and Bratislava

The Prague Spring was originally the name of a musical festival that took part in the town every spring. In 1968, it became the description of a political hope. Yet, there was strong resistance against attempted reforms to give socialism a human face.

“1968” happened not only on the streets of the cities in the United States, in Paris and Berlin (West), but also in Prague and Bratislava. Soviet tanks and people on the street protesting against it determine the collective memory of this year. However, the eastern “1968” was more than that. There was a reform movement and a lot of hope. The changes started with the party congress of the Czechoslovak communists at the end of 1962. The Czechoslovak reforms did not begin in the streets as a protest movement against the rulers, but started at a meeting of the ruling party at which the communists criticised their own policies. The central keyword is political rehabilitation.
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September 12, 2021 - Dieter Segert - History and MemoryIssue 5 2021Magazine

On the night of August 21st 1968, half a million soldiers from the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia with tanks and planes to end the experiment that was called the Prague Spring. About 150 people lost their lives and hundreds were sentenced to prison. Photo: Public Domain (CC) commons.wikimedia.org

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