help vet ad

The Prague Spring

On 20 Aug 1968, Czechoslovakia was invaded. The troubles began in January when Alexander Dubcek took over as the nation’s leader. Dubcek wanted a major overhaul of the Czech political and economic system, and greater political freedom, including for noncommunist parties. Dubcek also wanted less state control and more reliance on the free market. Finally, he insisted on more freedom from the Soviets. This shocked the Soviets and leaders in other East European nations. Talks took place to get him to soften his reforms. Dubcek refused, and tensions increased. Meanwhile, Czech citizens embraced and celebrated the free exchange of ideas in what came to be known as the “Prague Spring.” On the night of August 20, over 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops crossed into Czechoslovakia and headed for the capital of Prague; the entire country was occupied. Riots broke out, but these were viciously crushed and thousands of Czechs fled the country. This repression shocked the world, but it made it clear that powerless people have few rights. That’s true today.

Join the discussion

Further reading

blog soldier sanding in front of american flag

Movie of the Month for April

Troops, your viewing assignment for April is to watch the coming-of-age short film Forever Tonight. Indian-American teen Lekha sneaks out of the...

blog soldier sanding in front of american flag

Movie of the Month for March

Troops, your viewing assignment for the month of March is to watch the animated short film Nullarbor. A man with road rage confronts an elderly...

blog soldier sanding in front of american flag

Movie of the Month for February

Troops, your viewing assignment for February is to watch the short film Alternative Math. A well-meaning math teacher finds herself trumped by a post...

Get Denny's Newsletter

Receive news and updates from Denny