August 21, 1968: Soviet tanks crush the dreams of the Prague Spring

Photo: Post Bellum

Fifty-five years ago, on the night of August 20-21, 1968, the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia began, marking a definitive end to the hopes that the series of liberalising and democratic reforms that had taken place in the country in the 1960s, known as the Prague Spring, had brought with them.

The Prague Spring brought sweeping changes to the cultural and social life of Czechoslovakia, including the ending of censorship in June 1968 and open discussions about the political show trials of the 1950s. Some Western media outlets wrote that the developments in Czechoslovakia proved that socialism and democracy were compatible with each other.

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Author: Klára Stejskalová