Jiří Dienstbier and the role of the radio in August 1968

Photo: Jarmila Johnová, Czech Academy of Sciences

As Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia on the night from 20 to 21 August 1968, Czechoslovak Radio played an important role in keeping people informed of what was happening. The radio building was an immediate focus for the invaders, but remarkably, during the days that followed, radio journalists and engineers managed to carry on broadcasting, firstly from the building itself, and then from other secret locations around the city. One of the prominent voices on the airwaves was Jiří Dienstbier, who many years later reflected on the importance of those uncensored broadcasts at a time when the occupiers were trying to sow confusion in the country. To mark the anniversary of the invasion, we return to Jiří Dienstbier and his memories of that time.

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