August 21, 1968: Warsaw Pact troops crush the Prague Spring.

The short-lived “Prague Spring” (a period in Czechoslovakia during which the country underwent liberal reforms and democratization) began on January 5, 1968, when Alexander Dubček became leader of the country’s Communist Party. His reforms, which were carried out over the following months, sought to create “socialism with a human face”. These included an expansion of individual rights (like freedom of speech and press) and a reduction of the totalitarian aspects of the Party. Despite these reforms, Czechoslovak officials attempted to reassure a concerned Moscow of their loyalty to the Warsaw Pact. Following Hungary’s lead in its bloody 1956 revolution would have been unwise. The United States, still bogged down in Vietnam and unwilling to damage relations with the Soviet Union further by supporting the Prague Spring, remained neutral in the affair.  

Unsure of Dubček and his reformers’ true intentions, the Soviet Union led hundreds of thousands of troops from Warsaw Pact countries, plus thousands of tanks, into Czechoslovakia on the night of August 20, 1968. Over a hundred were killed resisting the invasion (despite Dubček’s urges to civilians not to resist). Others resisted Soviet occupation more peacefully - denying food and water to the troops, graffitiing denunciations of the invaders and declaring support for the reformers, etc. However, protests and resistance lasted for only a week before fizzling out, although the invasion was criticized around the world, even by the people of the Soviet Union.

Dubček, meanwhile, was arrested between August 20 and 21, but he was temporarily allowed to keep his position - until April 1969, when he was replaced (and his policies reversed). He was elected Chairman of the Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia twenty years later. 

  1. blitzkriegfurdummies reblogged this from unhistorical
  2. redlightdiscrit reblogged this from unhistorical
  3. soviet-red reblogged this from unhistorical
  4. jayfizz0 reblogged this from unhistorical
  5. filigree-bones reblogged this from unhistorical
  6. omahatfernweh reblogged this from unhistorical
  7. misspork reblogged this from unhistorical
  8. deedeekingisdead reblogged this from unhistorical
  9. kylegreggy reblogged this from theaccidentalstarthrower
  10. shegofromalderaan reblogged this from jabllon
  11. owenr1028 reblogged this from lee-enfeel
  12. jabllon reblogged this from melontastic-tercah
  13. melontastic-tercah reblogged this from unhistorical and added:
    Reblogging because this is scarily relevant.
  14. marudaiz reblogged this from kanabow
  15. oki-ochinchin reblogged this from kanabow
  16. kanabow reblogged this from jsmvint
  17. gettothestabbing reblogged this from seawisher
  18. jsmvint reblogged this from lee-enfeel
  19. dranor44 reblogged this from lee-enfeel
  20. seawisher reblogged this from lee-enfeel
  21. theaccidentalstarthrower reblogged this from lee-enfeel
  22. lee-enfeel reblogged this from unhistorical
  23. deprofundisetclamo reblogged this from macarrismo-leninismo
  24. macarrismo-leninismo reblogged this from irishlobster
  25. irishlobster reblogged this from slavshit
  26. thenighthawks reblogged this from unhistorical
  27. xclaywizardx reblogged this from unhistorical
  28. strawberry--butterfly reblogged this from cherrylng