68 years since the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia
This Thursday marks the 68th anniversary of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. For six years, the country suffered under the control of Adolf Hitler.
Four days after the occupation, a huge German military parade was held on Wenceslas Square. This is an archive recording of a live report from Czechoslovak Radio's Franta Kocourek. Reporting from the balcony of the Hotel Sroubek his words describe the confusion that reined among Czechs at the time:
"I would like to talk about one thing that has nothing to do with the military. From somewhere far away, a huge, black crow has flown into Prague. I have seen it spread its wings and sweep down the square over the searchlights and listening devices being paraded here by the German army. It must be surprised at the noise and all that is going on beneath it."
Former president Emil Hacha is still considered the leader who gave away the nation's sovereignty without putting up a fight.
Emil Hacha has many times in the past given testimony of the pressure that he was under:
But historians agree that there was little that Emil Hacha could have done. In an effort to appease Hitler, the powerful states of Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, had already given away part of Czechoslovakia in the Munich Agreement of September 1938 and it seemed unlikely that they would come to the Czech nation's aid.
Prague was to remain under German control for another six years until the end of the Second World War in 1945.