Ceremony at Czech Radio on 53rd anniversary of 1968 invasion
Czechs are marking the 53rd anniversary of the Sovie-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Commemorative ceremonies are being held around the country at significant sites linked to the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops which were sent in by Moscow to crush the Prague Spring reform movement aiming to introduce “socialism with a human face”.
Traditionally a commemorative ceremony was held at the Czech Radio building in Vinohradska street, the site of brutal clashes between civilian protesters and the occupying forces. Close to two dozen people died in front of the Czech Radio building, as they tried to prevent the occupiers from ending the uncensored broadcasting. During the tragic days that followed the invasion more than 100 people were killed.
The laying of wreaths on Vinohradská třída was attended by leading representatives of the state, members of the public and witnesses of the August events. The speakers at the ceremony, including Deputy Prime Minister Alena Schillerová, Senator Miroslava Němcová and Czech Radio CEO René Zavoral paid homage to the memory of those who died defending the country’s freedom, and expressed gratitude the brave individuals abroad who spoke out against the invasion at the risk of their own lives. They stressed the need to remember this dark chapter in the country’s history and learn the lessons of the past.