Czech Republic | Wilson Center

Czech Republic

2018 Czech and Slovak Freedom Lecture: Miracles in the Heart of Europe

This year we celebrate the centennial of the birth of Czechoslovakia and the 25th anniversary of its peaceful separation into the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic.

The 'Anti-Prague Spring': Neo-Stalinist and Ultra-Leftist Extremism in Czechoslovakia, 1968-70

The Prague Spring has attracted much scholarly attention in the past fifty years. Historians have exhaustively documented the policies, strategies and tactics of the Czechoslovak political mainstream in 1968-69: the 'centrist' and 'progressive' reformers in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) led by Alexander Dubček and their 'conservative' adversaries who sought to curtail any substantive change.

Exhibition Opening: Czechs and Slovaks on Their Difficult Road to Peace and Independence

The Wilson Center is pleased to host an opening exhibition with the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Embassy of the Slovak Republic commemorating the centennial anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. 

World War I redrew the map of Europe, resulting in newly independent countries including Czechoslovakia. Delve into period photographs and newspaper clippings, accompanied by historical analysis, to deepen your understanding of the quest for independence, whether in politics or in combat, by the Czechs, Slovaks, and their supporters abroad.

The August 1968 Red Square Protest and Its Legacy

Fifty years ago tomorrow, an act of great moral courage occurred against the backdrop of the Cold War.  On August 25, 1968, four days after hundreds of thousands of Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops poured into Czechoslovakia to crush the reforms of the Prague Spring, eight Soviet citizens went into Moscow’s Red Square and held up banners denouncing the invasion and apologizing to the people of Czechoslovakia.

The Prague Spring: Dubček, the Media, and Mass Demoralisation

In his novel The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1981), the Czech-French author Milan Kundera, originally a communist, describes the 1948 communist takeover and subsequent developments thus:

The East European '1968' and its Legacies

We are now half a century on from the tumultuous events of the year 1968: the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the Cultural Revolution in China, the Prague Spring and the resulting Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, and, above all, student unrest across Europe and the wider world.

Inching into and out of the "Prague Spring"

The political thaw in Czechoslovakia known as the “Prague Spring” of 1968 is usually commemorated by the anniversary of the epochal event that punctuated it, the Soviet-led invasion on the night of 20-21 August. It is a convenient moment to fix on, full of high drama and powerful images (the photographs by Josef Koudelka are works of art as well as journalism).

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