On August 21st, 1968, the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia in a highly successful attempt to halt democratic reforms that had been taking place in that country since January of that same year. The implementations of these reforms – things like freedom of speech, press and movement, and a proposed mixing of planned and market economies – were called “socialism with a human face” by then Czech President Alexander Dubček.
They were called The Prague Spring by the rest of the world.
And to the Soviets – still stinging from the Hungarian uprising a dozen years earlier – they were an intolerable challenge to their power.
Czechs were shocked and heartbroken to watch some 2000 tanks roll into their streets, along with 200,000 Soviet troops. My Czech mother and grandparents gaped in horror from their Chicago home – my mother had fled her native country the…
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