14 – The Prague Spring

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Prague 68 AlbumWelcome to Episode 14 of Cold War Conversations.

Today we have with us Lani Seelinger of Socialism Realised which is an excellent website and learning environment that uses multimedia content as teaching aids about the communist regimes in Europe. Using the Czechoslovak example, they describe the specifics of life in the Eastern bloc. Their material attempts to bring the experiences, thoughts, feelings and problems of people who lived during this era to life. Their aim is to reproduce the complexities and dilemmas of life under communism. I do recommend you check them out at www.Socialismrealised.eu

In today’s episode we return to Czechoslovakia and one of the most iconic moments of the Cold War – The Prague Spring of 1968.

Some of you will have seen the film of Alexander Dubcek and the adoring crowds as well as the powerful images of the Warsaw Pact invasion. Our chat shows that beneath those images there’s more nuances and I hope you find the episode insightful and entertaining.

I am delighted to welcome Lani Seelinger.

Contemporary Film of the Prague Spring

Pathe news report on the Prague Spring

Josef Koudelka’s photos of -Prague’68

Rare colour film of 1968 Warsaw Pact Invasion

Prague 1968 Seven Days To Remember

Unused Pathe news footage

Contemporary footage of the Warsaw Pact invasion

Czechoslovakia Vs Soviet Union 1969 Ice Hockey Match

Places:

National Monument at Vitkov Hill:

Jan Palach memorial on Wenceslaus Square:

Jan Palach memorial off Jan Palach Square:

Soundtrack to the Prague Spring

Karel Gott in 1968:

Lady Carneval

Tausend Fenster, which he oddly sang in German, representing Austria in Eurovision in 1968

Marta Kubišová in 1968:

Modlitba pro Martu (Prayer for Marta), which the opening of the video says is the “song of the year”:

Books:

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Kundera

Nightfrost in Prague, Zdeněk Mlynář

Czechoslovakia’s Interrupted Revolution, Skilling

The Prague Spring and its Aftermath, Kieran Williams

Documentary Films

Documentary in english on the Prague Spring

Documentary on the End of the Prague Spring

Ceske Stoleti – The Czech Century

Other Films:

Those Wonderful Years That Sucked

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Pelisky (Cosy Dens)

Rebels