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Sources: Institute for the study of totalitarian regimes – Czech Republic, Institute for Memory of the Nation – Slovakia
The landscape changed at night
An hour before midnight on August 20, 1968, the armies of the five armies of the Warsaw Treaty crossed the border of Czechoslovakia to break off the pro-reform process known as the Prague Spring.
In the last six months before that date the censorship was lifted, the rehabilitation of political prisoners in the 1950s, the possibility to travel and study in the West, the status of the church and the faithful improved.From day to day it changes and normalization begins today.
The soldiers went quickly and at night to occupy practically the entire country, holding state leaders, trying to occupy important state institutions. They could not silence their radio, not only in Prague, but also in other places in Czechoslovakia. However, citizens of Czechoslovakia still do not give up and streets with occupiers have claimed the first victims.
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Czechoslovakian occupation by Warsaw Pact troops is followed by minute by minute:
10:00 Central director of Czechoslovak television, George Pelikan, arrested in the head office. Soviet troops began to search the editors and the red law printer.
9.00 At the office of the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, Alexandr Dubček, a group of Soviet officers and members of the Senate, sent by Viliam Šalgovič there. Dubcek, Kriegel, Smrkovsky and Špaček reported that they had been arrested by the revolutionary tribunal led by Alois Indra. Then they took them away.
StB supervises the situation in Košice, where several hundred residents, mostly young people, had gathered.
"The troops of the troops were stopped and stones, stones and other objects were thrown out of the crowd, many cars were so damaged, some warning cars were fired at some cars. & # 39; & # 39; s. & # 39; 39;
On August 21, in Košice, a former surgeon and former 76-year-old pensioner Anton Kopčák reminded the SME.
Memories of August 1968: We have treated all and Soviet soldiers
In Southern Bohemia, troops from the GDR united through Slovakia and South Moravia from Hungary. The troops surrounded Czechoslovakia.
In Brno the accidental shooting of Soviet soldiers by Josef Žemlička was wounded in Brno. He died during the transfer to the hospital.
08.30 Czechoslovak radio broadcasts the speech of President Svoboda. People urge them to keep their balance and prevent unreasonable actions in the interests of the republic.
In the Czechoslovak television building in Prague, troops invaded, the broadcaster broke, drove employees and shattered television sets. They also occupy a radio studio in the Vinohrady class. The broadcast according to the agreement was taken over by the Ostrava studio.
In Liberec the soldiers started to shoot unreasonably. They killed six people.
08.00 Soviet troops occupy the Czechoslovak radio station on the Zochova street in Bratislava and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Prague.
CTK director Miroslav Sulek issued a statement to the editors of a group of members of the Central Communist Party of the Czechoslovak Communist Party regarding the support of the occupiers. CTK editors, however, refused to issue the text.
The atmosphere in Bratislava during the occupation, but also during the spring period in Prague and at the time of normalization, describes the writer Miroslav Pius, a man from a well-known contemporary photography.
Memories of August 1968: the Russians go home! He jumped to the tank and cried when he shuddered
Employees and employees of VSS Košice stopped working and began to disagree, according to the current StB record. They did not even follow the invitation of the director.
"They justified this by not being able to work in the given situation and they missed the missed change, and at the same time they demanded weapons they are willing to fight."
07.40 All Czechoslovakia publishes extraordinary journals in the morning. Also buy a special SME.
07.30 In Prague on the Vinohrady class around Czechoslovak radio, tensions are increasing and people are dying. Soldiers of the occupation army are in conflict with the people who came to the streets.
The electrical engineer from Cologne, Vladimír Hnulík, literally blows up the radio.
Radio Laman Lamper, a Prague construction worker from Prague, Bedřich Řepa, is mortally wounded in the street Mánesova and retired Josef Hanus kills the projected projectile in his apartment.
Ivan Laita, Jaroslav Švec, Jaroslav Málek and Jaroslav Novák died when the tank exploded. The house of Jan Baborovský burned down and Jiří Klapka and Pavel Albert were killed after a jump from the burning window of the house.
Jaroslav Kubeš, Josef Reichel, Milan Kadlec, Václav Sadilk and Mario Musich die after a crash by someone who is not led by a truck driven by a crowd of demonstrators in front of the Hajnovka restaurant on Czechoslovak radio.
Jan Jenšovský dies after the blows. Tank betrays Zdeněk Prihoda and Zdeněk Winter. They shot Henry Krahulca at Charles Square.
The crowd of citizens in Bratislava closed the Jesenský street towards Štúrova so they built a cross-road bus and vehicles in their own way. There were about 600 people there.
7 am There is a shooting in Prague. Soviet soldiers shot the facade of the National Museum in Prague assuming they were attacking the Czech radio building.
06.30 Radio sends a call to a member of the presidency of the National Assemblyto attend the meeting. He also invited the CPC delegates to participate in the extraordinary XIV. the party runs in Prague-Vysočany.
06.00 Radio broadcasts Dubcek's link. It calls people to go to work as usual. Šalgovič repeatedly tries to stop the radio broadcast. President Ludwig Svoboda has called the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
Members of the CPC Central Committee supported the statement of the presidency of the party. The delegation, who wanted to give the resolution to Dubcek, did not leave the soldiers in the Central Communist Party building.
5.15 From the territory of the German Democratic Republic the station of Vltava, which supports the invasion, began to broadcast. Czechoslovak Radio warns that it is an illegal channel and has nothing to do with it.
05:05 Bratislavské náměstí SNP, Štúrova ulica, Čsl. The army and Jesenský street were occupied by military equipment and tanks. There was shot on Jesenský Street.
05:00 Prague airport is accompanied by a member of the Politburo of the KSSZ Mazurov and the commander of the Pavlovsky army.
05:00 The first secretary of the Communist Party of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, Alexandr Dubček, and other representatives of the Communist Party, held the Soviet soldiers.
4.30 The first armored vehicles will be built for the construction of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Prague. On the spot, one of the soldiers is severely wounded by Antonin Jarušek from Čakovice, who is taken to a hospital with a broken skull.
Czechoslovak radio starts with the morning broadcast. After the President of the National Assembly of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic Josef Smrkovský had ordered the transmitters in the middle waves again, many people first heard the full text of the convoy for all people of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
04.25 The troops of the Warsaw Pact are starting to move through Malacca. Troops in the city do not stop, but go towards Břeclav. Some troops stopped between the villages of Kostolište and Gajara.
4.20 TASS reports that the troops of the Warsaw Pact have entered the territory of Czechoslovakia at the request of unnamed party and state officials.
04.15 Profession has the first victims. One of the tanks in the village Šulekovo near Leopoldov caught Viktorie Rybarova. She died the next day.
The Military Colony, which crossed the village of Topoľníky in the Dunajec district, found Alojz Zsigárdi. He tried to calm the horses. But they threw him down just for heavy military techniques. He died in the place.
3.30 The first Soviet troops appeared on the border between Czechoslovakia and the NSR.
03:20 In Liberec reports the first incidents after confrontation with the occupying troops. Soldiers shoot from machine guns. I will hit the head of a 20-year-old Miroslav Vlček, who fortunately survives.
on Brno airport dropped heavy Antonov An-12 aircraft carriers from the Soviet air division.
3.15 Soviet paratroopers arrested the prime minister Oldřich Černík.
3.10 The Federal Republic of Germany has stated that the border police are fully ready.
03:00 A group of five members comes to the CTK building in the street Upletalova in Prague members of the board of directors to prevent entry by foreign journalists.
On the SNP square in Bratislava, while crossing the tank, one of the visiting young men lay under the incoming tank that had been used by him. An unknown young man has disappeared.
2.15 The meeting of the CCP central committee was over.
All telephone connections between Prague and Vienna are interrupted. The route from the airport of Ruzyne to the center of Prague is blocked by a colony of Soviet soldiers on tanks and transports. People began to wake up to noise.
02:00 The National Security Council of the United States is exceptionally involved with Washington. Most of the ten participants do not recommend any response for the occupation of Czechoslovakia. It would damage relations with the Soviet Union in the age of sensitive disarmament talks. General Earle Wheeler literally said there was nothing the United States could do on the military side.
02.00 Commitment by Czechoslovak occupation forces continues. At the airport of Prague, planes land with soldiers of the elite Soviet 7th Guard Airborne Division, who is armed with tankers and armored transporters. Or they control Soviet fighters and helicopters over Czechoslovakia.
01:55 The whole text of the conversation is only heard by the listeners of the radio on the wire. Radio broadcast on the middle waves is dismissed when Karel Hoffmann, the director of the central administration of communication, is expelled once the first sentences of the memory have been heard.
01:55 Broadcast the radio Withdrawal for all people of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
"Yesterday, on 20 August 1968, the troops of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Polish People's Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic and the People's Republic of Bulgaria crossed the state border of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
It happened without the knowledge of the president of the republic, the presidency of the national assembly, the presidency of the government and the first secretary of the CPC Central Committee and without the knowledge of these authorities.
During these hours the chairmanship of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) and the preparation of the XIV were held. party. The Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC calls on all citizens of the Republic to keep their peace and not to resist the advancing troops, because the defense of our state borders is now impossible. That is why neither our army, our security nor the People & # 39; s Militia have been given the order to defend the country.
The chair of the CC of the Central Committee finds this act not only against the basic principles of relations between the socialist states, but also with the denial of basic norms of international law.
Office of the CPC Central Committee. "
01:45 In about ten minutes the radio plans to broadcast an extraordinary statement.
01:45 Hungarian troops occupied the barracks in Štúrovo. The soldiers of the basic service drove away and the officers began questioning.
01:40 Soviet troops are already at an airport in Prague. Two aircraft landed with dozens of soldiers and occupied the airport buildingsthat disables both staff and passengers.
01:35 Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Zdeněk Mlynář dictates by telephone on the radio text Conversations with all people from the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. "Soon Czechoslovak radio will broadcast an extremely important message," says Vladimir Fišer. On the other hand, they have to switch off the main transmitters for regular maintenance.
1.31 In the Czechoslovakian radio building in Prague, tension awaits the statement of the presidency of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. However, this is still not the case. Vladimir Fišer therefore warns the listeners to wake up their neighbors and to wait for the important information that will soon appear in the broadcast.
1.30 The Presidency of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party approves the text of the Proclamation for all people of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. František Barbírek, Oldřich Černík, Alexander Dubček, František Kriegel, Jan Piller, Josef Smrkovský and Josef Špaček. against Vasil Biľak, Drahomir Kolder, Emil Rigo and Oldřich Švestka. There is a lot of tension between both wings, also Dubcek considered being left alone.
1.20 A group of StB members arrived to the building of the Czechoslovakian radio in Vinohrady. The StB & # 39; s do not interfere with anything, he says live reconstruction of the Czech radio. Employees of Czechoslovak Radio are preparing for an extraordinary situation.
1.15 Public security strengthens order-based service in large cities.
01.05 Predmostí shoots in Ipeľskom. Public security member Jozef Mačaj shot down the Hungarian soldiers because he refused to give a gun.
00:55 Viliam Šalgovič commissioned the Chief of Regional Administration of the National Security Corps, to call radio amateur radio stations and to ensure that only those sessions are broadcast to promote public order and peace.
00:30 The members of the Passport Control Department in the Slovak New Town disarmed the Hungarian soldiers and isolated them in one room. With the intervention of the deputy head of the STB government, they returned their weapons. "At the moment it is still interrupted with this telephone connection and the telephone connection is also interrupted by the passport control union Vyšné Nemecké", notes the Czechoslovakian secret police.
00:25 The first secretary of the Communist Party of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, Alexander Dubček, summoned the Minister of Defense Martin Dzure to the government. However, according to the available information The Soviet soldiers are being held by the army.
00:20 Minister of National Defense, Dzúr, has issued an order: keep all units in the barracks, call staff at the workplace, ban the leaving of the crew and prohibit the use of weapons under all circumstances. Soviet troops on our territory should receive maximum multi-faceted assistance.
Not all commanders, however, respect this decision.
00:10 The passport control department in Border at Hornad was occupied by Hungarian troops, disarmed public security officers and guarding them in the corridors of their flats. Telephone connection with Border at Hornad is interrupted.
00:08 all flights from Prague-Ruzyně airport will be suspended.
00:07 Austria has closed the border with Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
00:05 At the meeting of the Presidency of the Central Communist Party, which has been in Prague since the early afternoon, President Ludvík Svoboda and Minister of the Interior Josef Pavel came.
20 August 24.00 State security announced full preparedness.
20. August 23.50 Czechoslovak Radio is preparing to broadcast a special announcement. The request for preparation of the broadcast came from the secretariat of the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, Alexandr Dubček.
August 20 23.45 On the orders of Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Viliam Šalgovič, who participated in the planning of the invasion, the protection of the objects of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Ministry of the Interior is strengthened.
20th of August 23:40 Prime Minister Oldrich Cernik has just interrupted the meeting of the Central Committee of the CPC and announced that foreign troops occupied the territory of Czechoslovakia. Most politicians are surprised, the first secretary of the party, Alexander Dubček, talks about the tragedy.
August 20 23.33 The invasion was officially confirmed by Ambassador of the Soviet Union Stepan Červonenko. During a meeting with President Ludwig Svoboda, he argued that the army had entered Czechoslovakia at the request of party and state officials.
20th of August 23:21 An airplane from Lviv, of which about 25 civilians have left, departs from Prague.
20th of August 23:10 Together with the land invasion a strong interference of Czechoslovak military radars began. The West German secret service, Bundesnachrichtendienst, notes it on his radar in Bavarian Pullach and announces an alarm. Above Prague the first planes are floating with the paratroopers.
August 20 23.08 Information about the invasion is already in the chair of the Central Committee of the Central Committee, which negotiates in Bratislava. Following the disinformation of the approval of the Prague invitations to the letter, the Bratislava presidency approves with six votes. Later Gustav Husak was interrogated by him.
August 20, 23.06 Premier Oldrich Cernik asks to check the occupation information. The chair of the Central Committee of the Communist Party is still discussing the materials for the planned XIV. a redundancy of the CPC held in September.
August 20, 23.05 A group of Soviet officers arrived at the general staff of the Czechoslovak people's army, where they try to prevent the armed resistance of members.
20 August 23.04 Minister of Defense Martin Dzur is mentioned by Soviet colleague Andrej A. Greško. He warns him against armed resistance against the military units that have entered our territory.
August 20 23.03 Group of supporters of the invasion in ŠtB, objects from the Ministry of the Interior are starting to occupy. At the air traffic control at Ruzyne Airport, StB members asked questions about the functionality of the airport. Then they pulled out the guns and switched off the phones. The airport staff is in the basement. StB members take care of the arrival of Soviet paratroopers.
August 20, 23.02 The main report of the STB states that it can not contact the border control departments.
20 August, 23.00 hours The Warsaw treaty of the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria crossed the Czechoslovakian border. The East German army was also involved in the preparation of the invasion and eventually it did not take part – except for a few observers. Leonida Brezhnev asked the Czechoslovakian conservatives to do this. The reason was the fear that the presence of German troops on the Czechoslovakian border could cause people to commemorate Munich in 1938.
The most powerful military group, which consists of several departments, goes to Jablonec nad Nisou, Náchod, Hradec Králové, Olomouc, Ostrava and Žilina. In the GDR about nine divisions have to take over the invasion to continue to Prague and Pilsen. Units of the South Group of Soviet troops migrate to Bratislava and Břeclav. From Uzhgorod troops to Košice and Banská Bystrica.
The operation was called Donau (read more)
20th of August 23:00 The main report of the STB based on information from various reports on border control posts violation of the Czechoslovak border by foreign troops. Similar reports come from other departments.
August 20, 22:59 An-12 aircraft in Prague the engine has started. Dispatchers have announced engine tests. Later it was discovered that it was about driving other aircraft.
20 August 22.26 Approximately 25 civilians arrived from the plane that arrived from Lviv, welcomed by the head of the passport control department, Rudolf Stachovský, and the squadron commander, Miroslav Elias.
Citizens went to the city.
20 August 22.22 At the airport of Ruzyne in Prague there will be another Soviet plane, this time from Lviv.
August 20, 21:55 Tanks and armored transporters at Vejprto returned to the GDR.
August 20, 21:52 The sudden arrival of an An-12 civil airplane from Moscow in the same way as the Prague Ruzyne is reported in Brno.
According to the available aircraft sources, no one has ever come forward, the machine is on the landing site of Aeroflot.
20 August 21:40 Two armored transporters and two tanks crossed the border barriers near the town of Vejprty in the Erzgebirge, near the border with the GDR.
Military technology is marked with a white stripe. According to witnesses, soldiers have Soviet uniforms.
August 20, 21:05 For unknown reasons the Soviet air force Antonov landed at the military airport Brno-Tuřany.
Twenty people are aboard according to sources, dressed in uniform for Aeroflot. They are members of the Soviet secret police of the KGB.
20 August 20:30 On Czechoslovak television there is a lyrical comedy, Greyhounds.
20 August 20:00 In Prague, the Central Committee of the Communist Party is chaired at 2 pm. It is about preparations XIV. the Czechoslovak Communist Party, which will take place on 9 September.
August 20, 19:38 "I am convinced that this new stream, represented by Comrade Dubcek, is so powerful in the Czech and Slovak countries that there is no power to close that door to get us back or to make further developments and other perspectives," quoted the evening Gustav Husák, who spoke the day before with the employees of the SNP Plants in Žiar nad Hronom.
August 20, 19:01 There are events that are exposed by regimes. The bone. They wash away the laughter of determined builders, take out costumes and decorate backgrounds such as hungry rats. Even then their dying takes a long time.
Although they have robbed themselves since the moment of exposure, the citizens live with their long and disintegrating pain. Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia was such a moment, says editor-in-chief of SMEs, Beata Balogová.
Tanks drove away the essence of the regime
August 20, 18:10 Czechoslovak ambassador to Budapest Jozef Pucik sent an encrypted message to Prague about anonymous information that an invasion of Czechoslovakia is about to begin.
The message with serial number 7723 in Prague deciphered and moved further, but since it was anonymous, it probably did not pay enough attention.
August 20, 17:32 Most of us do not have a personal experience with how an alien feels like that. We are happy people because we do not know what it is like to be on the run.
The anniversary of August & # 39; 68 is our opportunity to hear the stories of those who have such experience. So listen. It will be our lesson from humanity. Read more here.
August 20, 17:13 In the night of August 20 to August 21 I was long last night. I heard hay, buck, break, heavy machinery under the windows.
For the first time I photographed at the top. What it was in August 1968
I used to stay in front of the Kutuzov barracks (now the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense). The sound was not that unusual. The tanks move on the maneuver, I thought. The events of August are mentioned by the sports editor of MKB Peter Fukatsch.
August 20, 1968 17:00 He called the CTK rapporteur in Budapest, that at midnight the military occupation of Czechoslovakia will begin.