Czechoslovakia and European Security

Archive Report

Results of Soviet Power Shift to West

The 50th anniversary of the independence of Czechoslovakia on October 28 will be greeted with mixed emotions by citizens of that central European country. Years ending in the numeral “8” have often proved fateful in the nation's short history. The Munich Pact, which severed the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, was concluded in September 1938. The postwar Communist coup took place in February 1948. Then, on Aug. 20–21, 1968, troops of the Soviet Union and of four Communist countries1 in Eastern Europe invaded Czechoslovakia and undertook to snuff out freedoms that had been introduced only months earlier.

Czechoslovakia, like Poland, has the misfortune to occupy a strategic geographic position between the Soviet Union and Germany, Europe's two foremost powers. Nazi occupation ...

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