Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Century of 8's

Století osmiček translates to the "century of 8's."  Apparently most of the major events of the country's history happened in a year with an "8".  Starting in 1918, it would have made sense for me to write about this back in 2018 but I didn't make the connection of the 8's back then.  Today is the 8th of February so this will have to do.

1918 - 1938 - 1948 - 1968 - 1989

1918 - The establishment of Czechoslovakia following the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after WW1.  Bohemia, Moravia, part of Silesia, and Slovakia made up the First Republic which lasted until 1938.

1938 - In 1938 there was a four-power conference in Munich between Germany, Italy, France, and the UK.  Czechoslovakia wasn't invited.  The Munich Agreement is where the West sold out Czechoslovakia and Hitler took the Sudetenland.  Poland and Hungary also took parts of Czechoslovak land.

1948 - Following WWII, Czechoslovakia was the last democracy in Eastern Europe.  On 25 February 1948, the Czechoslovak Communist Party (KŠC) staged a bloodless coup and ruled the country for the next 41 years.

1968 - The 1968 Prague Spring is when Alexander Dubček tried to reform the communist government with what he called "socialism with a human face."  His liberal reforms did not go over well with the Soviet Union who didn't want a more westernised Czechoslovakia.  On 20-21 August, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact members invaded the country in the largest military operation since WWII.  The country was left with hard-line communist party rule which was referred to as "normalisation."  

1989 - The Velvet Revolution began on 17 November and lasted until 29 December 1989.  The demonstrations brought down the communist regime.

Here's a short video I found out on YouTube about the Czech and Slovak century.

©Visit Czech Republic

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