Unity Among the Oppressed, The Velvet Revolution in Prague, Czechoslovakia


In 1968, the Russians rolled into Wenceslas Square, Prague  in their tanks to declare martial law.  This monumental square would also be the site for the Velvet Revolution in 1989.



1989 view. . .


The Russian empire( Warsaw Pack)  started to crumble, the students and intellectuals took the lead in the Czechoslovakia, but smartly  included the blue collar  workers in declaring a strike that shut down the country.  The size of the crowd in the square grew  from 200,000 to 500,000 in one  day.   The people were of one mind and one purpose, freedom.  There was unity among the oppressed.


Professor says that the Czechs are unique in that in her history they had been autonomous,  and had had a free market economy.  Miraculously,  these strong human values had not been lost during many years of oppression.  They had been under  Russia’s  control since the end of WWII.  There is a strong love of music, literature, and all the arts.  The first modern president was Mr. Havel, a renown  playwright.  You will see him in the video. I hope you noticed, too, the brave Czechs putting flowers in the barrels of the soldiers guns and candles to light their way.

We were in Prague just a few years after the Velvet Revolution.  There was a huge process to get permission to  enter. The man in the embassy who was in charge of allowing groups had studied architecture and he and the professor hit it off! The Czechs had lots of work to do to restore their beautiful architecture.  It rivals the beauty of Paris, in our opinion.  There is an interesting story in that all the buildings are original unlike most of the cities in Europe because of the lack of  Allied  bomb in WWII.  We ate in a restaurant that was started in 1360 and entered  by walking down stairs because of layers and layers of history.  The Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and especially the High Baroque churches are  exquisite.  I will post with some pictures later.

One aside, is that we saw the Czechs working  very diligently, with flood lights on  the buildings so that work could be done at night.  There was a real challenge on installing phones.  We were told that the numbers changed almost weekly as they unraveled that challenge.  You might be curious why Prague was not bombed, as the Germans were close and Hitler had a summer home  with the view of Prague.  The Allies knew that the Czechs were pro-Allies and even manged to send important war  information.  The Brits and Americans wanted to keep that relationship. In exchange for  information, the Allies didn’t bomb Prague. Tourists around the world are indebted to them for that!

The Czechs’ strong love of freedom , hard work, and fair market economics  immediately kicked in as the tanks left  and improvement on long neglected buildings and road changed quickly.  Unlike the Czechs, the Russian people were first oppressed peasants and then Communist controlled.  They have never learned  the lifestyle of the Czechs and their failure at democracy  seems to prove it.

The city of Prague Czech Republic_3

The Charles Bridge is full of tourists. I found Prague on a list of the world’s most beautiful places !

This  ends  the three day history lessons. . . . . .thanks to those of you who  like such tales.

Wikepedia and domain images

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Architecture, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Unity Among the Oppressed, The Velvet Revolution in Prague, Czechoslovakia

  1. gpcox says:

    Great article, but you relax and have a wonder Mother’s Day! ❤


  2. Pingback: A little Boy and His Dad in Paris | TalesAlongTheWay

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