August 21, 1968: tanks from the Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria roll into Prague during the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.
The invasion sought to put an end to Prague Spring, a period of communist reformation led by Czechoslovak leaders that eased restrictions on freedom of speech and the media in the country. Amidst nonviolent civilian protest, the tanks would remain in the country for the next eight months.
Tomorrow – August 21, 2018 – will mark the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, and events throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia will remember the events that led to 137 deaths of Czechoslovak civilians and 20 years of normalization in the country.
Among those events will be a free concert at Wenceslas Square, one of the key locations for both the 1968 invasion (immortalized in Josef Koudelka’s photographic coverage of the event), and the 1989 Velvet Revolution.
From 20:00, some of the Czech Republic’s top contemporary singers will perform in front of the equestrian Statue of Saint Wenceslas at the top of the Square in a concert that will present new arrangements of hits from the 1960s.
Performers headlining the concert include Marta Kubišová, Lucie Bílá, Martina Jandová, Tereza Černochová, Jana Kirschner, Aneta Langerová, Vojta Dyka, Matěj Ruppert, Xindl X and Honza Křížek.
Accompanying the performers will be composer Petr Malásek and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The free Wenceslas Square concert is presented by Czech Radio, the City of Prague, and other local organizations as part of Project 1968, which also includes numerous other events happening in Prague. For more details, visit the official website.
For updates on the concert, check out the official Facebook event page.
And if you can’t make it out to Wenceslas Square for the concert, you can catch it live on Czech TV or via YouTube: