Prague History | Prague Spring 1968

The 20th Century

The boom era ended with the German occupation and World War II, which was devastating for the city in many ways. Perhaps the only bright spot of this period was that Prague was never bombed (except for the small-scale accidental bombing by the US Army Air Forces, who claimed the attack was a navigation mistake; they thought Prague was Dresden) and much of its stunning architecture remained intact. During the war, over two thirds of the Jewish population in Prague perished, while the rest migrated throughout the world. After World War II, the country fell under strong influence of the Soviet Union, which led Prague and its architecture, economy and culture to remain hidden behind the iron curtain. Attempts for liberalization, such as the Prague Spring in 1968, were smothered by Warsaw Pact forces, which invaded and appointed hard line government that would normalize the country to the Soviets liking. Prague and the rest of the country remained smothered until the radical transformations throughout Europe in the late 80s and the Velvet Revolution, which overthrew communism and established democracy.


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