Sad End of the Prague Spring

August 14th, 2008 by Jerry Kott

Toronto – Today, the Consul General of the Czech Republic in Toronto Mr. Richard Krpač hosted an informal press conference at his residence, titled 1968, August 21: Sad End of the Prague Spring.

Among the guests were leading Canadian journalists, writers and diplomats connected with events in Czechoslovakia of 1968: former chief political correspondent for CBC Joe Schlesinger, publicist and translator, member of 1970’s underground rock band Plastic People of The Universe Paul Wilson, author and publisher Josef Škvorecký, Czech community leader Josef Čermák, and a former diplomat at the Canadian Embassy in Prague Peter Bakewell.

The Prague Spring, a period of reforms and hope, came to an abrupt end on August 21st, 1968, when the armies of five Warsaw Pact countries led by Soviet Union entered Czechoslovakia. At the meeting, representatives of the Czech and Slovak community media had an opportunity to watch a documentary film produced in the final weeks of the Prague Spring Oratorio for Prague, and hear fascinating personal stories and analyses of the situation that led to the invasion.

Happy ending of a meeting on a sad subject: At the closing of the conference, Mr. Krpač announced a long-awaited event: After many years, Pilsner Urquell resumed importing kegs of its world-famous brew to Canada. A small reception hosted by the Consul General allowed guests to enjoy the golden beer from the first keg that arrived directly from Pilsen this morning.



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