communisim, Czechoslovakia, national identity


With Soviet guns locked on the government buildings in Prague, Czechoslovakia was transformed from a nation of autonomous communism to one under full control of the Soviet Union. On 22 August 1968, amidst the chaos of the Warsaw Pact invasion, an unnamed university student left behind a plea via audio recording, asking the world for help saying, "The only way that you can help us is this: not to forget Czechoslovakia. Don't forget Czechoslovakia." His plea calls into question what defined the national identity of Czechoslovakia and what built the foundation for establishing such an identity. Historians such as Carol Skalnik Leff argue that Czechoslovakia was defined by longstanding tensions that existed between the Czech and Slovak states, commonly referred to as the Slovak issue.