After Warsaw Pact troops suppressed the “Prague Spring” in a military intervention that began in the late evening hours of August 20, 1968, the East German leadership announced to the public that the National People’s Army [Nationale Volksarmee or NVA] had participated in this action alongside Soviet, Hungarian, Polish, and Bulgarian troops. But the two NVA divisions mentioned by the government had not actually taken part; rather, the NVA’s task had been to provide logistical support—only a few small units had crossed the border. The poster shown here, which was photographed on August 21, 1968, expresses the contemporary Czechoslovak response to the invasion: “German soldiers go home and liquidate Ulbricht, who is a new Hitler! Your people do not agree with your actions!” Many Czechoslovaks were uncomfortably reminded of the German occupation and subsequent destruction of Czechoslovakia in 1938/39. The invasion prompted protests and displays of solidarity in the GDR, as well. These protests, however, remained isolated, singular events.

Poster Protesting the Invasion of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic by Warsaw Pact Troops (August 21, 1968)

  • Hilmar Pabel


Source: The invasion of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic by Warsaw Pact troops ends the “Prague Spring.” Date: August 21, 1968. Location: Prague. Photo: Hilmar Pabel.
bpk-Bildagentur, image number 30015715. For rights inquiries, please contact Art Resource at requests@artres.com (North America) or bpk-Bildagentur at kontakt@bpk-bildagentur.de (for all other countries).

© bpk / Hilmar Pabel