Poster Protesting the Invasion of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic by Warsaw Pact Troops (August 21, 1968)
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 [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. Photograph by Hilmar Pabel.