These years are already forgotten: hardly any political activist or commentator of current economic and political affairs takes into account the enormous advance of the 2004-2007 members of the EU in terms of prosperity, way of life, and political and economic liberties.
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This volume compensates for this lack of historic memory. But why is it important to realize and remember the significance of the last thirty years in the CEE region? There are several reasons.
What We Do Not Talk About
A year ago, while working on a short commentary on the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia1, I was surprised to learn that many young people in former Warsaw Pact nations – including every fourth2 young Czech and Slovak – have little to no idea what caused it and what the lessons were of that Czechoslovak summer invasion. This was the largest military deployment in the history of post-war Europe, and was recognized as a crime by international law. It was also the beginning of a new tradition, in a sense, which was cultivated by means of the 1956 crackdown of the Hungarian Revolution, or armed suppression of the 1953 Berlin strikes and riots.
The invasion was a technical “success” of the Soviet army, which held the command of over 80% of the troops. The real victor, however, was the generation of the 1960s, which dismantled central planning and the one-party dictatorial regimes in Europe – in short, dismissed the Warsaw Pact itself. I am proud to be a representative of a generation of individuals who contributed to the effort.
The articles in the 11th issue of 4liberty.eu Review often deal with the challenges encountered by the new generation of “new Europe” societies. Challenges habitually imposed by the politicians of the last fifteen years.
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1 Stanchev, K. (2019) “Prague Summer: The Invasion of Czechoslovakia in a Historical Detail”, [in]: Public Policy, Vol. 10(2), March. Availble [online]: http://ejpp.eu/index.php/ejpp/article/viewFile/311/312
2 Kenety, B. (2018) “Poll Shows Most Czech Know Little about Their Country’s Modern History”, [in]: Radio Praha, July 26. Available [online]: https://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/poll-shows-most-czechs-know-little-about-their-countrys-modern-history