For a student who failed world history — twice — in middle school, I find myself fascinated to be in places of historical significance. Particularly if the historical moment went down in my own lifetime, which seems to be more frequent as I get older.
In 1968 all that was important to me was graduating from high school, escaping a hectoring father and avoiding a Vietnam vacation so popular among my peers.
Meanwhile, eight time zones to the east people were finding surprise visitors with furry caps driving tanks through their lawns.
The Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia on Aug. 20 & 21, 1968. Czech aeronautical engineer-turned-photographer Josef Koudelka made some of the most iconic images of the invasion during those first two weeks. He smuggled his film to the young photo agency, Magnum, in Paris.
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Only by coincidence, I arrived in Prague on the 41st anniversary of the Soviet invasion. The commies have left, and from what I understand, the locals are cool with that.