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2019 | 11 | 2 | 61-86

Article title

A bridge to the West: Yugoslavia as a transit country for Czechoslovak emigrants from the 1960s to 1980s


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Based on the analysis of documents from the Czechoslovak and Yugoslav archive collections, the paper deals with the emigration of Czechoslovak citizens to the West through the territory of socialist Yugoslavia. Even though this phenomenon appeared already in the 1960s with the boom of Czechoslovak mass tourism on the Adriatic coast, our chronological focus lies on the 1970s and 1980s. During this period of so-called “normalisation”, the Yugoslav road became one of the most important paths of emigration to the Western countries. The paper argues that despite the efforts of Czechoslovak communist government to hinder the emigration, the urgent need to grant the raising consumption demands on the side of citizens, drove Husák’s leadership to gradually loosen the requirements for tourist trips to Yugoslavia. Thus, in the mid-1980 far more than half a million of Czechoslovaks were allowed to spend their vacations on the Yugoslav sea per year, even if thousands of them used this opportunity to flee to the West.


  • Masarykův ústav a archiv AV ČR, v.v.i., Gabčíkova 2362/10, 182 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic
  • Masarykův ústav a archiv AV ČR, v.v.i., Gabčíkova 2362/10, 182 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic


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Publication order reference


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