Dokumenty o aktivitách československých velvyslanců ve Francii a v Itálii v době sovětské invaze do ČSSR v srpnu 1968. (Nové prameny k mezinárodním aspektům srpna 1968 – II)
Selected contents from this journal
Documents on the activities of Czechoslovak ambassadors to France and Italy following the Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia in August 1968. (New sources to the international aspects of the invasion in August 1968 – II)
Languages of publication
The documents published in the present study offer new views of the activities of two Czechoslovak embassies after 21 August 1968, namely those in Paris and Rome, and describe also some details of the attitude of the French and Italian governments to the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact armies. The first couple of documents are related to the positions of Vilém Pithart, the Czechoslovak Ambassador to Paris. This important diplomat of the 1950s and 1960s (prior to his arrival in Paris he had been Foreign Office General Secretary and a Deputy Foreign Minister) initiated a dynamical rise of contacts between Prague and Paris. After the Soviet invasion in August 1968 (which he personally witnessed while being in Czechoslovakia at that time) he immediately returned to his office, strongly condemned the invasion and tried to make both the French official circles and the French Communist Party officials support the legal Czechoslovak government. Two other documents illustrate the situation at the Czechoslovak Embassy in Rome. Ambassador Vladimír Ludvík, also an experienced diplomat, who had worked in the Foreign Office West European Department and served also as Czechoslovak Ambassador to Belgium, transmitted the protests of the legal government in Prague after 21 August, 1968. Soon, however, he tried to restore contacts with diplomats of the aggressor countries and 206 actually he fully supported what is referred to as a policy of “normalization”. The documents published in the study also illustrate the rather hesitant reaction of French and Italian government circles to the invasion and also the differentiated positions of the large Communist parties in the two countries.
Publication order reference