Institute of Contemporary History
The present CWIHP Working Paper exemplifies Cold War on Ice initiative’s approach of bringing new evidence from multiple perspectives to examine key events. In this case, the paper presents new Soviet/Russian and Czechoslovak archival evidence on hockey’s role in the turbulent Soviet-Czechoslovak relationship in the period surrounding the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In particular, materials are presented from both sides on the reverberations from a Soviet-Czechoslovak hockey confrontation at the world championships in Vienna in March 1967 – demonstrating that such tensions existed even before the rise of the Prague Spring – and, especially, on the hockey-related events in the spring of 1969, which had a major impact on Czechoslovak politics. It is often forgotten that, after the Soviet invasion, communist leader Alexander Dubček and several of his reformist associates actually retained their positions, albeit with sharply circumscribed powers after they had been compelled to sign an agreement with Soviet leaders (the “Moscow Protocol”) vowing to preserve socialism and limit reforms.
TŮMA, Oldřich – PROZUMENSCHIKOV, Mikhail – SOARES, John – KRAMER, Mark – HERSHBERG, James G. (ed.). The (Inter-Communist) Cold War on Ice: Soviet-Czechoslovak ice hockey politics, 1967–1969. Washington: Woodrow Wilson international center for scholars, 2014. 117 pp. Cold War International History Project Working Paper. ISBN 978-80-904578-8-1.