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The mass media in Communist Czechoslovakia was controlled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). Private ownership of any publication or agency of the mass media was generally forbidden, although churches and other organizations published small periodicals and newspapers. Even with this informational monopoly in the hands of organizations under KSČ control, all publications were reviewed by the government's Office for Press and Information. Censorship was lifted for three months during the 1968 Prague Spring but afterward was reimposed under the terms of the 1966 Press Law. The law states that the Czechoslovak press is to provide complete information, but it must also advance the interests of socialist society and promote the people's socialist awareness of the policy of the communist party as the leading force in society and state.
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia was a Communist and Marxist–Leninist political party in Czechoslovakia that existed between 1921 and 1992. It was a member of the Comintern. Between 1929 and 1953 it was led by Klement Gottwald. After its election victory in 1946 it seized power in the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état and established a one-party state allied with the Soviet Union. Nationalization of virtually all private enterprises followed.
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by a government private institutions, and corporations.
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization and mass protest in Czechoslovakia as a Communist state after World War II. It began on 5 January 1968, when reformist Alexander Dubček was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), and continued until 21 August 1968, when the Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact invaded the country to suppress the reforms.
Government concern about control of the mass media was such that it was illegal to own a duplicating machine or to reproduce more than eleven copies of any printed material. Nevertheless, a fairly wide distribution of underground publications (popularly known as samizdat throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union) that were established during the Nazi occupation continued throughout communist rule into the 1980s.
Samizdat was a form of dissident activity across the Eastern Bloc in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade official Soviet censorship was fraught with danger, as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials. Vladimir Bukovsky summarized it as follows: "Samizdat: I write it myself, edit it myself, censor it myself, publish it myself, distribute it myself, and spend jail time for it myself."
National Socialism, more commonly known as Nazism, is the ideology and practices associated with the Nazi Party – officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party – in Nazi Germany, and of other far-right groups with similar aims.
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. With a population of about 430,000, it is one of the smaller capitals of Europe but still the country's largest city. The greater metropolitan area is home to more than 650,000 people. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia, occupying both banks of the River Danube and the left bank of the River Morava. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two sovereign states.
Pravda is a major centre-left, newspaper in Slovakia. It is owned by PEREX.
The Communist Party of Slovakia is a communist party in Slovakia, formed in 1992, through the merger of the Communist Party of Slovakia – 91 and the Communist League of Slovakia.
The Czechoslovak Press Agency (in Czech: Československá tisková kancelář, in Slovak: Československá tlačová kancelária ČTK / ČTK) received a state subsidy and was controlled by the federal government through its Presidium.
The government also controlled several domestic television and radio networks.
Czechoslovak Television started broadcasting in 1953 from Prague, in 1955 from Ostrava and in 1956 from Bratislava. Daily broadcasting started in 1959, broadcasting in colour in 1970 from Bratislava. A second TV channel was added in 1970. Since then, the first TV channel was conceived as a federal one (i.e. mostly in Czech, but also in Slovak), the second TV channel was different for the Czech Socialist Republic (in Czech) and for the Slovak Socialist Republic (in Slovak). A third TV channel was added only in the mid-late 1980s. It broadcast the First Programme of Soviet Union Central Television.
Czechoslovak Television (ČST) was founded on 1 May 1953 in Czechoslovakia. It was known by three names over its lifetime: Czech: Československá televize, Slovak: Československá televízia, Česko-slovenská televízia.
Ostrava is a city in the north-east of the Czech Republic and is the capital of the Moravian-Silesian Region. It is 15 km (9 mi) from the border with Poland, at the meeting point of four rivers: the Odra, Opava, Ostravice and Lučina. In terms of both population and area Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic, the second largest city in Moravia, and the largest city in Czech Silesia. It straddles the border of the two historic provinces of Moravia and Silesia. The population was around 300,000 in 2013. The wider conurbation – which also includes the towns of Bohumín, Doubrava, Havířov, Karviná, Orlová, Petřvald and Rychvald – is home to about 500,000 people, making it the largest urban area in the Czech Republic apart from the capital, Prague.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
In addition, many citizens in Czechoslovakia were able to pick up foreign radio and television stations [ citation needed ] (terrestrially and in late 1980s over satellite). TV stations, for example, could often be picked up (depending on which part of the country one lived in) both from the communist Poland, Hungary and the German Democratic Republic, and from the noncommunist countries Austria and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany)[ dubious ].
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.
Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world, and among the few non-Indo-European languages to be widely spoken in Europe. Hungary's capital and largest city is Budapest; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.
The relatively attractive TV programmes from Austria and West Germany had a sizable influence on the population [ citation needed ]. TV was not jammed by the authorities. The radio station Voice of America and the BBC World Service also had some audiences in Czechoslovakia, and their broadcasts were subject to only occasional jamming. Radio Free Europe broadcasts, however, were extensively jammed.
Radio jamming is the deliberate jamming, blocking or interference with authorized wireless communications. In the United States, radio jamming devices are illegal and their use can result in large fines.
Voice of America (VOA) is a U.S. government-funded international multimedia agency which serves as the United States federal government's official institution for non-military, external broadcasting. It is the largest U.S. international broadcaster. VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in more than 40 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its leaders.
The BBC World Service, the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasts radio and television news, speech and discussions in more than 40 languages to many parts of the world on analogue and digital shortwave platforms, Internet streaming, podcasting, satellite, DAB, FM and MW relays. In November 2016 the BBC announced again that it would start broadcasting in additional languages including Amharic and Igbo, in its biggest expansion since the 1940s. In 2015 World Service reached an average of 210 million people a week. The English-language service broadcasts 24 hours a day.
Czechoslovakia, or Czecho-Slovakia, was a sovereign state in Central Europe that existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until its peaceful dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993.
Klement Gottwald was a Czechoslovak Communist politician, who was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from 1929 until 1945 and party chairman until his death in 1953. He was the 14th Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia from July 1946 until June 1948, at which point he became the president of the third republic, four months after the 1948 coup d'état in which his party seized power with the backing of the Soviet Union.
The German occupation of Czechoslovakia (1938–1945) began with the German annexation of Czechoslovakia's border regions known collectively as the Sudetenland, under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. German leader Adolf Hitler's pretext for this action was the alleged privations suffered by the ethnic German population living in those regions. New and extensive Czechoslovak border fortifications were also located in the same area.
During World War II, Czechoslovakia disappeared from the map of Europe. The Third Czechoslovak Republic which emerged as a sovereign state was not only the result of the policies of the victorious Western allies, the French Fourth Republic, the United Kingdom and the United States, but also an indication of the strength of the Czechoslovak ideal embodied in the First Czechoslovak Republic. However, at the conclusion of World War II, Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence, and this circumstance dominated any plans or strategies for postwar reconstruction. Consequently, the political and economic organisation of Czechoslovakia became largely a matter of negotiations between Edvard Beneš and Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) exiles living in Moscow.
From the Communist coup d'état in February 1948 to the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Czechoslovakia was ruled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The country belonged to the Eastern Bloc and was a member of the Warsaw Pact and of Comecon. During the era of Communist Party rule, thousands of Czechoslovaks faced political persecution for various offences, such as trying to emigrate across the Iron Curtain.
The National Front was the coalition of parties which headed the re-established Czechoslovakian government from 1945 to 1948. During the Communist era in Czechoslovakia (1948–1989) it was the vehicle for control of all political and social activity by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). It was also known in English as the National Front of Czechs and Slovaks.
Although political control of Communist Czechoslovakia was largely monopolized by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) the political power was technically shared with the National Front and openly influenced by the foreign policies of the Soviet Union.
The government of Czechoslovakia under socialism was in theory a democratic one directed by the proletariat. In practice, it was a one-party democratic dictatorship of the proletariat run by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, the KSC.
With the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy at the end of World War I, the independent country of Czechoslovakia was formed as a result of the critical intervention of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, among others.
The Dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which took effect on 1 January 1993, was an event that saw the self-determined split of the federal state of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, entities that had arisen before as the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic in 1969 within the framework of a federal republic.
The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic ruled Czechoslovakia from 1948 until 23 April 1990, when the country was under communist rule. Formally known as the Fourth Czechoslovak Republic, it has been regarded as a satellite state of the Soviet Union.
The First Czechoslovak Republic was the Czechoslovak state that existed from 1918 to 1938. The state was commonly called Czechoslovakia. It was composed of Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia, Slovakia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia.
The Second Czechoslovak Republic, sometimes also called the Czecho-Slovak Republic, existed for 169 days, between 30 September 1938 and 15 March 1939. It was composed of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and the autonomous regions of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus', the latter being renamed on 30 December 1938 to Carpathian Ukraine.
The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, officially known as Operation Danube, was a joint invasion of Czechoslovakia by five Warsaw Pact countries – the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany and Hungary – on the night of 20–21 August 1968. Approximately 250,000 Warsaw pact troops attacked Czechoslovakia that night, with Romania and Albania refusing to participate. East German forces, except for a small number of specialists, did not participate in the invasion because they were ordered from Moscow not to cross the Czechoslovak border just hours before the invasion. 137 Czechoslovakian civilians were killed and 500 seriously wounded during the occupation.
Czechoslovakism is a concept which underlines reciprocity of the Czechs and the Slovaks. It is best known as an ideology which holds that there is one Czechoslovak nation, though it might also appear as a political program of two nations living in one common state. The climax of Czechoslovakism fell on 1918-1938, when as a one-nation-theory it became the official political doctrine of Czechoslovakia; its best known representative was Tomáš Masaryk. Today Czechoslovakism as political concept or ideology is almost defunct; its remnant is a general sentiment of cultural affinity, present among many Czechs and Slovaks.