The morning after: A normally closed border crossing between East Germany (foreground) and Czechoslovakia has been damaged and left open; fresh tank tracks are visible. A group of Russian or East German soldiers stand on the Czech side. The road leads to a small village, then to Chomutov and Prague. Taken by George Cranstone, 21st August 1968.
It is 50 years since some 650,000 Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia, to reverse the reforms introduced there by Alexander Dubček in the “Prague Spring” of 1968. My own recollection of this event, on 21st August 2018, was seeing a newspaper headline as a 14-year old and witnessing the evident concern on my parents’ faces. But at the time of the invasion Agnes and George Cranstone and their three sons had a much closer perspective, and George has written this account of the family holiday which took a dramatic turn.
The recent visit of Pope Francis to Ireland, to attend the World Meeting of Families, has attracted enormous attention and has been widely discussed in the press. Maureen Rivett was amused by this photo in the Telegraph on Thursday 23rd August, showing one of the items of merchandise inspired by the visit: a “souvenir Lollipope”!