Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I'm thinking of Prague at the moment, partly because there are all kinds of archive programmes on BBC Radio 4 looking back at the night of 20th August 1968 when the Russians invaded, what was then, Czechoslovakia. Radio Prague has a nice special page up at the moment too, written by good friend David Vaughan. I think the view from Prague Castle over the old city (above) is one of the most beautiful views in the world, especially when there's a slight mist or the snow is falling.
In August 1988 I met a Czech writer Jana Beranova, then living in Rotterdam, and we looked back on the events 20 years before, little knowing how quickly things were about the change with the Velvet revolution. Jana was one of those dream interviewees - she was able to give the background to a bunch of recordings I found in the Dutch broadcast archives and those sent in by Media Network reporters. You might be interested in an audio extract from that documentary, which we re-broadcast by request in one of the last radio editions of Media Network. It's an MP3 file and lasts about 14 minutes. Hope you enjoy it.