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More information Czechoslovak clandestine radio in 1968


I recently came across your web page re: the August 1968 events. From my research I've learned that the Russian troops began to fire at the building adjacent to the radio on Vinohradska street and at that point the technicians escaped out the back door and comandeered a broadcast truck which they took to an unfinished apartment building and set up a makeshift broadcast studio. It's absolutely true that many people stayed in the building and at the risks to their lives continued to broadcast.

Regarding the clandestine radio broadcasts, the army and radio techs had created a form of portable transmitter in a black box, this box could be placed in the trunk or back seat of a car and send a signal along until it could be hooked up to a more powerful transmitter. This infuriated the Russians because they thought there was a central broadcast studio of transmitter station which there wasn't.

A personal friend of my family's participated in these broadcasts and had a box in his car and broadcast from a bridge as Russian vehicles passed. He had jacked up his car, removed his tire and pretended he had a flat, nobody bothered him. Another friend also recalls that techs broadcast from the basement of her apartment building. In a clear line of sight the signal was strong enough to go about 10 or 12 miles. Obstructed, i,e, through walls, it was weaker.

The newspaper also played a crucial role in keeping the population informed and their spirits high. The printers would remove gears from machines after a print run and if troops came to search their plants, they just played dumb and said the counter revolutionaries took the parts. Once the troops left they began printing again. USSR also ran a campaign of propaganda with their own broadcasts and other things. Can you suggest to me where I could get transcripts of some of these broadcasts. My search so far has resulted in only bits and pieces.

Thank you,
Gordon Williams


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