50 YEARS SINCE 1968

Slovak singer Peter Lipa remembers 1968 occupation through music

How was one of the few songs about the 1968 occupation created?

Peter LipaPeter Lipa (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

Today, not too many people can imagine how we felt back then, singer Peter Lipa sighs while commemorating August 21, 1968 – the day when the Soviet-led occupation of then-communist Czechoslovakia began. “We thought the West would protect us; oh, how naïve we were.”

A mixture of sadness, confusion, and thwarted hopes can be felt while listening to his song, named Hopeful Spring and Weeping Summer. He recorded the song, reminiscent of a time when many of his friends left, eight years ago.

Goodbye to all our illusions, so long to all our plans, Lipa sings with a political touch. It opens his album with a tale-telling name – ‘68.

He did not want to return from Graz

At that time, Lipa lived in a student hostel Bernoláčka. On the night before the invasion of Warsaw Pact armies, only foreigners drank and talked at the reception there- a Croatian medical student, an American musicologist, a French female philosopher. Around four in the morning, a terrified Englishman ran in and shouted: Tanks, Tanks, Tanks!

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