Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) – July 10, 2015

How the USSR Influenced Czech Music Bands

By Wang Jinlin

PRAGUE — With a smile on his face, Petar Introvic, lead vocal of a Czech native music band called “Bluesberry” stepped up onto the stage of the “Blue Sklep Bar”. This skinny elder man has a gift for music, once he touched his guitar, bright light appeared on the stage. However, the way he reached his achievement today was filled with difficulties, especially in these years when Czech was under the control of the Soviet Union.

“It was hard to play blues in these years,” said Petar, “at that time, blues was forbidden by the Communist Party. That’s horrible. Maybe that’s why I hate Russia.”

However, the 64-year-old man also said that the reason why most elder people in Czech Republic hated Russia is the disaster the Soviet Union brought to Czech. “Once, Czech was a rich country with two towns. One day, the Soviet Union conquered here, they ruined everything, our economy, our culture. You can still see the influence the Soviet Union brought to Czech, especially in language. For example, the way we say ‘hello’ in Czech is exactly the same way with how Russian people say ‘hello’.”

Throughout history, we can see how the Soviet Union hurt Czech. You can easily find out these painful memories on Google:

In June 1934, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations. One year later, in order to resist the threat of Germany, they signed a treaty which formulated that the two countries have to support each other in case of emergency. This treaty is now considered to be the foundation of aggression from U.S.S.R.

During the Second World War, the German Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia, which led to the establishment of alliance between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovak. After that, in February 1948, Czechoslovak joined the Eastern group, and later, in May 1955, Czechoslovak joined the Warsaw Treaty Group.

In the 1960s, the situation worsened. In August 1968, under the leadership of the Soviet Union, Warsaw Treaty Group members occupied Czechoslovakia, which led to casualties of civilian, as well as the kidnap of the leaders of Czechoslovakia. After negotiations, a new treaty was signed, and the occupation of Czechoslovakia became legal.

After the “Prague Spring” was suppressed, under the direct intervention of the Soviet Union, the pro-Soviet group of Czechoslovakia occupied leadership positions in party, government and military. In May 1970, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union signed a new treaty, which violated and trampled on the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia.

Because of the Velvet Revolution which took place in 1989, Czechoslovakia Communist Party lost their leadership position, and the country established a new relation of equality with the Soviet Union. In March 1990, Czechoslovakia was renamed Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia dissolved peacefully; the Czech Republic became an independent state.

Hence, the elder generation hated the Soviet Union. However, when talking to the younger generation, they said that not only the elder people hated Russian, but also the younger people. Martin Ehl, chief international editor of Czech Economic Daily, said that it changed a lot on economic aspect. “The main difference is economic policy. When the Communist Party led the country, we didn’t have good economy. Everything was planned; nobody could make money, almost nobody.” When asking about the president in Czech Republic now, who is on Russian side, he said that the president was crazy.

This can give us an obvious conclusion that most Czech people are against Russia, so how to change Czech people’s attitude towards Russia maybe is the most difficult challenge Russian government faced.