Prag, 14. October 2008 Press release

"The Prague Spring 1968 - the role of the media in the nineteen sixties"

Austro-Czech symposium in Znojmo

Prague, 14 October 2008 - On 16 and 17 October 2008, the Louka monastery in Znojmo will be the venue of an academic symposium entitled "The Prague Spring 1968 - the role of the media in the nineteen sixties". The event will be held under the joint auspices of the Provincial Governor of the South Moravian Region, Stanislav Juránek, the Mayor and Provincial Governor of Vienna, Dr. Michael Häupl, and the Provincial Governor of Lower Austria, Dr. Erwin Pröll.

The highlight of the opening day on 16 October is a high-ranking panel discussion that will be attended by important contemporary witnesses, academics and media representatives. Austrian, Czech and Slovak historians will present and discuss their research results on the second day of the symposium.

The Austro-Czech event deals with the role of the media in the lead-up to and during the Prague Spring, and during its suppression. Subjects under discussion will include both the role of the Czechoslovak media during the reform process and in 1968, and the role of the Austrian media that served as a channel for most of the reporting on the events in the then Czechoslovakia. This event constitutes a direct follow-up to the symposium opened in June 2007 in Znojmo by Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik and Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, which dealt with the year 1968 in a European context. Another purpose of the symposium is to commemorate the solidarity of the Austrian people with their Czech neighbours.

The symposium is being organised within the framework of the Austro-Moravian/Moravian-Austrian Centre at Znojmo by the Austrian Embassy and the Austrian Cultural Forum Prague, together with the Senate of the Czech Republic and the City of Znojmo. Co-organisers at the academic level are the Czech Academy of Sciences (Institute of Contemporary History), Charles University in Prague (Institute of International Studies, Institute of Communication Studies) and the University of Vienna (Institute of History).

Contact:
Austrian Embassy Prague
Viktora Huga 10, CZ-15115 Prag 5
Tel.: +420 257090511
Fax: +420 257 31 60 45
prag-ob(at)bmeia.gv.at
Austrian Embassy Prague