Reviving Process and Occupation in 1968
Reviving process in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (i.e. so-called Prague or Czechoslovak Spring) which occured from January 1968, was as a reform attempt and “humanizing” of the until then dogmatic regime being crushed by the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968, during which more than 100 civilians died (about 20 of them in Slovakia). The leadership of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia as well as the state leadership (represented by Dubček, Smrkovský, Černík and others) was pushed aside and isolated. Moreover, the regime harshly crushed all the protest demonstrations against the occupation.
Ivan Hupka and his wife worked in Bratislava broadcasting studio of the Czechoslovak Television. Events from August 1968 caught them there as well. During the occupation period Ivan cooperated with the Czechoslovak Television staff and engaged himself in the production of its media coverage. However, hopelessness, fright of the future, inability to assert his attitudes, and a lack of freedom led him to decision to leave Slovakia and settle down in far Australia.
Mária Hupková worked for the Czechoslovak Television (CST). She was there even when the Warsaw Pact troops took over the building of the CST in August 1968. As she felt hopeless, frightened, and constantly monitored, she decided to leave Slovakia and move as far as it was possible from all those horrors - to distant Australia.
On August 21, 1968, the tragedy stepped into the life of the whole family of Anna Malá nee Bonková. Her brother, Jozef Bonk, nineteen-year old keen football player and trained locksmith, became one of the victims of occupation forces’ arrival in Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately, he succumbed to gunshot wounds by a Soviet soldier.