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Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day

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A little while before the Thanksgiving, the Czechs celebrated their own important holiday, called the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day. This day is always on November 17th and it commemorates two important events.
In 1939, shortly after Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War began, the Czech college students held large protests against the German oppression. Germans responded with open fire, shutting down all the Czech Universities and declaring a state of emergency. Read more about the Czechoslovakian situation shortly before WWII in the extended entry.

The second commemorated event is the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in 1989. This Revolution is called “Velvet” because it was mainly peaceful. After 40 years of communist oppression, it brought my country freedom and democracy.
In 1938, a controversial treaty called “Munich Agreement” was signed by Germany, Italy, Great Britain and France. These countries agreed to give a large piece of territory along the entire Czech border to Hitler, who, as an exchange, promised not to invade any further. Czechoslovakia was not present at this meeting. The Czechoslovakian president, under an enormous pressure, capitulated and accepted the treaty. History says he was brought to Germany to negotiate an agreement. Instead, Hitler showed him photos of Prague and other parts of Czechoslovakia and said they would be bombed and obliterated the next morning if he didn’t accept. He made a controversial choice and accepted, although many were ready to go to war, even after French and Britain signed the Munich Agreement, dishonoring all the Czech-French-Britain military alliances and leaving Czechoslovakia alone in a potential fight against Hitler.

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