Silver medal Czechoslovak Presidents - Ludvík Svoboda proof
"The story of Ludvik Svoboda could, in my opinion, serve as a textbook example, that the twentieth century was not black and white," says PhDr. Petr Koura, Ph.D., who is a major historian and co-author of the set of silver medals from the collection named the Czechoslovak Presidents of the Czech Mint.
Ludvik Svoboda's presidency was marked by several firsts. He was the oldest president in the history of Czechoslovakia. He was 73 years old in the fateful year 1968. It was the first time that a representative of the Republic became a soldier - general, legionary and veteran of two world wars - and since 1948 it was the first time, when the president did not become a high official of the Communist Party. All this earned him an extraordinary respect from the public, which the communists of the Prague Spring needed. However, this hope for change did not last long - an attempt of socialism with a human face was destroyed by the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops on August 21, 1968. The president revolted against the will of the Soviet ambassador - he refused to establish a pro-Moscow collaborationist government in Czechoslovakia, that would legalize the occupation, and on the grounds of that the Soviets were publicly regarded as the aggressors. However, Ludvík Svoboda was unable to prevent the normalization. His forces diminished. He was elected president again – only to be removed from office in a non-human way. "If Svoboda died in battle at Zborov or Sokolov, he would be a national hero today. He acted undoubtedly bravely on the battlefield. However, he entered politics ..., " concludes Petr Koura.
The obverse side of the medal is dominated by portrait of thetroubled Ludvik Svoboda dressed in a general's uniform. Inscriptions on the obverse side show the president's name, vital data 1895-1979 together with an inscriptions THE PRAGUE SPRING and INVASION OF WARSAW PACT TROOPS. "The central part of the reverse side bears a national symbol, that corresponds to its age. In the bottom of the plan there is the territory of the Republic without a border wall, which represents the release with greater opportunities to travel abroad during the Prague Spring. There is symbolically expressed an invasion of the friendly armies in five directions, which ended the hopes of a free life for 21 years ", said the academic sculpture Jiří Dostál, the author of the commemorative medal. The reverse side of the medal bears an inscription PRESIDENT OF CZECHOSLOVAK SOCIALIST REPUBLIC together with the years 1968-1975 defining the president term.
The difficult life of the seventh president of Czechoslovakia is represented by a narrative packaging of the medal, which includes illustrations, photographs, historical context and scientific text written by Petr Koura.