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Occupation Order from the Soviet Commander in Trenčín, August 21, 1968
Our Source: Navratil, Jaromir.
"The Prague Spring 1968". Hungary: Central European Press, 1998, pp. 450-451
Original Source: ÚSD, Sb. KV, A-Gift from I. Šimovček of the Slovak branch of the Commission.
Translated by: Mark Kramer, Joy Moss and Ruth Tosek
Comment: Occupation decrees, of a similar kind as this one, were issued in many parts of the invaded country by the intruders.
From the garrison commander.
Trenčín, 21 August 1968
Counterrevolutionary forces in Czechoslovakia, with the active support of special services in the USA and the FRG, have been disrupting order in the state.
Exploiting the current situation in the state, NATO armies are threatening to occupy the ČSSR, overthrow the people's regime, and create a regime to their own liking.
Out of loyalty to internationalist principles and to the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries – the Bulgarian People's Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic, the German Democratic Republic, and the Polish People’s Republic – have dispatched their armies to help the Czechoslovak people and their institutions of people's power suppress the forces of counterrevolution and save their country from the threat looming over them.
To ensure strict order and an organized situation in the interest of the working people of the town, I issue the following directives:
1. As of 21 August 1968, I forbid anyone to leave their homes and go onto the streets between 8 P.M. and 5 A.M. Central European Time. Every citizen must unconditionally observe the regulations of conduct, issued by the Soviet military commander of the garrison.
2. Any attempts to disobey or resist the terms of this order will be punished immediately under military law.
3. Soviet military forces are to guard all important military offices, radio and television stations, teleprinter installations, and institutions of the press.
4. All citizens of the town are forbidden to carry firearms or any weapons that can be used for stabbing. Those who possess such arms must hand them over to the garrison administrator no later than noon.
5. Any movements of troops of the Czechoslovak People's Army from garrison to garrison are to be carried out only at the orders of the Soviet army command.
6. All public and political organisations are ordered to report to the garrison administration by midnight. If this order is disobeyed in the town of Trenčín, I will regard such an act as illegal, and all citizens responsible will be regarded as elements hostile to the socialist system.
7. Meetings, demonstrations, gatherings, and other mass events are to be arranged only with the consent of the regime's legal institutions, local bodies of the Slovak CP, and representatives of the Soviet army command.
Patrols and representatives of the army command must have the unrestricted right to visit public institutions in order to establish and maintain order.
8. The dissemination of reports in the press, on radio, and on television broadcasts may be carried out only with permission from the Soviet army command and with the consent of local party and state bodies.
All typewriters, duplicating machines, copiers, and manual reproduction equipment are to be handed over to the administrator of the Soviet army command.
Violations of this directive will be regarded as subversive activity against the socialist forces.
9. The only personal identity document recognized is the identity card issued by the ČSSR authorities. The inviolability of every ČSSR citizen is guaranteed upon presentation of the identity card.
10. For the duration of this order, departure beyond the confines of the town and the arrival of foreigners into the town may take place only with the permission of the Soviet army's military command.
All foreigners must register with the garrison administration no more than 2 hours after their arrival in the town.
Those who illegally conceal foreigners are liable to sanctions under military law.
Any attempt by a citizen to violate these orders and the provisions of conduct will be deemed an act against the law, against the national institutions of power and the Soviet military command, and against the Czechoslovak people and their socialist achievements.
Anyone who violates these orders will be subject to the most effective and expedient measures and sanctions under the circumstances.
SOVIET ARMY GARRISON COMMANDER
Lt. Col. Shmatko