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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Cold War on Ice

Documents on the political and diplomatic aspects of international hockey during the Cold War. (Image, Soviet stamp commemorating ice hockey at the 1976 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria)

  • March 14, 1963

    Memorandum from David L. Hackett to John F. Kennedy, 'Why Sweden Beat the United States, 17-2'

    The previous day, President Kennedy had complained to Hackett about the poor quality of the United States hockey team during the 1963 World Championships. The US lost repeatedly, including an embarrassing 17-2 loss to Sweden.

  • March 31, 1967

    Czechoslovak Communist Party (CPCz), Intra-party Information Concerning Public Response to USSR-Czechoslovakia Match at the Ice-hockey World Championship in Vienna

    Report describing the polarized public response in Czechoslovakia to the Soviet-Czech hockey match during the World Championships in Vienna. The match (which Czechoslovakia lost 2-4) involved multiple fights and when the Soviet anthem played during the final ceremony it was accompanied by deafening boos and catcalls from the audience.

  • April 01, 1967

    Embassy of the USSR in Czechoslovakia, 'Information About the Reaction in the ČSSR to the Game between the National Teams of the USSR and the ČSSR at the World Championships in Vienna'

    Soviet ambassador in Czechoslovakia, Stepan Chervonenko, sends a report warning about the growth of tension between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovak fans expressed strong hostility and anti-Soviet sentiments at a game between the Soviet and Czechoslovak national teams at the 1967 World Hockey Championships in Vienna.

  • February 28, 1968

    Note from P. Shelest to CPSU Central Committee

    A note from P. Shelest to the CC CSPU regarding a suspicious incident relating to Czechoslovak unrest.

  • March 29, 1969

    Report on Visit of Soviet Ambassador Stepan Chervenenko to Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry

    Conversation between Soviet Ambassador Chervenenko and Czechoslovak State Secretary Václav Pleskot. They discuss the recent Ice Hockey World Championship and the anti-Soviet political protests which took place following Czechoslovakia's defeat of the Soviet Union. Tensions were high following the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and protesters in cities across Czechoslovakia attacked the offices of Aeroflot, the Soviet Army, and the Soviet embassy.

  • March 30, 1969

    Letter, Soviet Deputy Head of the Department of the Central Committee P. Ivanshutin, on Czechoslovak Protests following Czechoslovak-Soviet Hockey Game

    Letter describing anti-Soviet protests in Czechoslovakia following the defeat of the Soviets in the Ice Hockey World Championships.

  • March 31, 1969

    Czechoslovak Interior Minister Jan Pelnář, Report on Security Situation in Czechoslovakia on Night of 28-29 March 1969

    Detailed report prepared by the Czechoslovak Federal Ministry of Interior listing anti-Soviet protests that took place in the evening of March 28-29 following the defeat of the Soviets by the Czechoslovak national team at the hockey world championships in Stockholm.

  • April 01, 1969

    Record of Conversation, Czechoslovak Defense Minister Martin Dzúr and Soviet Defense Minister Andrei Grechko, Prague

    Top Czechoslovak and Soviet military officials discuss the recent anti-Soviet protests in Czechoslovakia following the following the defeat of the Soviets by the Czechoslovak national team at the hockey world championships in Stockholm. Defense Minister and Marshal of the Soviet Union andrei Grechko warned that Warsaw Pact troops would invade again if the Czechoslovak leadership could not contain the anti-Soviet protests.

  • April 01, 1969

    Minutes of the 18th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia on the events of March 28 and 29, 1969

    The Czechoslovakia Executive Committee discusses the anti-Soviet protests of March 28-29 following the defeat of the Soviets by the Czechoslovak national team at the hockey world championships in Stockholm. Segments dealing with procedural or organizational matters and parts where the discussion repeats itself or digresses to other, unrelated issues have been omitted.