Racing as Transnational Phenomena in Socialist Czechoslovakia
Vortrag von Dr. Mark Keck-Szajbel (Frankfurt/Oder)
When authorities opened borders to free travel in the East bloc in the early 1970s, Czechoslovakia was an instant magnet to racing fans. Not only did the country boast top-notch tracks, it was close (and cheap) enough to host both professional racing teams as well as novices. Newspapers East and West waged bets on which team would lead the pack. Fans from the East and West flocked to otherwise quiet towns in the tens of thousands. Sinisterly, secret police from multiple countries also infiltrated fan clubs, keeping tabs on who met whom. More frequently than not, unruly campers unwittingly challenged the primacy of the state, driving drunk through villages, camping in people's back yards, and destroying bars who refused service.