All stories Czechs Today

Pavel Kohout: unconventional economist and government advisor

19-01-2011 15:37 | Chris Johnstone

Pavel Kohout Pavel Kohout is an economist who seems seldom out of the media. He recently created a stir when he announced he was leaving the government’s advisory committee, NERV, and criticised government willingness to tackle multi-billion crown corruption in public tenders. That furore appears to have blown over and Mr. Kohout seems on course to give further advice to the government and the new political party, Public Affairs. I asked him how he got involved in economics in the first place.  More

A Czech corsair sets sail

22-12-2010 13:51 | Jan Velinger

La Grace A replica of a 17th century brig known as La Grace which belonged to the first Czech naval captain, Augustine Heřman, set sail for the first time earlier this month from Suez, Egypt. The wooden vessel, which captures all the atmosphere and charm of the historic original, was the dream of a group of Czech sailing enthusiasts. Built in an Egyptian shipyard, the new La Grace remarkably took relatively little time to complete: just two years. Now it will spend the winter on the Red Sea before moving on to other destinations in the spring.  More

Jan Rovenský: the evergreen environment campaigner

07-07-2010 15:15 | Chris Johnstone

Jan Rovenský For most of the last 17 years Jan Rovenský has been in the thick of most big environmental campaigns, apart from a short but enjoyable spell as a nature protection official at a state park. His latest high profile position is as Greenpeace’s campaigner on climate change and energy policy. That often puts him at odds with local coal companies, power giant ČEZ, the Czech government and President Václav Klaus. We met up with the 35-year-old and asked him what had stimulated his initial interest in the environment.   More

Marie Ranzenhoferová – a survivor of the 1945 Brno Death March

12-05-2010 15:33 | Jan Richter

In May 1945, millions of Czechs could breath freely again after six years of Nazi occupation. The German defeat brought about the end of the Nazi rule of terror, and the re-establishment of Czechoslovakia. But for thousands of ethnic Germans, the end of the war meant the beginning of a new ordeal. They were expelled from the country, and many of them were killed during the first day of peace. In this edition of Czech Today, Radio Prague talks to Marie Ranzenhoferová, who survived one of the violent expulsions, known today as the Brno death march.   More

Czech archaeologists uncover Stone Age tools in Arbil, Iraq

17-03-2010 13:45 | Jan Velinger

Czech archaeologists are best-known for their work in Egypt, spanning five decades, but some specialists have begun making headlines for excavation work in a different part of the world: Mesopotamia – the cradle of ancient civilisation that is now present-day Iraq. Recently an eight-member team headed by Karel Nováček of the University of West Bohemia, returned from northern Iraq after having uncovered Stone Age tools that were used by either our ancestors or our distant relatives (Homo neanderthalensis). The tools date back some 150,000 years, to the Middle Palaeolithic, the oldest find of its kind in the city of Arbil in Kurdistan.   More

Rudolf Zeman, dissident, journalist and co-founder of the samizdat paper Lidové Noviny

17-02-2010 17:29 | Jan Richter

Lidové noviny, or People’s Newspaper, is a leading Czech paper with a tradition going back more than a century. The liberal daily was first discontinued by the Nazis during the war, and then banned by the communist authorities in the 1950s. But in 1987, a group of dissidents in Prague decided to launch a samizdat version of the respected newspaper. In this edition of Czechs Today, we talk to one of the founders of the samizdat Lidové noviny, and its first post-communist editor-in-chief, Rudolf Zeman.   More

Travelling across Africa in a Trabant

13-01-2010 15:03 | Jan Velinger

The Soviet-era Trabant – a tiny plastic car built in former East Germany that was left “by the roadside” following the collapse of the Berlin Wall, may have been consigned to the dustbin of history, but it still has a special place in many Czechs’ hearts. Among fans is a group of travellers, including a journalist and filmmaker, who have made the tiny vehicle central to their adventures. In late 2009 they conquered Africa in a Trabant - travelling all the way from Tunisia to Cape Town.   More

Michal Ambrož, the man behind rock legends Jasná Páka and Hudba Praha

09-12-2009 15:36 | Jan Richter

Hudba Praha (Michal Ambrož on the right), photo: CTK Few Czech rock bands have gained such notoriety as the Prague-based group Jasná Páka. Founded at the beginning of the last decade of communism, their music was a beacon for a generation that grew up in a Soviet-occupied country. After it was banned by the Communists in a crusade against rock music, the band reformed as Hudba Praha. The man behind both bands, Michal Ambrož, is one of the last pioneers of Czech new wave of rock still around.  More

Prayer for Marta singer Kubišová recalls dramatic comeback during 1989's Velvet Revolution

18-11-2009 12:37 | Ian Willoughby

Marta Kubišová Modlitba pro Martu, A Prayer for Marta, is a song that for many people will be forever associated with Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution of 1989. Performed by the 1960s Czech pop star Marta Kubišová, it had previously come to symbolise resistance to the 1968 Soviet-led invasion.  More

Father and Son, 20 years after the Velvet Revolution

11-11-2009 18:39 | Sarah Borufka

The fall of communism turned around the lives of millions of people. In a special edition of Czechs Today we talk to a father and son of the same name about how this dramatic change affected their lives. Petr Cibulka senior was born in Opava and moved to Prague in August of 1989 –less than three months before the Velvet Revolution broke out. He now owns a hotel in Lednice, Moravia. His son Petr Cibulka junior belongs to the generation which was barely touched by the communist regime. He moved to Prague at the age of 15, later went for a study stay in the US and now works as a researcher at the English-language newspaper The Prague Post.   More

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