Victory in Europe Day, a state holiday in the Czech Republic, also saw an open day at the Cernin Palace, home to the Foreign Ministry. It was the first open day there for 12 years, and gave visitors the opportunity to see among other things the flat of post-war foreign minister Jan Masaryk, who met his death from one of its windows.
Beavers are now regarded as strongly endangered in the Czech Republic, as opposed to the previous, higher category of critically endangered, said a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Environment. Gamekeepers and fishermen say beavers cause damage to trees and water surfaces, though environmentalists welcome their return - they say the Czech Republic's alluvial forests are beavers' natural home.
Over 200 new professional soldiers made their pledge of allegiance at
Prague Castle, where later President Klaus promoted eight Czech Army
officers to the rank of general.
But one man who was not given a higher rank was police chief Vladislav Husak: the prime minister had asked the president not to promote him after a recent incident in which a government official was beaten by a police officer during a demonstration.
Three German trucks on Monday began removing waste from a dump in the north Bohemian village of Libceves. The rubbish, illegally imported into the Czech Republic, will be incinerated in Saxony-Anhalt, where it originated. Firefighters were called out several times to deal with blazes at the Libceves dump, and the issue of cross-border dumping has been discussed by the Czech and German authorities.
The Czech Republic has been celebrating the 61st anniversary of the end of World War II. A number of ceremonies were held on Monday, including a commemoration of those who died during the war at Prague's Vitkov national memorial. President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek were among those who laid wreaths during the ceremony, which was attended by a number of Second World War veterans.
World War II Czech prime minister Alois Elias has been buried with full
military honours at Prague's Vitkov national memorial, 64 years after his
General Elias served under the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
but was executed by the Germans in 1942 after the assassination of its
governor, Reinhard Heydrich. His wife Jaroslava was also reburied.
Memorial ceremonies were also held on Sunday at Prague's Olsany cemeteries for those who fell in the Prague Uprising of May 1945, as well as British, Soviet and Bulgarian fighters.
Tributes have been paid to the legendary Czech World War II pilot General Frantisek Perina, who has died at the age of 95. The chief of staff of the Czech Army, Pavel Stefka, described him as a hero. He said the general, who returned from exile in 1993, had helped build the modern Czech Army. The minister of defence, Karel Kuhnl, praised General Perina's ability to discuss issues such as patriotism and defence of the nation with all generations.
On Saturday the liberation of the west Bohemian city of Plzen by US troops on May 6, 1945 was remembered in a celebration entitled "Thanks, America!". A number of veterans of the liberation attended the event, as did Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, who said it was one of the most significant events in modern Czech history. Monday - Victory in Europe Day - is a state holiday in the Czech Republic.
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