Today in Mailbox: Response to our broadcasts, new QSL cards for 2014, answers to last month's listeners' quiz question. Listeners/readers quoted: Lynda-Marie Hauptmann, Odon Porto de Almeida, Harold Yeglin, Jaroslav B. Tusek, Jaroslaw Jedrzejczak, Li Ming, Paul R Peacock, Valery Lugovski, Colin Law.
Our regular follower Lynda-Marie Hauptmann from the United States sent us this message regarding developments on the Czech political scene:
“I could not help but chuckle when I read the story about how President Zeman had ‘comments’ about the candidates from all parties. I don't understand how communism managed to last as long as it did, because all of the Czechs, Poles, Russians, Croatians, Ukrainians, and other Slavic people I have met over the years are so opinionated, and rarely restrained their comments about anything or anyone. If my dad had become President of the Czech Republic, I am sure there would have been lots of LONG radio and television addresses to the nation airing his opinions.
“As always, my best to the Czech Republic and all its people, including President Zeman and the Houses of Parliament. I wish we had the Parliamentary system here in the US, because there needs to be some ‘House cleaning’ of BOTH parties currently in power.”
Odon Porto de Almeida from Brazil asked a question:
“Can you inform me the title of the book written by Ms Helga Hošková-Weissová, as per Ms Masha Volynsky’s article on the Bubny train station?”
The book, a testimony of a Holocaust survivor, is called Deník 1938–1945. The title means “journal” and indeed it is a diary that Helga kept throughout the war years.
Harold Yeglin from Virginia writes:
“Thank you for featuring the music of Dol Dauber and his orchestra. Listened to Radio Prague via the internet.”
And Jaroslav B. Tusek who divides his time between Florida and Prague wrote:
“Being somewhat familiar with the recent changes instituted at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes by President Zeman it did not come to me completely as a surprise that the EU's counterparts have suspended membership of the Czech Institute. Clearly, former collaborators of the communist secret police (StB) should not run the Institute. They lack credibility to do so.”
Thank a lot for your comments. Just a reminder that you can send us reception reports even though you listen only to our internet broadcasts. We have a brand new series of QSL cards for you – this year featuring natural landmarks of the Czech Republic. And now onto our monthly quiz:
Jaroslaw Jedrzejczak from Poland writes:
“His name is Paul Wegener. He was born on 11 December 1874 and died on 13 September 1948. He was a German actor, writer and a film director and a German filmmaking pioneer. The name of his silent movie that takes place in Prague and was also made there is ‘The Student of Prague’ (‘Der Student von Prag’, also known as ‘A Bargain with Satan’). It is a silent horror movie made in 1913. The film was remade in 1926, under the same title. Other remakes were produced in 1935 and 2004. It is generally deemed to be the first independent film in history.”
Li Ming from China wrote:
“In 1913 Wegener was in Prague filming a Faustian tale called ‘The Student of Prague’. Although the movie overall lacks some of the extravagance and surrealism of later German horror films, its plot provided for the sort of visual effects and experimentation that characterized Expressionism, as star Paul Wegener played both the titular student and his reflection, which takes on a murderous life of its own.”
This answer is from Paul R Peacock from Australia:
“His working career started with studying law but by the age of 20 decided to concentrate on acting instead. A few years later motion pictures were a new medium he decided to get into and appeared in his own film ‘The Student of Prague,’ later appearing in his only Hollywood movie, ‘The Magician.’
“He was married a total of six times and two of those were to the same woman, Lyda Salmonova, an actress who co-starred with him a number of times.
“He passed away in his sleep in Berlin, on 13 September 1948 at the age of 73.”
Valery Lugovski from Belarus added an interesting snippet of information:
“The famous geographer and Greenland traveler Prof. Alfred Wegener was his cousin, who in 1912 developed the great theory of continental drift.”
And finally, Colin Law from New Zealand wrote:
“Wegener toured the provinces before joining a troupe of actors in 1906. He turned to the new medium of motion pictures in 1912 and appeared in the 1913 movie ‘The Student of Prague”. At the outbreak of World War I he volunteered as a non-commissioned officer to the Western Front, but after a stroke he was admitted to hospital, ending his active military service. In Prague Wegener had heard about the Golem which stirred him to adapt the old Jewish legend to a film which he co-directed with Henrik Galeen. ‘The Golem” was a success in 1915, but was subsequently lost except for a few short fragments. More Wegener movies and stage appearances followed despite world wars and political disruptions.
“In July 1948 at the Deutschen Theatre, Berlin, while appearing in the lead role of the comedy ‘Nathan the Wise’, a role which he had played many times, Wegener collapsed in the very first scene and the curtain was brought down. Two months later on September 13th 1948, he died in his sleep. He was buried in a quiet corner of the Berlin cemetery at Heerstrasse where a Chinese temple-stone bears his name and a marble Buddha from his own back garden protects his grave.”
Thank you all very much for your answers and thorough research. This time our prize goes to Sebbar Hicham from Morocco. Congratulations! And here’s a new question for the coming weeks:
This time we want to know the name of the Chicago-born American film actress of Czech descent who turns 81 in February.
Please send us your answers as usual to email@example.com. That’s where you can also send us your comments and questions. You can also keep in touch via Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be looking forward to your feedback. Until next time, take care.
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