Animator Gene Deitch settled in Prague almost 60 years ago and directed Tom and Jerry and Popeye cartoons behind the Iron Curtain for the US market. The small number of other Americans who moved here in the communist period were one subject we discussed in the second half of an extensive interview. But I began by asking Deitch about the time the great folk singer and social activist Pete Seeger, a good friend of his, visited Czechoslovakia in 1964.
Gene Deitch, who turns 95 next month, is by some distance the US citizen longest resident in Prague. Deitch had run a successful animation studio in New York prior to the fateful meeting in 1959 with his future wife Zdenka that led him to settle in Prague soon after. From behind the Iron Curtain, he produced an Oscar-winning animated short, as well as directing Tom and Jerry and Popeye cartoons for the American market.
Joy Bellefontaine is Acadian French and proud of it, but having married a Czech husband and living in the Czech Republic for nearly 20 years she admits her family’s Christmas contains a mix of local and Acadian traditions. Tom McEnchroe, visited her to find out how foreigners living in the country celebrate their Christmas.
Tom Dine is the president of the American Friends of the Czech Republic. The Washington-based foreign policy expert doesn’t have Czech roots. But he does have close ties to Prague, having been president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – which is based in the city – between 1997 and 2005. After a tree-planting ceremony by the Woodrow Wilson statue opposite the Main Train Station, which the American Friends helped restore, Dine shared some recollections of his years in the Czech capital.
When Edward Meegan visited the Czech Republic as a tourist in 1993, he had no intention of staying. I talked to him twenty-five years later about his Czech-American family, his career and his life as an American in the Czech Republic. I started off by asking him about his initial decision to remain in Prague.
Luke Allnutt is a senior journalist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The Englishman’s career will enter a new and exciting phase in early 2018 with the publication of his gripping debut novel We Own the Sky, which has been sold in 30-odd countries around the world. Our tour of “Luke Allnutt’s Prague” begins by the Vltava River, on the embankment known as Naplávka.
Human rights minister Jan Chvojka has warned that an amendment from a fellow Social Democrat member of parliament, Václav Klučka, would restrict the rights of foreigners and EU citizens when it comes to residency permits. According to the daily Právo, he highlighted the fact that foreigners denied residency would lose their right of a court appeal. Klučka’s amendment is said to enjoy wide support in parliament.