In this programme, the eighth in our series mapping this country’s history through the radio archives, we start with the dramatic events of the last days of the war in Prague. The radio played a major role in the Prague Uprising, and through the archives we can map how the city liberated itself from the German occupiers. In the two years that follow, the radio archives give us a picture of a Czechoslovakia returning to some kind of normality, but in February 1948 everything changes. We tell the story as it was heard on the airwaves.
The local council of Prague’s western Řeporyje district has unanimously voted in favour of building a memorial to the Russian Liberation Army troops that helped fight Nazi forces during the Prague Uprising in May 1945. The vote was preceded by a heated confrontation between the district’s mayor and representatives of the Russian federation about the historical legacy of the troops often referred to in Czech as “Vlasovci”.
On Wednesday, Prague’s statue depicting Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev was covered in red paint by unnamed vandals. The monument has been similarly abused many times before. However, this time the local district authorities, who have been trying to move the statue to the Russian Embassy, say they will not clean up the damage until the embassy “starts constructive discussions”.
Paris, Lviv and Prague, over a thousand miles apart yet connected by the fact that they all initiated successful uprisings against their German occupiers during World War II. The Czech capital was the last of the three to do so, but the action arguably preserved the city’s beauty and led to a battle the Czech nation, previously starved of an opportunity to fight, needed. On the date famously named by Winston Churchill as Victory in Europe day, we take the opportunity to explore the story behind the Prague Uprising.
Celebrations marking the liberation of Plzeň by General Patton’s Army on May 6th 1945 took place in the West Bohemian city at the weekend. Despite the cold, thousands of people lined the streets of the city to greet the war veterans who rode at the head of the Convoy of Liberty organized in remembrance of the event.
Political leaders as well as members of the public gathered outside Czech
Radio’s Prague headquarter on Sunday to mark the 74th anniversary of the
Prague Uprising against Nazi rule at the end of WWII.
The radio station was the focal point of the uprising and the site of one of the biggest clashes with Nazi forces as citizens came to defend the building against German attempts to retake it.
Around 170 people died defending the radio building and hundreds of others fell at the barricades that went up around Prague. Altogether, over ten thousand people were killed around the country. The commemorative ceremony outside Czech Radio was attended by the Speaker of the Senate Jaroslav Kubera, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, members of the Union of Freedom Fighters and others.
Leading Czech politicians, war veterans and cultural figures gathered at
Ďáblice Cemetery in Prague on Sunday to pay homage to the soldiers who
had laid down their lives liberating the country from Nazi oppression.
There are some 160 soldiers of different nationalities buried at the
The commemorative ceremony was attended by government and Parliament representatives, Prague City Hall officials and members of the Union of Freedom Fighters.
Political leaders, war veterans and members of the public gathered outside
Czech Radio’s Prague headquarter on Saturday to mark the 73rd anniversary
of the Prague Uprising against Nazi rule at the end of WWII.
The radio station was the focal point of the uprising and the site of one of the biggest clashes with Nazi forces as citizens came to defend the building against German attempts to retake it. Over 100 people died defending the radio building and hundreds of others fell at the barricades that went up around Prague. Altogether, an estimated 12,000 people were killed around the country.
The commemorative ceremony outside Czech Radio was attended by the Speaker of the Senate Milan Stech, Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová, members of the Union of Freedom Fighters and others. Mr. Stech said that although the uprising had come in the last days of the war it had prevented the Nazis from destroying the historic core of the Czech capital.
The Night Wolves, a Russian motorcycle club known for its staunch
nationalism and close ties to Vladimir Putin, is making several appearances
in the Czech Republic in connection with the end-of-war celebrations. They
attended a commemorative ceremony in Silesia on Friday and are expected to
return to the Czech Republic on Sunday.
The Russian bikers’ presence in the country is highly controversial. They claim they are paying homage to Red Army soldiers who died liberating Czechoslovakia, but critics see their rides as politically provocative and Russian propaganda.
Freedom celebrations continue in the West Bohemian town of Plzen, marking
the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the city by General Patton’s
Army. Thousands of people on Saturday welcomed the Convoy of Liberty, with
its 220 historic military vehicles, which is traditionally one of the
highlights of the celebrations. Seven US and Belgian war veterans who
helped liberate the city are attending the celebrations this year.
The Liberation Festival in the city traditionally lasts for several days and includes street happenings, concerts and the chance to see a reconstructed US military camp from that period. The celebrations continue on Sunday at the town’s memorial to the US army with an event called Thank You, America!