People in Brno on Sunday marked the 80th anniversary of the burning down of
the Moravian capital’s Great Synagogue shortly before Adolf Hitler
arrived in the city. Around 100 people laid flowers and lit candles at the
spot where the synagogue had stood on the corner of the streets Spálená
The building was completed in 1855 and had a capacity for over 1,000 worshippers. It was burned down on the night of March 17, 1939 by Brno Nazis, evidently as a “gift” to Hitler, the Czech News Agency wrote.
People across the Czech Republic are commemorating the anniversary of the
occupation of Czechoslovakia by Hitler’s Germany on this day 80 years
ago, which was followed by the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia
and Moravia, which many see as the darkest six years in modern Czech
Among the most important events is a remembrance act taking place on Hradčanské náměstí attended by representatives of the Czechoslovak Legionaries Association and the Ministry of Defence. In the Senate, Czech and Slovak historians have gathered for a special conference focused on the year 1939 and the events leading up to the end of inter-war Czechoslovakia.
Meanwhile, Czech Radio is running a special day long, minute-by-minute broadcast service dedicated to March 15th 1939.
Earlier this year the Czech Republic marked the 80th anniversary of the Munich Agreement, signed in September 1938 by the leaders of Germany, France, Great Britain, and Italy, resulting in the annexation of the Sudetenland by Nazi Germany. Radio Prague’s David Vaughan recently published a book in the UK titled “Hear My Voice”, most of which is set in Czechoslovakia in the months preceding the Munich agreement. Its narrator is an interpreter for the international press corps in Prague and he watches the events of 1938 unfold in Central Europe as
With the 80th anniversary of the Munich agreement coming soon, Tom McEnchroe focused on the Czech side of Munich. Talking to the deputy director of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Ondřej Matějka, about what it was like to live in the region that lay at the heart of the conflict, as well as how Munich is remembered in the Czech Republic today.
This Sunday will mark the 80th anniversary of the infamous Munich agreement - the deal between Hitler, Mussolini and the two western European powers, which cut off the German speaking borderlands from Czechoslovakia, including a significant part of its industry and protective ring of forts, thus rendering the young republic defenceless to any future German invasion. Munich is often seen as a betrayal of the Czechoslovak state by western powers and the French were famously ashamed for breaking their alliance. But why did the Great powers act as they
To promote neo-Nazi ideology is a crime in the Czech Republic. Giving the Seig Heil salute and denying the Holocaust is also forbidden, as is hate speech in general. But to profit from the sale of products featuring the words or images of Adolf Hitler and the like is permitted – if it cannot be proven the seller was looking to propagate hateful ideology.
Police have closed an investigation into the case of a publishing house
that sold T-shirts and mugs with the portrait of Hitler and Stalin.
Police spokesman Jan Daněk said the police was not filing charges since there was no evidence that the activity was other than profit-oriented.
The owner of the publishing house Naše Vojsko, which also sells mugs of Einstein, John. F. Kennedy and Charles IV, told the media he welcomed the outcome of the investigation, saying that the sale of T-shirts featuring Hitler and Stalin might be ethically borderline, but he had no intention of propagating Nazism and was doing it solely for profit.
The freethinking part of Czech society suffered several defeats in recent
years, rector of Masaryk University in Brno, Mikuláš Bek maintained in
his address to attendees at Albertov in Prague on Friday marking the
courage and dedication of students and others who fought oppression in
Czechoslovakia on November 17, 1939 and 1989.
Freedom and democracy, he said, needed to be cared for and he said one shouldn't be afraid to fight for it. In his speech, he ranked the first direct presidential election as one defeat freethinking society had suffered recently. The rector added there was "no reason to panic" and that education could change Czech society for the better.
The rector of Charles University, Tomáš Zima, remembered the courage of students in both 1939 and 1989 and said he had no doubt if freedom and democracy were threatened today, people would again stand up in its defense.
On the occasion of the anniversary of the end of WW II, I speak with well-known historian Matěj Spurný about the Sudeten Germans whose future in post-war Czechoslovakia was sealed when many lined up with Nazi Germany ahead of the Munich Agreement. Most of the ethnic German population was forced to leave – spelling the end of what had been a largely peaceful coexistence going all the way back to the 13th century.