The Czech Radio archives give us a rich and nuanced picture of the months leading up to the Munich Agreement of September 1938 that resulted in Nazi Germany annexing huge areas of Czechoslovakia. So many recordings survive that we can reconstruct the events leading up to Munich almost day by day. They include insights from many different angles, not least the perspective of the German-speakers of Czechoslovakia, those who supported, but also those who opposed Hitler. The archives offer a sober warning of how easily a democratic state can be shattered
Actor Ladislav Mrkvička and opera singer Gabriela Beňačková received
lifetime achievement awards at the Thálie theatre awards in Prague on
The Czech Theatre Academy also presented a new prize, for extraordinary contribution to the art of theatre, to Zdeněk Svěrák, who is also very famous for his screen roles. Both he and Mrkvička received standing ovations during the ceremony at the National Theatre.
Prizes were also awarded in many other categories during the annual event.
Business and government representatives gathered near the western Bohemian town of Žatec on Wednesday to attend the official opening of a new Nexen Tire plant. The factory, which also features a research and development facility, is the third largest foreign investment project in the Czech Republic to be brokered by the country’s business development agency CzechInvest.
Communist Party chairman Vojtěch Filip has criticised the participation of
the Czech ambassador to Berlin in a meeting of the Sudeten German Homeland
Association last month, accusing Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček of
trying to demolish the Beneš decrees.
Mr. Filip said the Sudeten German group could not be a partner of the government and that he had never felt such disgust at a Czech foreign minister.
For his part, Mr. Petříček said nobody had questioned the Beneš decrees. He said Mr. Filip was acting like a parasite toward the past and what’s more was doing so a month late.
The Beneš decrees sanctioned the expulsion of Czechoslovakia’s German minority and the confiscation of their property after WWII.
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.
The biggest public event marking the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia was a concert that filled Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Tuesday evening. The culmination of the free show came with Marta Kubišová’s rendition of A Prayer for Marta, a song that came to symbolise the 1968 invasion.
In the late summer of 1938, the fate of the Czechoslovak Republic was being decided. The Sudeten German-speaking minority wanted to split from the country and join Nazi Germany. Hitler threatened war on Czechoslovakia if their demands were not met. Britain and France were bound by treaties to help the Czechs but wanted desperately to avoid the war. So, they sent a special envoy to the country – Walter Runciman, 1st Viscount of Doxford, in short, Lord Runciman. Vít Pohanka found an episodic but fascinating story connected with Lord Runciman’s historic
Žatec, a hop-growing town in North Bohemia, has failed to get on the list
of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but it has been encouraged by the
respective committee assessing nominations to try again and broaden the
arguments in favour of its nomination.
The candidacy was submitted in January of last year and based on the town’s specialization in processing of hops.
The Czech Republic has 12 listings on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among them the historic centre of Prague, Telč, Český Krumlov,Litomyšl Castle, the Villa Tugenhadt in Brno and most recently, in 2003, the Jewish Quarter in Třebíč.