MEP Bernd Posselt was elected on Sunday the leader of Sudenten Germans – former German-speaking citizens of Czechoslovakia who were expelled from the country after WWII. Mr Posselt, who is 51, said he would focus on improving the relations between the Sudeten Germans and Czechs; he also wants to speed up the establishment of a Sudeten German museum in Munich. The Sudeten German community consists of roughly 200,000 Germans with Bohemian and Moravian roots.
This week we continue our look into the dramatic events in Czechoslovakia just before World War Two. By the summer of 1938, Hitler’s Germany was demanding nothing less than the immediate annexation of the entire Sudetenland – all parts of Bohemia and Moravia with a German speaking majority. The Sudeten German Party had made big gains among German speakers in local elections earlier that year, and the Nazi rhetoric of their leaders was unambiguous.
In the last couple of weeks we have looked at the growing tensions in Czechoslovakia in the second half of the 1930s, as pressure from Nazi Germany grew. The period leading up to the Munich Agreement in September 1938, when Britain and France gave Hitler the green light to annex vast areas of Czechoslovakia, is extremely well documented in the Czech Radio archives. The archives also reveal that this was one of the first international diplomatic crises to be played out on the airwaves. Through radio, the Munich crisis became a battle of international
“Hello, hello! Prague, Czechoslovakia calling. Good evening ladies and gentlemen”: Radio Prague welcomes listeners to its English programmes back in 1937. The tone may be a little more formal, but it is not so different from today. Yet much has changed since the troubled times of the later 1930s. Nazi Germany was breathing down Czechoslovakia’s neck and tensions in the mainly German-speaking Sudetenland were rising rapidly. The young British historian Hugh Seton Watson was in Czechoslovakia in September that year, attending an international summer
They fought against the Nazis but were treated as enemies in Czechoslovakia after the war: that is the starting point for “Forgotten Heroes” a travelling exhibition in the Czech Republic mapping the story of ethnic Sudeten Germans who fought against the Nazis. Despite their resistance to Hitler in World War II, many still suffered persecution in Czechoslovakia after the end of the war.
Now, are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin... Once upon a time, in a land far, far, away, a group of celebrities met to read their favourite fairytales to children who had gathered to listen. On Tuesday night, former President Vaclav Havel was joined by musicians, sportspeople, and filmmakers at an event called 'From My Favourite Children's Book...' The evening included readings from well-known Czech children's classics, as well as songs, and stories written by Mr. Havel himself. This mix of music and fairytale seemed to go down a treat
Thousands of people have been attending a festival in Zatec, north Bohemia, which is known for the best hops in the Czech Republic. Among the events taking place during the two-day festival are beer tastings, a rabbit show and the crowning of Miss zlateho moku (Miss Golden Drink), with entrants selected from the staff of Bohemia and Moravia's breweries.
The 42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival came to a close on Saturday night with a glitzy ceremony at the town's Thermal hotel. The festival's prize the Crystal Globe was presented to a number of directors and actors - and to US star Danny DeVito, who got an award for outstanding contribution to world cinema.
It has been six years since the father-and-son filmmaking team of Zdenek and Jan Sverak last premiered a new film, making their latest Vratne Lahve - Refundable Bottles - a much-anticipated project. Over the years the father and son, who won the Best Foreign film Oscar for 1996's Kolya, had something of a professional "falling out" when son Jan rejected an earlier version of his father's script. But both eventually found consensus on a final version and are now back at full force.