Eighty years ago today, on March 15 1939, Hitler gave Czechoslovak President Emil Hácha a stark choice: accept becoming a protectorate or face destruction. After Hácha reluctantly agreed to give up his country’s independence the German army started moving in. It was the beginning of six long years of occupation.
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.
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.
An article called "Hitler - Gentleman", referred to by President
Milǒs Zeman in a speech in January 2015, has been found, ending
speculation about its existence ever since. But the article in question,
published on February 24,1937, appeared not in Přítomnost, as Mr Zeman
claimed, but in Rudé Právo. Novinky.cz and other sources report that most
significantly, it was not written by legendary Czech journalist Ferdinand
Peroutka and was not favorable but critical of Hitler and Nazism.
According to available information, the article in the newspaper was reaction to a story published a day earlier in the agrarian right-wing daily Venkov, which had quoted Czech legionnaires describing Hitler as an "affable fellow" and someone they did not think wanted to start a war in Europe. The article, which featured no byline, was labelled an unprecedented provocation by Rudé Právo.
The president's claim that the 'Gentleman' article was written by Ferdinand Peroutka led to a lawsuit from the journalist's granddaughter; a court recently ordered the head of state to apologize, but the Office of the President filed an appellate complaint in response.
The 'Hitler-Gentleman' article was reportedly uncovered by historian Jan Galandauer while conducting other research. The president's spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, reacted with a tweet on Saturday morning, saying he considered the find "an interesting clue".
Power, sex, and film world glamour, against the backdrop of the rise and fall of the Nazi regime. The story of Czechoslovak film actress, Lída Baarová, has it all. And it’s therefore not surprising that the Czech film world has returned yet again to Baarová this month, first with a documentary film about the actress and then with a full length feature film.