This year’s Arnošt Lustig Prize has been awarded to Dana Němcová (83), a one-time dissident. The prize is bestowed on somebody judged to have upheld and developed values such as courage and justice and was set up in honour of Arnošt Lustig, the late world-renowned writer and Holocaust survivor. Psychologist Dana Němcová was a Charter 77 signatory and spokesperson and co-founded the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Persecuted.
Monday, March 13th, marked 40 years since the death of Czech philosopher Jan Patočka, one of the founding members and first spokesmen for the Charter 77 human rights movement. Patočka, who suffered from ill health, was interrogated for 10 hours by Czechoslovakia’s secret police, the StB. His health rapidly worsened and he later died. His funeral itself became an expression of opposition to the regime.
A concert in Prague’s Klementinum concert hall on Thursday night will mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Jan Patočka, a philosopher and one of the first spokesmen for Charter 77 protest movement. Speaking at the event will be Petr Pithart, a former dissident and former prime minister. Jan Patočka died of a heart attack in March 13, 1977, after lengthy interrogations by the StB secret police, at the age of 69.
A monument has just been unveiled in Prague commemorating the support shown to Czech dissidents by the late Dutch politician Max van der Stoel. Forty years ago, on March 1, 1977, his meeting with Charter 77 spokesman Jan Patočka represented a significant breakthrough for the anti-Communist movement, then still very much in its infancy.
A series of eight programmes on public broadcaster Czech Television called Modrá Krev or Blue Blood is already around half way through. The series looks at the modern Czech aristocracy, in many cases families which have returned from exile during the Communist era, with each episode focusing on one particular noble family.
Pavel Minařík, who was a spy for communist Czechoslovakia, has been sent to prison for four months for the possession of a weapon without a license, Právo reported on Tuesday. The one-time StB agent attempted to commit suicide with an illegally held weapon in 2015 while on probation for insurance fraud, the newspaper said. The court was unable to impose a fine on him as he is living without means in a Red Cross facility for pensioners. Mr. Minařík, who is now 72, infiltrated Radio Free Europe in West Germany in the mid-1970s and planned to blow up the station. He was tried in Prague and received a four-year jail term in 1993.
A new book, Fashion Behind the Iron Curtain, released by Olympia and Prague’s Museum of Decorative Arts (UPM) has taken on the task of mapping fashion in Czechoslovakia from 1948 – 1989, a period that followed the Second World War, the Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, a brief window of democracy and freedom and itself was marked by 40 years of totalitarian rule.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has rejected a nominee put forward by President Miloš Zeman for a commission examining who should be recognised as a member of the anti-Communist resistance during the previous regime. Mr. Sobotka said Mr. Zeman’s candidate Karel Srp had done a lot for independent culture under communism. However, he said, public information showed that Mr. Srp repeatedly informed to the StB secret police. Though a court ruled in 2000 that his name had wrongfully been listed in StB records, former members of the pre-1989 underground say he did indeed inform on them to the secret police.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
Czech rock climber Adam Ondra knocked out of World Cup in Japan
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’