More than sixty years after the end of World War II it can still prove hard to bury hostilities - as well as the remains of soldiers who died in the carnage. In February of this year the remains of some 4,000 WWII German soldiers were found piled up in numbered cardboard boxes at a disused factory in the north Bohemian town of Usti nad Labem. Ever since, the Czech and German authorities have been trying to agree on a final resting place for them.Soon they will be able to make their final journey - to a cemetery in the north-eastern town of
Usually in Czech Books we discuss poetry or prose, but for this week's programme we look at an intriguing book that fits neither category. Instead it is a collection of interviews, coming from a part of the Czech Republic that has gone through huge and sometimes traumatic changes over the last sixty or seventy years. I talk with two people who were very closely involved in the book, Matej Spurny and Ondrej Matejka.
New Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek opposes plans by a group
representing Germans forced out of eastern Europe after World War Two
to build a permanent centre on the expulsions. Reiterating a
long-standing Czech position, the prime minister, leader of the
right-wing Civic Democrats, said his government wanted relations with
Germany to focus on "the present and the future". The Centre Against
Expulsions, a foundation linked with the League of German Expellees,
plans to build a permanent centre on the subject in Berlin.
The League represents 12.5 million Germans evicted from eastern Europe after the war, including about three million from former Czechoslovakia. Mr Topolanek said he would coordinate the Czech position with Poland, which also opposes the plan.
A new exhibition of photographs opened in the town of Broumov this weekend, depicting the region's unique geography and cultural heritage. Broumov and the surrounding villages were once home to a sizeable German community, almost all of whom were expelled after the war. The pictures, by photographer Hana Jakrlova, record the echoes of a lost community. Rob Cameron was at the opening and has this report.
You open the pack and you're greeted with the sweet smell of butter, vanilla, and caramel. I'm talking about the Czech Republic's famed Karlovarske Oplatky or Carlsbad Wafers. Thin wafers filled with crushed almonds, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon that also come in various other flavours like chocolate, caramel and lemon.
The Sudeten German Landsmannschaft protested against a request made to the European Commission to limit the use of the famed "Karlovarske Oplatky" or Carlsbad Wafers name. The Czech Government would like the name to be recognised and protected as a geographic indication of the place of origin that cannot be used by manufacturers of wafers outside the west Bohemian region. According to the Landsmannschaft - an organisation representing ethnic Germans who were expelled from the Czechoslovak border area after WWII, the original recipe of the wafers came from baker families of Sudeten German origin.
The Kinskys are one of the oldest Czech noble families, with the first recorded mention of their name in the 13th century. But today Franz-Ulrich Kinsky is a figure of controversy in the Czech Republic, where he has filed over 150 lawsuits against the state and individuals; he is seeking the return of more than 1.4 billion dollars worth of property he says was illegally confiscated after World War II.
The expulsion of more than two million ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II has long remained a source of tension in Czech-German relations and one of the most controversial chapters in Czechoslovakia's post-war history. On Wednesday, for the first time, the Czech government expressed a symbolic apology and regret over the post-war victimisation of thousands of Sudeten Germans, who had remained loyal to the Czechoslovak state and had been active in the anti-Nazi resistance. The gesture, approved unanimously by the government, has
The Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka paid a one-day visit to Prague on Thursday - and praised Czech counterpart Jiri Paroubek's efforts at reconciliation with anti-fascist Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after the war. Both Poland and the Czech Republic have made strides towards reconciliation with Germany in recent years, though the efforts are not to everyone's liking. Rob Cameron has more.
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary
Shabby pub profits from nostalgia