The life of Arnost Lustig (81) is like an excursion through modern Czech history. The internationally renowned author of novels such as Dita Saxova, A Prayer for Katherine Horowitz and Lovely Green Eyes spent three years in Nazi camps, joined the Communist Party and left his homeland in 1968. In this week's edition of Arts, Arnost Lustig talks to us about his eventful life.
Since the fall of communism the Czech Republic has undergone a complete transformation towards a capitalist economy, visible everywhere from the revitalization of Skoda to the appearance of department stores like Tesco in Prague and Brno. But how is this transition comparable to the economic developments of the past? A new exhibition at Prague's National Museum of Agriculture is hoping to provide visitors with some answers, and to show how trade developed throughout the history of the Czech lands: from humble beginnings to the state of trade
The Czech National Museum has decided to enrich their collection with the addition of cecka - little plastic hooks in the shape of the letter C, which could be linked up in chains and hung in the doorframes as beads curtains. How did this inconspicuous piece of plastic earn its place among the National Museum's exhibits? Believe it or not, for a generation of people who grew up in the 1980s in communist Czechoslovakia, it is a symbol of their childhood. For reasons unknown, the pressed plastic "Cs" became a collecting craze among the children soon
On August 21 1968, people woke up to discover that the dream of freedom they were living in the late 1960s had turned into a nightmare. Thirty-nine years ago, the streets of Prague and other cities and towns in Czechoslovakia were full of the tanks and soldiers of five armies led by the Soviet Union. Today, we look back at the anniversary of what for Czechs and Slovaks was one of the formative moments of the 20th century.
At only 25, Michael Hugo Rosak may seem rather young to run the Czech branch of an international NGO. But Michael is well-qualified to head the Prague office of AFS, having himself taken part in its international student exchange programme while still at school. AFS stands for American Field Service, and was started during the First World War by Americans who preferred to provide back-up services rather than fight; their experiences in Europe convinced them of the value of spending time abroad. But when did AFS first come to this country? That
The second half of the 1960s in Czechoslovakia was a time of change. Things were happening that had not been seen, or even heard of, for almost two decades, since the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia took over the country in February 1948. Twenty years later, people in Czechoslovakia began to wonder whether Soviet-type of 'socialism' was the only way to go. On the eve of the anniversary of the crushing of that movement, we look back at a momentous era in modern Czech history.
Pivnice U Zlateho Tygra, At the Golden Tiger, is a name that resonates with all Czech beer lovers. Located on Husova Street in Prague's Old Town, it is one of the oldest pubs in the centre of the city and was the second place in the capital to serve the renowned Pilsner Urquell. Among its famous regulars was Bohumil Hrabal, the great Czech novelist.
Hradec Kralove lies on the spectacular confluence of the Elbe and Orlice Rivers, about 100 km east of Prague. This extraordinarily pretty town boasts a rich architectural heritage, especially in its historical quarter where handsome renaissance buildings testify to the wealth and status the town enjoyed thanks to the trade that used to pass through en route to Silesia.
In recent years Lenka Reinerova has acquired almost legendary status as Prague's last living writer in the German language. Her novels, stories and essays, many of which are strongly autobiographical, are widely read both in Germany and the Czech Republic. She is currently at the centre of a fascinating literary project. Prague has always been a city of two languages, Czech and German, but after the trauma of World War Two, the German language disappeared almost completely. A huge literary tradition was lost, in which Prague's most famous literary