In today’s Mailbox, you will find out who the mystery lady from our April competition was. We will also announce the names of four of Radio Prague’s listeners who were drawn out of the hat and will receive small prizes from us for their correct answers. And of course, there is a brand new quiz question for you. Listeners quoted: Prasanta Kumar Padmapati, Christine Takaguchi-Coates, Jana Vaculik, Ian Morrison, Mark Guy, Panha Pen, Deepa Chakraborty, Colin Law, Partha Sarathi Goswami, Henrik Klemetz, David Eldridge, Christopher Roberts, Charles
The Colorado potato beetle is a pernicious and resilient crop pest. Also known by the colourful name of ten-striped spearman, it has an interesting history in this part of the world. In fact, the beetle was one of the most visible elements of communist propaganda in Czechoslovakia in the dark days of the 1950s.
Olga Fikotová won gold in the discus at the Olympic Games in 1956, less than two years after taking up the discipline. At the Olympics she met and fell in love with an American athlete, Harold Connolly. Back home in Czechoslovakia, their romance overshadowed her stunning success, with Olga accused of being a traitor by the communist authorities. Marriage to Harold spelled the end of her career as a Czechoslovak athlete, though she went on to represent the US at four Olympic Games. Olga Fikotová-Connolly is our guest in this special programme.
Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day victims - a day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished during the Second World War - was marked in many parts of the Czech Republic - in synagogues, at public gatherings and in private, by families whose lives were directly affected by the Holocaust. Anyone passing through Prague’s Náměstí Míru on Wednesday could stop to take part in a public reading of the names of Holocaust victims. The event was organised by the Terezín Initiative Institute, the Czech Union of Jewish Youth
Institutionalized care for disabled people in the Czech lands goes back almost a century to the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Ninety-five years ago in April of 1913 a prominent surgeon by the name of Rudolf Jedlička established a medical-and-educational facility which aimed to give disabled children and adults a chance to live a more dignified, active life.
Thirty years ago, on April 24th, 1978, seventeen Czechoslovak citizens got together and decided to form an organisation called VONS – the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted. The organisation’s aim was to monitor and publicise cases of people unlawfully prosecuted by the Communist regime. Within a year, five VONS members – including Václav Havel, Petr Uhl and Jiří Dienstbier – had themselves been sent to prison, an act that received worldwide condemnation. On Tuesday former VONS members gathered for a seminar at the Senate to mark
For Czechs, the 20th century was a turbulent time. Independent Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 only to later fall victim to the two great tyrannies of modern history – Nazism and communism. Many Czechs fled their country during the 20th century so that they could live as free people, and often simply to save their lives. Wednesday marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Egon Hostovský, one of the most distinctive and significant modern-day Czech writers, who fled his country twice, first to escape the Nazis, and later the Communists.
Martin Palouš was one of the first signatories of the Charter 77 protest document. Since 1989 he has been a parliamentary deputy, an academic, and Czech ambassador to Washington. Now, however, Mr Palouš represents the Czech Republic at the United Nations in New York. When we spoke last week at his office on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue, we began with the subject of Charter 77 and his days as a dissident.
Hundreds of cameras flashed on Thursday when seven representatives of church and state, including President Václav Klaus, Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek and Prague Archbishop Miloslav Vlk gathered in Prague’s St Vitus cathedral to unlock the chamber in which the Czech crown jewels are stored. The chamber only opens when all seven keepers of the keys unlock seven different locks at the same time. The crown jewels were then taken to Prague Castle’s Vladislav Hall, the traditional site of the coronation of kings, where they will be put on display for