“Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along…We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.” That was US President George W. Bush speaking in front of the Israeli Knesset on May 15th. The statement was not only controversial because it was viewed as a political attack on a fellow American – Senator Barack Obama - while away from American soil, but
In today’s edition of the Arts we meet American scholar Kathi Diamant, who has spent years researching and writing about her namesake – Dora Diamant. Dora was a Polish émigré living in Berlin when she met Czech writer Franz Kafka for the first time in 1923. She became the great novelist’s last lover – spending the final eleven months of his life with him in a shared Berlin flat. Kathi Diamant has just written a book about Dora, titled ‘Kafka’s Last Love’. She spoke to Radio Prague’s Anna Kubišta about how she originally became interested in the
Astoria in the borough of Queens is where you will find the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, a Czech pub and social centre which first opened its doors in 1919. Today it offers one of the very few large spaces for al fresco drinking in the whole of New York, a fact reflected in extremely long queues to get in during the summer months.
During the wartime occupation, German-language broadcasts from Prague were absorbed into the radio network of Nazi Germany, the so-called “Reichssender”. A number of archive recordings in German survive from the time. Most vivid and chilling among them are the long lists of names broadcast each day of Czechs arrested and executed. But there are also some propaganda curiosities. In June 1941, Prague’s German programme interviewed a nurse. She was living and working in the city, and remembered with great nostalgia one particular patient who had come
Retired US astronaut Eugene Cernan is one of only three people to have landed on the moon twice. In fact, he is the last human being to have walked on the moon: as commander of the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, he was the last astronaut to re-enter the Apollo Lunar Module before the crew returned to Earth. As the name might suggest, Mr Cernan is of Czechoslovak descent. Indeed, he carried Czechoslovakia’s flag with him on his final space flight. He told me why:
You might not recognise the name straight away, but Antonín Josef Čermák - a miner’s son from Kladno, Central Bohemia - is one of the most famous Czech-Americans to have ever lived. Anton (or Tony) Cermak became mayor of Chicago at the height of prohibition, overhauled Democratic Party politics in the city, and was then assassinated in the most mysterious of circumstances. All quite dramatic for someone who started his career selling firewood…
The Czech Republic currently, for the first time ever, has good relations with all of its neighbours – with perhaps one exception. Relations between Czechs and Austrians, hampered by a feud over the Temelín nuclear power plant in southern Bohemia, sank to a historic low in the 1990s, and are only slowly improving. In this edition of One on One, we speak to Přemysl Janýr, the Vienna-based chairman of the Forum for Czech-Austrian Dialogue.
When Nazi Germany occupied Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939, many Czech and Slovak professional soldiers and airmen decided to escape from the country, rather than hand over arms to the Germans. Six months later war broke out and many of them joined the French armed forces. When France was occupied, they escaped to Britain. This was how the Royal Air Force’s 310 and 312 Czechoslovak Fighter Squadrons came to be set up in July and August 1940, and they went on to play an important role in the Battle of Britain. They were also joined by the 311