In today’s Mailbox we find out who the mystery man in our July competition was and we announce the names of four Radio Prague listeners who will be sent small gifts for their correct answers. Listeners quoted: Prasanta Kumar Padmapati, Bob Boundy, Jana Vaculik, Riaz Ahman Khan, Catherine Olubunmi Agboola, Don Schumann, Steve Wara, Colin Law, David Eldridge, K. Thiagarajan, Charles Konecny, Jerry Kubik, Henrik Klemetz.
Old red and white trams are just as much a part of the Czech capital as Prague Castle or Charles Bridge. The metro is definitely faster and more comfortable, but it doesn’t offer the same views as trams do. Besides, the metro stops at midnight while trams can carry you home at any time of the day and night, that is of course, if you live close enough to the railway tracks. So, when did trams first appear in the streets of Prague? And what is it like to be at the controls of a tram?
In November 1945, six months after the end of World War II, the units that had taken part in liberating Czechoslovakia began their official withdrawal. Various ceremonies were held, first on November 15, to say farewell to the Red Army troops, who had fought their way in bitter fighting through Slovakia all the way to Prague. Then a few days later, on November 20, the withdrawal began of the American units that had liberated Western Bohemia.
Last week the Archive of the Czech Security Forces posted data on the internet compiled by former Czechoslovakia’s military counter-intelligence. The data lists some 140,000 names of people who were either monitored by the military counter-intelligence or were agents, and it hasn’t taken long for the files to stir controversy. Czech TV reported that five of the country’s MPs, including Social Democrat and former Olympic ski jumper Pavel Ploc, were among those listed. He and the other deputies reacted quickly, denying cooperation of any kind with
Lída Baarová was one of the most famous and successful Czech actresses to have ever lived. Her career spanned over 70 years, in the course of which she starred in a whole number of both Czech and German film classics. She even made it into Federico Fellini’s ‘I Vitelloni’ in 1953. But she is perhaps best known for her life off-screen, as one of Czech film’s most unhappy characters. Lída Baarová’s beauty attracted the attention of Joseph Goebbels, and her career - tragically for her - reached its peak in Nazi Germany shortly before World War
In early July, three days after the Czech Republic and the Bush Administration signed a controversial agreement on a future anti-ballistic missile radar base, Russia drastically reduced the supply of oil flowing into the country. The move prompted fears that the Czech Republic had become the latest post-communist country to face what some view as extortion from its former big brother – one strongly opposed to the placement of the US radar base on Czech soil. The crisis soon passed, with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordering a full restoration
Ever heard of pedro, céčka or jarmilky? Apparently, they are some of the most successful products of the socialist regime – at least according to a survey recently carried out among the users of the Novinky website. I myself did not take part in the voting, but I followed the process closely. Just like many other people of my generation, I too enjoy endless debates on what we used to eat or wear or play with in the long-gone communist days.
In last week’s From the Archives we heard about radio’s central role in the Prague Uprising against the German occupation at the end of World War II. Not only did the signal for the uprising to begin come over the air, but the radio also helped to co-ordinate the fighting. It also played a third role. At the time the Red Army was already approaching Prague from the east, and General Patton’s Third Army was in Plzeň just a few dozen kilometres to the west. Many of those fighting in the streets of Prague were untrained and had few weapons, and the
Over half a century later, the Czech police have, for the first time ever, issued charges connected with the forced collectivatisation of farms by the Communist regime in the 1950s. According to press reports on Thursday, officers recently began the prosecution of a former Communist functionary who is now in his late 70s.