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.
“Calling all Czechs! Come quickly to our aid! Calling all Czechs!” It is May 5 1945, and with these words Prague radio appeals to Czechs to join the uprising against the German occupation. This was to be one of the last European battles of World War Two and the greatest moment in the history of Czechoslovak Radio. For some time radio staff had been working secretly with the Czech underground to prepare the ground for the uprising. Their radio appeal marked the beginning of the battle. In the confusion of the following three days with street battles
A replica Czech-made Avia BH 5 aeroplane will next week take to the skies as part of a re-enactment of a 1923 air race between Prague and Brussels. The original race 85 years ago was won by a Czech - Zdenek Lhota - flying in exactly the same model, and this event will commemorate what was a proud moment for Czech aviation history.
South Moravia is a region in the Czech Republic known for many things – a sunny climate, interesting folklore and reasonably good wine. Being the most visited region of the country outside Prague, many people come for historic sights, chateaus and mediaeval castles. But few visitors realize the region along the borders with Austria and Slovakia boats a number of Jewish monuments from times long gone. Most of them now belong to the Jewish Community in Brno which has one man to take care of them – architect Jaroslav Klenovský.
Czech industrial heritage is the focus of a new book that was presented in Prague on Tuesday. Published in both Czech and English by the Czech Technical University, the volume “Průmyslové dědictví – Industrial Heritage” is a collection of papers from the international conference “Vestiges of Industry”, held in the Czech Republic’s largest industrial centres every two years.
By 1944 Czechoslovakia’s liberation no longer seemed a distant prospect, as Nazi Germany’s enemies closed in from East and West. On June 6 1944 over 130,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. Later that same day, the Allied forces’ Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower, took to the airwaves:
This Wednesday marks exactly 35 years since the opening of one of the country’s most notable works of architecture, hotel Ještěd. The conical spaceship-like building with an integrated TV tower is built on top of a hill above the town of Liberec and dominates the surrounding skyline. The design of the building, which was completed in 1973, remains unique to this day.
The Czech film director Vojtěch Jasný is a fit and active 82-year-old who clearly loves to tell a story. And what stories. After his father was killed at Auschwitz, the teenage Vojtěch joined the resistance and, he says, became a British spy. As a young filmmaker he was happy to serve socialism and, despite becoming somewhat disillusioned, enjoyed good relations with Communist leaders Antonín Novotný and Alexander Dubček. Other significant acquaintances included Tito, the great German author Heinrich Boll and Miloš Forman.
Peter Sís was born in Brno in 1949 but has been living in the US for over a quarter of a century. He won a Golden Bear for best animated film at the West Berlin Film Festival in 1980, before later launching an extremely successful career as a children’s author and illustrator. Indeed, he is a seven-time winner of the New York Times Book Review award for best illustrated work of the year. His most recent book is The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. We spoke at his studio in Soho in New York.
The wartime president of occupied Bohemia and Moravia, Emil Hácha, is one of the saddest figures of Czech twentieth century history. An elderly academic, he only agreed reluctantly to become head of state after Edvard Beneš resigned over the Munich Agreement in 1938. He made the tragic mistake of remaining in office when Hitler marched into the country six months later. Hácha’s hopes of preserving at least some of his country’s independence were gradually worn down, and as his health failed, he eventually became nothing but a puppet of the