The Story of Prague Castle is a permanent exhibition at Prague’s most famous site, covering its magnificent thousand-year history – from its architecture to the lives of the Czech kings. But, this week, a new small exhibit was added, one that will be of most interest to those passionate about jewelry. Around 30 items in gold and silver, dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries, in other words the early medieval period, have been put on display.
The first of some 4,500 remains of German soldiers and several hundred civilians, who died on Czech territory during the Second World War, were buried in the west Bohemian town of Cheb last week. The local cemetery will become the last of several German military burial grounds in the Czech Republic. For some this is a sign of true reconciliation but others feel that the soldiers, who once invaded Czechoslovakia on Hitler’s command, should not be buried in Czech soil.
The early 1960s saw dramatic developments in the Cold War, with the building of the Berlin Wall and then the brinkmanship of the Cuban Missile Crisis. But there were also signs of a greater pragmatism in East-West relations. One channel for dialogue was a series of international gatherings, where scholars and public figures discussed how to reduce the risk of armed conflict. These were known as the Pugwash Conferences, named after the town in Canada where the idea was first launched back in 1957. In September 1964, one such conference was held
Czechs on Monday marked 19 years since the fall of communism and the return of freedom and democracy to their country. It was a day of remembrance but more than ever before it was overshadowed by present-day concerns such as the Communists’ return to power in regional government and the siting of a US radar on Czech territory.
Czech-born British author and journalist Benjamin Kuras was one of many expatriates who witnessed the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia from abroad. Ahead of autumn 1989, he and colleagues at the BBC’s Czech section regularly speculated over when change would finally come. But when it happened in the days and months after November 17, the developments presented a new dilemma for those who had left in 1968 or earlier. New questions came to the fore such as when to visit, whether to go back at all, and if so, how to tackle one’s “ghosts”. In this
Over the next four weeks, at almost 600 primary and secondary schools throughout the Czech Republic, pupils will come face to face with the many injustices carried out during four decades of communist rule. Using documentary films and interaction with real people who lived through those times, the Stories of Injustice project attempts to shed light on a period that barely features on the mainstream Czech curriculum. The programme is run by the NGO People in Need, and this is its fourth year, but as Rob Cameron reports, it's not to everyone's
Czechoslovakia played an active part in the Soviet Union’s propaganda war with the United States during the 1950s, a time of edginess and paranoia on both sides. There was no shortage of people trying to flee across the Iron Curtain to the West, but every now and then the flight would be in the other direction, and someone from the West would actively seek asylum in the Communist Bloc. For the communist regimes this was a propaganda opportunity not to be missed.
Milan Hauner is a leading Czech historian whose area of expertise is World War II, Germany and Czech-German relations. He himself was born during the war, in 1940, to a Czech-German couple who were both deaf. In this edition of Panorama, Professor Hauner, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin, outlines aspects of his own, fascinating family history – starting with his grandfather Vilém Julius Hauner, a leading military historian, translator and anti-Nazi journalist.
Even after the death of Stalin in the Soviet Union and Klement Gottwald in Czechoslovakia the 1950s remained a period of high political tension between East and West. The Cold War was at its height; with it came the arms race and the space race. Here is Czechoslovakia’s president Antonín Novotný, in a New Year radio address on January 1 1958:
The story of the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia is one of the most remarkable episodes of the first world war. It has now been captured in a new documentary entitled Accidental Army by the Czech Legion Project. The group's Chicago-based founder Bruce Bendinger was in Prague screening it last week, and he stopped by at Radio Prague's studios to discuss the Legions and their fascinating history.