You are not very likely to wander into Svitavy by chance. Located on both the major road and railway line connecting Moravia and eastern Bohemia, for most people Svitavy is just a name on their itinerary. But if you do come and take a closer look, you’ll find a little town proud of its past and working for a better future. Once an important town for Moravia’s textile industry, re-populated after the expulsion of Svitavy’s German speaking inhabitants, it only recently showed its pride in perhaps its most famous native personality – Oskar
2008 has been a year of anniversaries linked to milestone events which changed the course of Czech history – 1968, 1948 and 1938. In those years, many Czechs left their country due to the deteriorating political situation – an imminent war, a communist takeover and a Soviet-led invasion. Our guest in this edition of One on One is Joseph Kohn, a native of Prague, who left Czechoslovakia in 1938, and who is now a professor of mathematics at Princeton University in the United States.
Today we disclose the identity of November’s mystery Czech and announce the names of the four listeners who will receive small prizes for their correct answers. Listeners quoted: Imo Obong Umana, Mogire Machuki, Prasanta Kumar Padmapati, Henk Poortvliet, Hans Verner Lollike, Jana Vaculik, K.Thiagarajan, Francesco Reda and Irena Knos, Krzysztof Borski, Constantin Liviu Viorel, Colin Law, Christine Takaguchi-Coates, Christopher Larkosh, Mark Schiefelbein, Charles Konecny.
In last week’s From the Archives we featured Martin Luther King, interviewed by Czechoslovak Radio in 1963. But Dr King was not the first civil rights campaigner to address Czech and Slovak radio listeners. Four years earlier, in June 1959, Paul Robeson came to Prague, to take part in an international left-wing cultural congress. Robeson was a man of many talents – singer, actor, athlete, writer and civil rights activist. He never concealed his sympathies with the communist regimes of the Eastern Bloc, and his political views – combined with the
This month marks exactly 50 years since the first performance at Divadlo Na Zábradlí, a theatre which has become famous mainly for staging former President Václav Havel’s plays. To mark the anniversary, the theatre has prepared a number of special events both for its former employees and its spectators.
A team of Czech experts are currently in Vietnam to plan one of the biggest clean-up operations in the Southeast Asian country’s history. The Czech Development Agency has been awarded millions of crowns by the government to decontaminate some of the areas worst polluted by the highly toxic herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Michal Procházka is from the development agency and overseeing the clean-up. I spoke to him earlier today and asked first about the sort of problems Agent Orange was causing in the north of the country where the
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’” The unforgettable words of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., delivered on August 28 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. The speech, addressed to a crowd of a quarter of a million, was a defining moment in the American civil rights movement, and its echoes reached as far as communist Eastern Europe. In Czechoslovakia the civil rights movement had already aroused
A rare collection of stamps bearing the likeness of French Emperor Napoleon has gone on exhibit at the Slavkov (or Austerlitz) Chateau on the anniversary of the Battle of the Three Emperors. In 1805 Napoleon routed Russian and Austrian forces at Austerlitz, cementing what is regarded as Napoleon’s greatest triumph. The collection, which features some 1,000 stamps from around the world, was bought by the chateau following the death of the collection’s original owner.