This week in Mailbox we read from your answers to our February listeners' quiz question and announce the name of this month's winner. Listeners quoted: Gerwyn Roberts, Mick Edwards, Jayanta Chakrabarty, Gordon Martindale, Zofia Szuberla, Colin Law, Charles Konecny, Hans Verner Lollike, Kristina Pletková.
This Sunday, March 7, marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of one of the absolute giants of Czech history, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. The founder of Czechoslovakia and the state’s first president was born in Hodonín, and the south Moravian town is currently gearing up to celebrate the anniversary. To find out exactly how Hodonín will be honouring Masaryk on Sunday, I spoke to town hall spokesperson Petra Kotásková.
Much of the tapestry of old Czech history and the fundamental legendry of this country is known to us today thanks to the labours of one wise old man. His name was Cosmas of Prague, he died almost 900 years ago, but today his name is known as well or even better than some of the kings who he immortalised in writing. Cosmas of Prague set the foundation on which Czech historiography was built when he recorded all he knew about his nation in its first annals, the Chronicle of the Bohemians.
The acclaimed Czech champion of photography Anna Fárová died in Prague at the age of 81 over the weekend. Ms Fárová catalogued and exhibited the works of some great Czech photographers, including Josef Sudek and František Drtikol. Despite persecution by the communist authorities Anna Fárová also launched the first ever line of books on photography in Europe.
Ludmila Brožová-Polednová, a former communist prosecutor who is serving a six year prison sentence for her role in helping to send democratic politician Milada Horáková to the gallows in a notorious 1950s show trial, may soon be released. It has now come to light that three presidential amnesties apply to her case, each lowering her sentence by two years.
The Czech Republic is to obtain an historic tank from Peru that was built specifically for export to the South American country in the 1930s. Prague’s Military History Institute, which falls under the Defence Ministry, and the Peruvian town of Mollendo recently signed an agreement by which Peru will make a gift of the tank to the Czech Republic. In return, it will receive a donation of 50,000 US dollars for the building of a new library.
Literature sometimes makes for some unusual connections. What, for example, could Franz Kafka possibly have in common with the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland? To find the answer we start at the busy British Council office, just a couple of streets down from Czech Radio’s headquarters. Just after World War II, the British Council here was headed by Edwin Muir, who was born in 1887 in Orkney and grew up on the tiny island of Wyre. He is one of Scotland’s best known 20th century poets, but it is also quite possible that you will have