It was five years ago this week that our much-loved colleague, Olga Szántová, died at the age of 71. As a child she had spent most of World War II in New York, which was where she picked up her perfect East-Side English. Olga became one of the most familiar voices of Radio Prague’s English broadcasts during the political thaw of the 1960s, and she was also among the radio journalists who managed to carry on broadcasting secretly during the Soviet invasion of 1968, as several recordings from the time still bear witness.
The Sázava Monastery, which shares its name with the town and river Sázava, was declared a national cultural monument in 1962 by the Czechoslovak state. It is one of the oldest and best preserved monasteries in all of Bohemia. It is also important as an early cultural bridge between the eastern and western branches of the church and because of its use of the Old Slavonic, the first written Slavic language.
We have reached the ninth and final part of our serialized reading of “If I had been a boy, I would have been shot…” by Jaroslava Skleničková. The war is over, and Jaroslava’s account takes us from the traumas of her return to the present day, and her life with her husband Mirek in the new Lidice. But first, David Vaughan sums up the story so far.
For this week’s programme we interrupt our chronological journey through the Czech Radio archives, and go back as far as 1912. Throughout this summer in Prague it has been hard not to notice posters depicting the Titanic as the great liner sank on the night from April 14-15 1912. They are advertising an exhibition of artifacts from the ship currently on show in the Czech capital. One member of the crew who survived was a young Czech waiter, Rudolf Linhart. He had been working in a London hotel in the years before the First World War and at the beginning
Fifty years ago today, three boys aged 14 and 15, boarded a regular flight between Prague and Brno. But they had another destination in mind – Munich, in West Germany. With no airport security, one of them had a handgun he had taken from his grandfather, and after some 10 minutes in air, they entered the cockpit and began to act. But the plan went terribly wrong, and they all spent many years in prison. One of them, 65-year-old Michael Procházka, recently put out a book, Confessions of a Plane Hijacker, which recounts the whole story up to his departure
Set up in 1936 primarily as a tool to counter propaganda from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, Radio Prague itself long served as a mouthpiece for communist propaganda. Since the 1990s however, the station is the only Czech public news service, providing information about the Czech Republic in six languages to audiences around the world. Marking Radio Prague’s 75th anniversary, the Czech-born, UK-based writer, and former Radio Prague reporter Benjamin Kuras and Radio Prague’s own David Vaughan discuss the most interesting moments in the station’s
Of course, Radio Prague would not have turned 75 if it wasn’t for our loyal listeners. We would like to thank you for your support and interest over the years, and for the many anniversary emails you have sent in. On the occasion of our 75th anniversary, we did something we usually don’t do – we called some of our listeners from around the world. Here’s one of them, Stan Schmidt. He listens to Radio Prague from Evansville, Indiana, in the United States.
Jaroslav Marvan was one of the most prolific Czech actors of all times with more than 150 film roles and many more theatre acts. He appeared in his first – silent – movie in 1926, and he made his last film in 1973, a year before he died. In this edition of Czechs in History we look at the extraordinary career of Jaroslav Marvan, a theatre and film star before the war as well as in communist Czechoslovakia.
Without question the town of Kutná Hora in central Bohemia is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Czech Republic, a town with a long and fascinating history. In the 13th and 14th centuries the site became increasingly famous for silver deposits which drew miners and production that would eventually account for as much as a third of all the silver production in Europe.