Many countries have had famous war animals, one remembered in Great Britain this year was Antis, an Alsatian belonging to Czech airman Václav Robert Bozděch. 60 years ago, in 1949, the animal was awarded the PDSA Dickin medal, the animals’ Victoria Cross, for bravery and outstanding service during World War II. The dog and his owner, part of a six-man crew, flew more than 30 bombing missions over occupied Europe and Nazi Germany, evading formidable German defences, always lucky to make it back. As his and his owner’s fame grew, Antis went from being
It was an unforgettable moment in the history of Czech sport. In the 49th minute Petr Svoboda scored the winning goal against Russia in the ice hockey final of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan. The game was commentated live by Czech Radio’s Aleš Procházka, and his ecstatic cry of “Goal!” is probably the best known sports recording in our archive. The Czechs had won gold in what some had dubbed the “tournament of the century”, packed as it was with top NHL players.
Each of Prague’s quarters contributes to its famous diversity in its own way and offers a completely different experience. In today’s Spotlight we want to introduce you to a part of Prague that is a keystone for modern Czech cultural life, aptly dubbed by its inhabitants the “Independent Republic of Žižkov”.
The Hittites Empire dominated a swath of the Near East for some 600 years in ancient times. It was a vastly precocious civilisation with better tools, more modern methods of warfare, and the newfangled commodity of iron. As is the way with empires however, the Hittites collapsed and all that the great trading civilisation had recorded of its world was left in oblivion until a Czech orientalist deciphered their forgotten language and became the first to hear their words in 3000 years. This week’s Czechs in History by Christian Falvey is devoted to
Internationally the Czech writer Karel Čapek is best known as the inventor of the term “robot” in his 1920 play R.U.R. With his novels, stories and plays combining humour, satire and a strong humanist vision, Karel Čapek was hugely popular in pre-war Czechoslovakia. But this was a time when Hitler’s Germany was casting a dark shadow over Central Europe and it is hardly surprising that one of the few recordings of Čapek in our archives - speaking on Christmas Eve 1937 - does not bear a cheerful message.
Today in Mailbox: Some more reactions to the end of shortwave broadcasts, "propaganda" on Radio Prague, last month's mystery Czech and a brand new quiz question. Listeners quoted: Mohamed Elsayed Abd Elraheim, Jim Mickeal, Richard Howard, Mogire Machuki, David Eldridge, Michael A. Daley, Bob Boundy, Hiroyuki Okada, Hans Verner Lollike, Colin Law, Charles Konecny.
When Harry Pollak left Czechoslovakia for France in the autumn of 1938, he had no idea what the future would hold for him. As a teenager, he joined the exile Czechoslovak army fought the Nazis who murdered his family, before fleeing his country again after the communist coup of 1948, and build a career in England from scratch. Mr Pollak gives an account of his extraordinary life in his recently published memoirs. In this edition of Panorama, we talk to Harry Pollak about how a boy from a south Bohemian village ended up saving the famous British
It is often noted that the Czech Republic lies in the heart of Europe; what then lies at the heart of the Czech Republic? Well, there are pastures, woods and hills, a history of war and conquest, a strong musical heritage, excellent lager and a small town called Polička, where all of the above can be experienced.
Czech film director Otakar Vávra celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday. In his extraordinary career, Mr Vávra made over 50 movies, enjoyed by audiences in all of the regimes Czechs went through in the 20th century. But there was often a price for being able to make films even under the most difficult circumstances; a price Otakar Vávra was always willing to pay.