Founded nearly twenty years ago in a Sokol community hall in America's heartland, the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International now boasts close to four thousand members, from all fifty states in the Union and around the globe. For the first time in its history, this society of amateur and professional genealogists held its biannual congress in "the homeland."
In today's One on One I speak to Nandanie and Asoke Weerasinghe. Both are successful professionals in Alberta, Canada, thanks to their determination and a good education which started with a scholarship to study in Prague. Nandanie studied medicine at Charles University and Asoke engineering at Prague's Technical University. Prague is where they met; they eventually went on to complete their studies in Western Europe, emigrated to Canada and finally got married in their home country of Sri Lanka. They came to Czechoslovakia during the big changes
The Melantrich building on Prague's Wenceslas Square will forever be associated with one of the most significant periods in Czech history. Leading figures in the Velvet Revolution, such as Vaclav Havel and Alexander Dubcek, addressed delirious crowds from one of its balconies in November 1989 on a day that will be remembered by Czechs for generations to come.
At the turn of the 15th century, Wenceslas IV ruled the Czech kingdom. Unlike his father, the Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and his step-brother, king Sigismund, Wenceslas was a controversial figure, whom we can neither solely praise nor criticize. While Charles IV had established a good system of government in the Czech lands, this was not a tradition continued in the reign of Wenceslas.
The assassination by two Czechoslovak soldiers of the Nazi governor of occupied Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, on May 27, 1942 was one of the most daring missions of World War II. Heydrich had ruled the Czechs with unsurpassed brutality and was one of the masterminds of the genocide of European Jews. The impact of the killing of Heydrich on the Czech nation was immense, and the legacy of those events 60 years ago has remained controversial to this day. On Monday two exhibitions marking the assassination opened in Prague.