October 28th marks the 85th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Many say that the legacy that Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, the founder and first president of Czechoslovakia, bestowed on his nation was one of democracy and not nationalism. But it was the birth of a sense of nationalism or rather national identity that led to Czechoslovakia's foundation - Czechs and Slovaks united in their opposition to Austro-Hungarian rule, proud to be Czechoslovak and not just a small part of a large monarchy. But what is it like today? With globalisation,
A wide variety of stories jostle for attention on Monday's front pages. There is coverage of tragedies at home and abroad: a deadly fire at a disco in east Moravia that killed a seventeen year old girl and injured 61 young people, the train collision in Switzerland in which a young Czech woman lost her life and Sunday's rocket attacks on the al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, in which at least one Czech national is reported injured.
The oldest Czech soldier to fight in World War I, Alois Vocasek, died at the age of 107 on Saturday, the last survivor of the battle of Zborov in Ukraine. He was one of thousands of Czechs and Slovaks who broke with the Austrio-Hungarian monarchy to fight for the dream of a future Czechoslovak state. But, later the soldier tarnished his hero's reputation when he joined a Czech fascist organisation in the 1930s. Jan Velinger reports now on the controversial life and times of Alois Vocasek - the man - and the legionnaire.
With all eyes on the war in Iraq and growing apprehensions over the number of casualties on both sides, the Czech Republic is resolute on one thing: to provide humanitarian aide the length of the conflict and beyond. The country has also pledged its elite nuclear, biological, and chemical unit to come to the US-led coalition's assistance if Saddam Hussein were to resort to weapons of mass destruction. Though in their hearts many Czechs are against the war overall there is no question over their NBC troops' necessity in the Gulf, and most applaud
Although October 28th marks the founding of the Czechoslovak state, Slovaks do not recognize this date. In Slovakia, January 1st marks the date in which a national holiday celebrates the founding of the state which took place in 1993. Some might ask why is this so? After all, the first republic of Czechoslovakia was the first time in modern history where both Czechs and Slovaks had an independent state to call their own. I spoke to Andrea Kundrova from Radio Slovakia and asked her first, how significant the national holiday of January 1st is to
October 28th 2002, marks the 84th anniversary of Czechoslovak independence. Although Czechoslovakia was split into two separate states - the Czech Republic and Slovakia - in the so-called "Velvet Divorce" almost ten years ago, the Czechs, unlike the Slovaks, still celebrate October 28th as a national holiday. Dita Asiedu looks into its history and the importance it has held since 1918: