Since her early childhood in the 1920s, Lisa Miková had dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. When as a student she started submitting her designs to one of the best Prague salons, there was every reason to think that her dream would come true. But Lisa was Jewish, and the German occupation brought her studies to an abrupt end. In 1942, at the age of twenty, she was sent with her parents to the Terezín Ghetto. There she fell in love with a young engineer called František, and in the tough conditions of the ghetto they married. Miraculously they
Heda Margolius Kovály was a well-known writer and translator who survived the Auschwitz extermination camp and whose first husband, Rudolf Margolius, a deputy minister of foreign trade, was found guilty in the notorious Slánský show trials in what is one of the darkest chapters of in modern Czechoslovak history. In the 1970s, Heda published a memoir which has been in print ever since, but now, a new publication called “Hitler, Stalin and I”, based on four days of interviews with documentary filmmaker Helena Treštíková in 2000 and made into a film
Activists from the Czech Republic and abroad met at Lety, South Bohemia, on Saturday, the site of a labour and later concentration camp where Roma were interned and died during WWII. They were aiming to keep pressure on the government to finally remove a pig farm at the site which has been an insult to the victims who suffered or died there and their descendants, for decades.
Two new additions look set to be made to the Czech Republic’s list of official “significant days”. The Chamber of Deputies has voted to make June 18 the Day of the Heroes of the Second Resistance, referring to those who fought back against the Nazis during World War II. The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, on 9 March 1944, is also in line to become a significant day. A co-author of the bill, Robin Böhnisch of the Social Democrats, said it paid a debt to the heroes of WWII.
A book written in Terezín concentration camp by Otto Weiss, who later died at Auschwitz, is being presented at Prague’s Maisel Synagogue on Tuesday evening. Copies of the book entitled I viděl Bůh, že je to špatné (Even God saw it was bad) will be signed by the author’s painter daughter Helga Hošková-Weissová, who illustrated it in Terezín at the age of 13. Mrs. Hošková-Weissová, now aged 86, is herself the author of Helga's Diary: A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp.
Among the numerous events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII is a photo exhibition from the Auschwitz Album - a collection of photographs taken inside a Nazi death camp. The collection, on view at the Prague House of Photography, is a horrifying record of the extermination of Jews in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp, which had never before been shown to the Czech public.
Remembrance events marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, organized by the European Jewish Congress in the Czech Republic have strained relations between Prague and Warsaw and left Czech politicians fending off accusations that the country is pandering to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was not invited to attend the commemorative events in neighbouring Poland.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will head a Czech delegation to neighbouring Poland on January 27th to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, government spokesman Martin Ayrer has confirmed. The speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Jan Hamáček, meanwhile, will attend a commemorative ceremony on the same day at Terezín, north of Prague. The extermination camp at Auschwitz, where more than more than a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered, was liberated in 1945 by Soviet soldiers. World leaders who will be attending on the 27th will reportedly include the presidents of Poland, France, Germany and Austria. Russian President Vladimir Putin is not due to attend, having not received an invitation from Warsaw over his country’s intervention in Ukraine. Russia will be represented by its ambassador, ČTK writes.
The head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker will not be attending a planned ceremony in Prague and Terezín marking the 70th anniversary of liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in neighboring Poland as previously reported. The news was revealed by Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Rudolf Jindrák on Wednesday; even so, official word has not been received yet. The event will instead be attended deputy EC head Frans Timmermans as well as the Czech European Commissioner Věra Jourová. Earlier, the presidents of the US and Russia also received invitations as did other heads-of-state; President Barack Obama has already responded saying he regretted not being able to attend.
The head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, together with almost two dozen speakers of parliament and deputy speakers, will attend a commemorative event in the Czech Republic in January marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in neighbouring Poland in WWII, the Czech News Agency reported on Friday. According to ČTK, citing the US Embassy in Prague, US President Barack Obama had spoken to his Czech counterpart to say he would not be able to attend. Russian President Vladimir Putin, another invitee, is also expected to decline. From heads of state, only Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has confirmed his participation officially. A two-day international forum, organised by the European Jewish Congress and other organisations, will be held in Prague and Terezin, north Bohemia, on January 26-27.