Czechs on Sunday are marking the 70-year anniversary of the massacres in
the Czech villages of Lidice and Ležáky during World War II. In Lidice,
commemorative event will be held at the mass grave of men executed by the
Nazis in retaliation for the assassination of acting Nazi governor of
Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, on May 27, 1942. Prime Minister
Petr Nečas will be holding a speech; Cardinal Dominik Duka will be
speaking a prayer with attendants.
On June 10, Lidice, in Central Bohemia, was obliterated by the Nazis. The village of Ležáky, East Bohemia, was burnt to the ground on June 24. In Lidice alone, 173 men were executed and most women and children living in the village were deported to concentration camps. On Friday, German President Joachim Gauck sent a letter to his Czech counterpart, stressing that Germany was aware of its historical responsibility for the massacres.
In related news, Prime Minister Petr Nečas said in his speech in Lidice on the occasion of the 70-year anniversary of the Lidice massacre that it signified a turning point in the fight against the Nazi regime. He said the massacre had opened the eyes of the international community to the cruelty of the regime. He added that the event forced many countries to become active in the fight against Hitler Germany. Following the massacre, both France and England declared the Munich Agreement void, the Czech prime minister said.
A Peruvian police squad found the burned-out shell of a helicopter that had gone missing in the southwestern mountain region. The helicopter had exploded. None of the 14 passengers, among them one Czech citizen, survived. The search for the missing aircraft had been especially difficult due to the mountainous terrain and the cold temperatures. The helicopter had lost contact with tower personnel on Wednesday several hours after take-off.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas is set to meet with officials from the national association of Romanies living in the Czech Republic on Monday. The prime minister is set to discuss ways to help ease tensions between mainstream Czechs and Romanies as well as what can be done to help address problems that plague the Romany community. This is the first time that a Czech prime minister meets with a Romany interest group in his offices; the group had previously made it clear that more initiative on the part of the government regarding the worsening racial tensions in the country would be appreciated.
The pilot of a military jet trainer aircraft of the L-29 Delfín type that crashed near the municipality of Čeradice in the Ustí nad Labem region on Sunday afternoon was killed. A female passenger was also on board; she was injured severely and is being treated at hospital. The former military aircraft belonged to the company Aviation Technologies and Services, which uses these aircraft for training and show purposes. Police are investigating the case.
A fire that broke out at Prague’s Ruzyně airport in the night from Saturday to Sunday caused damages of an estimated 200 million Czech crowns. An aircraft of the ATR 42 type from Czech Airlines‘ fleet went up in flames. Firefighters said that the airplane exploded before the fire erupted. It took some 2 hours for firemen to get the fire under control. Police are investigating the cause of the incident.
Some 17,000 men and women participated in a breast cancer awareness march
through the Czech capital on Saturday. Among the participants was the
well-known actress Aňa Geislerová. According to organizers, the aim of
the event was to draw attention to the disease, its risks and means to
prevent it. In addition, the march hopes to motivate women to get a breast
exam to help reduce the number of cases that are diagnosed too late.
Doctors estimate that some 1600 Czech women die of breast cancer each
some 6000 have their breasts removed due to cancer.
Czech national squad after defeat in opening game
The Czech national squad has been training “behind closed doors” in Wroclaw two days ahead of its second game in the group phase of the EURO 2012 championships, when the team will play Greece. After the devastating loss of 1:4 against Russia in the Czechs’ opening game, the team and national couch Michal Bílek discussed the shortcomings of the Czech performance. On Sunday afternoon, the Czech team ate lunch at Wroclaw town hall, with the mayor of the city, Rafał Dutkiewicz, who had invited the Czech players.
Czech protesters are taking to the streets on occasion of a European day of demonstrations against the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Protests are set to begin in Prague in the afternoon. Among the organizers of the demonstrations in the Czech capital is the group Anonymous, which opposes internet censorship. The controversial international agreement has come under fire from both internet users and officials. Some believe that it will pave the way for regulations that may censor content available on the internet and infringe upon freedom of expression online.
Some 17,000 men and women participated in a breast cancer awareness march through the Czech capital on Saturday. Among the participants was the well-known actress Aňa Geislerová. According to organizers, the aim of the event was to draw attention to the disease, its risks and means to prevent it. In addition, the march hopes to motivate women to get a breast exam to help reduce the number of cases that are diagnosed too late. Doctors estimate that some 1600 Czech women die of breast cancer each year; some 6000 have their breasts removed due to cancer.
German President Joachim Gauck said in a letter to his Czech counterpart
Václav Klaus on Friday that Germany was aware of its historical
responsibility for the massacres in the Czech villages of Lidice and
Ležáky during World War II. Mr Gauck wrote the letter ahead of the 70th
anniversary of the destruction of Lidice and Ležáky by the Nazis in
retaliation for the assassination of acting Reichsprotector of Bohemia and
Moravia Reinhard Heydrich on May 27, 1942. Heydrich succumbed to wounds
suffered in the attack which was orchestrated by Czech paratroopers.
As a result, Lidice, in Central Bohemia, was obliterated on June 10 and Ležáky, East Bohemia, was burnt to the ground on June 24. In Lidice alone, all 173 men were executed, while most women and children were sent to concentration camps. Some of the children were selected for “re-education” in Nazi Germany. In his letter, German President Gauck wrote that the despicable acts in Lidice and Ležáky filled him with “deep sorrow and shame”, but cited positive ties between Germany and the Czech Republic today as reason for hope. In response, Václav Klaus thanked his German counterpart, saying that he considered the letter a strong statement and positive gesture.