People in Brno on Sunday marked the 80th anniversary of the burning down of
the Moravian capital’s Great Synagogue shortly before Adolf Hitler
arrived in the city. Around 100 people laid flowers and lit candles at the
spot where the synagogue had stood on the corner of the streets Spálená
The building was completed in 1855 and had a capacity for over 1,000 worshippers. It was burned down on the night of March 17, 1939 by Brno Nazis, evidently as a “gift” to Hitler, the Czech News Agency wrote.
The film Heart of Stone has taken the Best Film prize at this year’s
edition of the One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague.
The winning documentary is about an Afghan refugee in France. The Best
Director award went to Denmark’s Mads Brugger, maker of Cold Case
The festival’s prize for the best Czech film in competition went to The Good Death by Tomáš Krupa, which is about a woman who goes to Switzerland for assisted suicide.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, has welcomed
the fact that Zuzana Čaputová and Maroš Šefčovič have made it into
the second round of Slovakia’s presidential elections. Mr. Petříček
said both were guaranteed to fight against extremism and hatred.
Jan Lipavský of the Czech Pirate Party said Čaputová’s first place finish was a great success for liberal politics in Central Europe, adding that both remaining candidates were for Slovakia taking an unequivocally pro-European direction.
ANO’s Jaroslav Bžoch said it was good that both were more pro-European than Eurosceptic, adding that he saw a link between their reaching the runoff and the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak, as Slovakia was looking for change.
Lawyer and anti-corruption campaigner Čaputová received 40.5 percent of the vote in the first round. Šefčovič, who is a European Commissioner, got 20.7 percent. The runoff takes place in less than two weeks.
Czechs began driving on the right side of the road on this day 80 years
ago. The Nazis introduced the change from driving on the left on March 17,
1939, two days after their occupation of the Czech lands began.
However, plans for such a switch had been in place for some time. Czechoslovakia had signed up to the Paris Convention, which committed the state to going right, in 1926 and had eventually got around to setting May 1, 1939 as the date for the switch.
On average Czech women only reached the same amount of pay as Czech men
earned in 2018 on March 17, making Sunday Equal Pay Day, according to the
group Business & Professional Women ČR. Female employees in the Czech
Republic earn one-fifth less than male ones and would have to work for over
14 months to make the same amount that men do in 12.
The Czech Republic ranks among the EU states with the widest pay gap between the genders. The difference is greatest among university graduates, Business & Professional Women ČR said, citing official government data.
Český Krumlov, which draws over a million tourists from around the world
every year, is to impose charges on buses entering the South Bohemian town
in a bid to regulate short-term visitors and raise revenues, Czech
Television reported. The scheme, the first of its kind in the Czech
Republic, will begin in June. The local authorities say 16,000 coaches
arrive in Český Krumlov every year, with figures reaching up to 100 a day
A deputy mayor told Czech Television that the number of buses stopping off in the small UNESCO-listed town represented an enormous strain.
A representative of Český Krumlov’s tour guides association said groups of Asian tourists sped through the town taking photos before soon departing for other destinations.
Each coach entering the tourist hotspot will have to pay CZK 1,250 with advance booking or CZK 1,500 without.
The chairman of the opposition Civic Democrats, Petr Fiala, has accused the
ANO-led cabinet of being a government of marketing and empty words.
Speaking at a party policy conference on Saturday, Mr. Fiala also
indirectly compared ANO’s leader, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, to Baron
Munchausen, a literary character known for the comical exaggeration of his
During Saturday’s congress the Civic Democrats expelled Václav Klaus Jr. from the party. The son of the former prime minister and president had refused calls to quit the party after he compared Czech MPs approving EU directives to the decisions of the Jewish council, whose members were forced to make selections for transports to concentration camps.
In connection with the terrorist attack in New Zealand’s Christchurch,
the Czech minister of the interior, Jan Hamáček, says the country’s
police force are investigating all instances of people expressing approval
on the internet of criminal acts. Mr. Hamáček said on Twitter that
officers had begun monitoring such cases on Friday.
Police chief Jan Švejdar said that the force would not tolerate any expressions of agreement with terrorism, extremism or hate speech. Czech police have responded to internet hate speech in the past, including in late 2017, when they dealt with cases of vitriol directed at a photo of a mixed-race group of primary school children.
Forty-nine people were murdered and dozens more were seriously injured in a gun attack on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.
Viktoria Plzeň’s hopes of retaining Czech soccer’s league title have
receded further. The reigning champions were beaten 2:1 by Teplice on
Friday evening, meaning they will be a full nine points behind league
leaders Slavia Prague if the latter can beat Příbram on Sunday. There are
five more rounds after this weekend.
Meanwhile, Slavia are looking forward to playing Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Europa League following Friday’s draw. They overcame five-time winners Sevilla on Thursday in a sensational seven-goal match in Prague.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague
Film about tragic fate of great Czech actress highlights communist atrocities in the 1950s