Events commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the razing of Lidice by the Nazis began on Saturday with a mass at the foundations of the Church of St. Martin where the village stood in Central Bohemia. The mass, served by Bishop Václav Malý, recalled the terrible fate of Lidice, which became a symbol of Nazi terror during WWII. Among those who attended the ceremony was the minister of culture, Daniel Herman, who said the massacre of the village’s inhabitants in 1942 was a tragedy that served as a warning against totalitarianism, evil and violence of all kinds.
The funeral has taken place of writer and dissident Ludvík Vaculík, who died last week at the age of 88. Fellow authors Ivan Klíma and Pavel Kohout were among the 500 or so mourners at Saturday’s service in the town of Brumov-Bylnice in Eastern Moravia, his birthplace. One of the most respected post-war Czech writers, Vaculík penned the Two Thousand Words, a manifesto calling for reforms in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and books such as The Axe, The Guinea Pigs and The Czech Dreambook.
A court in Alexandria in the US state of Virginia on Friday heard evidence in an appeal lodged by murder suspect Kevin Dahlgren against a previous ruling allowing for his extradition to the Czech Republic, Czech Television reported. The court is due to issue a verdict in the coming days. Mr. Dahlgren is accused of murdering his cousin, her husband and their two children in Brno in May 2013 and fleeing to the US before he could be questioned by Czech police. If the court rejects his petition, his lawyers can appeal the verdict. If that move proves unsuccessful, the US Department of State will decide whether to hand Mr. Dahlgren over to the Czech authorities.
The spokesman of the Supreme Court in Brno, Petr Knötig, has announced that he is to quit the post by the end of June. Mr. Knötig’s resignation follows the news that he used a derogatory term to describe members of the Roma minority on an internet forum. He was also photographed holding what he said was a replica pump action shotgun in the court building.
Temperatures in the coming four-week period will be around 17.5 degrees Celsisus, which is average for the time of year, according to a mid-term forecast issued on Saturday by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. Rainfall over the next month should be below the long-term average, though forecasters have warned of occasional heavy rains.
The 52nd Kmoch’s Kolín festival of brass band music has got underway in the Central Bohemian town. Over 40 brass groups are taking part in the weekend-long event, including ensembles from Italy, Germany, Hungary and Latvia. Running since the early 1960s, the festival is named in honour of the great locally born band leader and composer František Kmoch (1848–1912).
The Czech Republic’s football players were beaten 2:1 by Iceland in Reykjavik on Friday night in a qualification game for next year’s European Championship. The Czechs went ahead through Bořek Dočkal on 55 minutes but conceded two in the next 21 minutes in what was their first defeat of the campaign. The result means Iceland are now two points ahead of the Czech Republic at the top of Group A.
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