A ceremony has taken place in the town of Stará Boleslav to mark the feast day of the Czech patron saint Wenceslas. Speaking at the event, President Václav Klaus and Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka stressed the importance of traditional values, family and patriotism. The president praised family as an age-old environment for the relationship of man and woman and for the education of further generations. He lamented the ridiculing of things considered traditional and conservative as being old-fashioned and excluded from public debate. Around 4,000 people attended the event, among them many church and government officials. St Wenceslas, or Václav, who was murdered in Stará Boleslav in or around 935, is one of the founders of the Czech state. His feast day was declared a national holiday (Czech Statehood Day) in 2000.
A poll suggests that former Prime Minister Jan Fischer would be the most successful candidate if direct presidential elections were introduced. According to the SC&C agency which conducted the poll for Czech Television, Fischer would receive 27% of the popular vote. The unsuccessful 2008 candidate Jan Švejnar would be close behind him at 25%. No other potential candidates received more than 20%. A statistician by profession, Mr Fischer headed the interim government that preceded the current one between April of 2009 and July, 2010.
More than a hundred people gathered in the town of Čelákovice near Prague on Wednesday to commemorate Jaroslav Honzátko, a communist police officer who was killed by the Mašín brothers 60 years ago. Speakers at the event, which was organised by the Communist party, referred to the killing as a brutal murder and a terrorist act. The anti-communist resistance activities of the Mašín group have always sharply divided Czech society. The killing of Honzátko is their most divisive act, as the officer was unarmed and chloroformed when they slit his throat during a raid on a police station to obtain weapons. Ctirad Mašín, who killed him, died last month in the United States.
A journalist, Václav Vlk, has raised a theory that a group of Sudeten German civilians killed in Dobrotín just after WWII were actually murdered by a local German communist, Robert Kautzinger, and his two sons. Mr Vlk told Czech Television that the massacre of 17 Germans in the days following the fall of the Third Reich was an act of revenge for Kautzinger’s having been sent to a concentration camp by local Nazis. The police investigator on the case still believes the murders were carried out by Czechs as vengeance killings.
The Prague Zoo is celebrating 80 years since its founding on Wednesday. A celebration in 1930s style was held in the exhibition of seals in the company of a number of former Olympic medallists and actors. Staff were dressed in period clothing and visitors who dressed up for the occasion were allowed entrance for one crown. The Prague Zoo opened its gates on September 28, 1931, originally to an eight-hectare with only a few animals. It is not home to nearly 5000 animals and has grown to 60 acres.
A team of doctors from Prague’s Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) have received the award of the official magazine of CIRSE, the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe. An article by Dr Jan Peregrin and his team analysing the results of artery reconstruction among patients with critical ischaemia in their lower limbs was rated the best of 2010. Data was collected for the article for ten years.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová has advanced to the quarter-final round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokjo, beating American Vania King 6:1, 7:6 in the third round. Her next match will be against Russian Maria Sharapova, who she last faced, and defeated, in the finals match at Wimbledon. Other Czech tennis players, Iveta Benešová and Klára Zakopalová, dropped out of the tournament.
The coming days should be sunny to partly cloudy with day temperatures over 20 degrees.