A group of right-wing senators have put forward a bill under which political parties would not be allowed to use the word "communist" in their names. Senator Jaroslav Stetina said the group wanted to make the promotion of communist or Nazi ideology punishable by up to five years in prison. He said they did not want to wipe out the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, who are second in opinion polls, but to force them to transform themselves into a modern left-wing party.
European Parliament members from Eastern Europe are calling for a ban on communist symbols such as the hammer and sickle if the European Union decides to outlaw Nazi symbols, such as the swastika. Lawmakers from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovakia said that any such ban should also cover communist symbols because of the killings and torture suffered by people in the former Soviet Union and the countries of the Eastern Bloc. The deputies wrote to the EU's Justice, Freedom and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini to press their demand.
State propaganda was widespread in the regimes of the former Soviet Bloc, where people were constantly bombarded with information on how lucky they were to be living in a workers' paradise. Now, a new exhibition called Power of Images, Images of Power has opened in Prague, which is displaying a collection posters from the 20th century promoting the virtues of the communist system.
Tuesday was the 15th anniversary of dissolution of the dreaded Communist-era secret police, the Statni bezpecnost, or StB. Formed in 1948, the StB's darkest period was the 1950s, when they were notorious for the cruelty of their interrogations. They kept tens of thousands of Czech and Slovaks under surveillance, and in the 1980s employed around 75,000 informers. I spoke to former Senator and presidential candidate Jaroslava Moserova, whose father was kept in solitary confinement by the StB for 12 long months.
Last weekend was the 36th anniversary of one of the most tragic events associated with the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. On 16th January 1969, a twenty-year-old student Jan Palach doused himself with petrol and set himself alight on Prague's Wenceslas Square. It was a desperate protest against the invasion and growing public apathy in the face of the process known as "normalization", as the hardliners gradually regained control. Jan Palach died from his burns three days later, and around the world his sacrifice became one of the
In today's One on One Jan's guest is Marek Tomin - a journalist, traveller, and Greenpeace advisor who is the son of well-known dissident parents who were among the first to sign the human rights charter, Charter 77, in communist Czechoslovakia. In today's programme you'll hear what it was like growing up in a dissident family, how Marek as a child registered just "what was going on".
In this edition of Czechs in History, we look at the life and career of Gustav Husak, a Slovak native who left an indelible mark on Czech history as the last communist president of Czechoslovakia. Gustav Husak was born in Bratislava in 1913. A gifted and talented student, he trained as a lawyer at Comenius University, where he also joined the Communist Party in 1933.
During the four decades Czechoslovakia was behind the Iron Curtain, hundreds if not thousands of people tried to make their way to freedom across the country's heavily guarded borders. Many died in the process, with 282 definite cases and up to 40 more probable killings. Of the certified cases, 145 people were shot trying to cross the border, and almost 100 were electrocuted, with the others dying in a variety of ways, such as drowning. Those figures come from a report out this week by Martin Pulec from the Office for the Documentation and Investigation
The writer Jan Stavinoha was born in Prague in May 1945, a couple of weeks after the Soviet Red Army freed the Czechoslovak capital from Nazi control. In 1968 the Soviet Army returned to Prague not as liberators but as oppressors. Stavinoha, then a 23-year-old student of classical music, forged paperwork saying he was a "reliable person" worthy of a passport — and fled to the West. Today, nearly 40 years later, he is a popular 'Dutch' novelist, and, he says, a "tourist" in his homeland.
Remnants of medieval wall dating back to 1041 unearthed in Břeclav
Prague flats most expensive in Central Europe, in terms of average earnings
Former Huawei employees say client information was discussed at Chinese embassy
Prague’s Žižkov TV Tower set for videomapping of Apollo 11 moon launch, landing
Barbora Strýcová, 33, in “best form” ahead of Wimbledon semi-final against Serena Williams