On the occasion of the anniversary of the end of WW II, I speak with well-known historian Matěj Spurný about the Sudeten Germans whose future in post-war Czechoslovakia was sealed when many lined up with Nazi Germany ahead of the Munich Agreement. Most of the ethnic German population was forced to leave – spelling the end of what had been a largely peaceful coexistence going all the way back to the 13th century.
The Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek as well as key public figures such as the Academy of Sciences’ Pavel Baran or sociologist Tereza Stöckelová presented a new project on Thursday entitled “Česko na cestě”, marking key dates in the country’s history next year. It will be 100 years, for example, since the founding of Czechoslovakia and 50 since the Soviet-led invasion in 1968. The aim is to discuss key moments that changed the country, in good times and bad.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia will unite next year to celebrate two major anniversaries: 100 years since the foundation of Czechoslovakia and the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Prague Spring and its subsequent crushing by Soviet-led forces. The celebrations are set to be bigger than ever, with nearly 200 events scheduled to take place over the course of the year.
The government is set to earmark some 400 million crowns for next year’s celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia and the 50th anniversary of Prague Spring uprising. Some 172 events are scheduled to take place in 2018, with more than 50 carried out in cooperation with Slovak institutions. The key event will be an exhibition presenting Czechoslovakia since its establishment until its separation in 1993, which is set to take place in the renovated building of the National Museum in Prague.
A series of eight programmes on public broadcaster Czech Television called Modrá Krev or Blue Blood is already around half way through. The series looks at the modern Czech aristocracy, in many cases families which have returned from exile during the Communist era, with each episode focusing on one particular noble family.
Czech foreign minister offers Serbian participation in 1918 centenary celebrations Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek has completed a trip to the Serbian capital Belgrade where he met with his counterpart Ivica Dačić. The Czech minister stressed the importance of Serbia for overall peace in the Balkans and in Central Europe and offered help to pave the way for Serbia joining the European Union. Lubomír Zaorálek proposed that Serbia take part in the Czech celebrations of the 100 years since the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. 1918 is also the anniversary of the creation of Yugoslavia, which was an early ally and partner of Czechoslovakia.
This Monday marked exactly 50 years since the death of Alice Masaryková, the first daughter of Czechoslovakia’s first president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and his American wife Charlotte. A prominent figure in Czechoslovakia between the wars, Alice Masaryková is mostly remembered today as the founder of the Czechoslovak branch of the International Red Cross.
Czech-born Holocaust survivor George Brady received a commemorative certificate from the mayor of Brno Petr Vokřál on Monday. The mayor thanked him for his work in educating students about the Holocaust and supporting Czech expats abroad. Brady, who was reportedly crossed off the list of nominees up for a state award because his nephew Culture Minister Daniel Herman met with the Dalai Lama against the president’s wishes, has been at the center of media attention since arriving in Prague. He received numerous distinctions and awards including the Karel Kramář Medal from Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
Every October 28th, marking the founding of the former Czechoslovakia, the president presents state honours to chosen recipients which recognise their life’s work, sacrifice and outstanding contribution. Awards range from the country’s highest honours – the Order of the White Lion or the Order of T.G. Masaryk – to Medals of Merit.
In the last programme in our series marking Radio Prague’s 80th birthday we heard recordings of Czechs and Slovaks fighting in the British armed forces during World War Two. This week our tour of the radio archives brings us forward to the heady days immediately after the war. It is May 1945, Czechoslovakia has been liberated, and Czechs and Slovaks who fought in the Allied armed forces are returning home. One recording evokes this moment vividly. It is a dramatized reading of a letter, written by a Czech soldier to an English girl at some point
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
An Experiment in Vivisection: Czechoslovakia’s Second Republic 1938-1939
The history of the “German Czechs”