The town of Vysoké nad Jizerou this week marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of notable Czech politician Karel Kramář. As an MP within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Kramář fought for Czech national interests, leading to his arrest for treason by the Austrian authorities during World War I. He was tried and sentenced to death, galvanising Czech public opinion, and although the sentence was reduced to imprisonment, Kramář became a national hero. Eventually he was released as part of a general political amnesty in 1917. The flood of support pushed
Czechoslovakia was one of the first victims of the Nazis, with the march into the Sudetenland in I938 followed by the occupation of the rest of the country in March 1939 and an increasingly oppressive regime for most of the population. The backlash at the end of WWII was harsh and violent. And that backlash against the Nazi occupiers, Sudeten Germans and Czechs believed to have collaborated in some way is the subject of US historian Benjamin Frommer’s book “National Cleansing: Retribution against Nazi Collaborators in Postwar Czechoslovakia.”
The Czechoslovak legions occupy an almost legendary place in Czech history. They comprise the armed forces that fought during and after World War I on the allied side in pursuit of an independent Czechoslovakia. The biggest force, and most potent myths, centre on the Russian force, which became embroiled in the civil war, spending three years and travelling thousands of miles before returning home. We look at the myths and facts about their exploits.
Sixty-five years ago on August 2, the Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš published the Beneš decrees, one of the most important and most controversial chapters in Czech history. The Beneš decrees declared that German and Hungarian minorities living in Czechoslovakia were to be stripped of their Czechoslovak citizenship if they had acquired German or Hungarian citizenship. Historians believe that those decrees furnished the basis for the expulsion of some three million Germans and 80,000 Hungarians from Czechoslovak lands in the 1940s. After the Velvet Revolution, the Beneš decrees became a frequent topic of discussion in Czech-German and Czech-Austrian relations. In 1997, the Czech Republic and Germany signed the Czech-German declaration of mutual relations. Both countries apologized for the wrong they had done and pledged to respect each others’ legitimacy.
The name Jaroslav Preiss does not create many ripples when it is thrown out today. Perhaps one Czech in a hundred could identify who he was. But at the birth of Czechoslovakia and in the 1920s and 1930s, Preiss was an economic and business colossus and contributed to making the country into a major industrial player between the wars. Chris Johnstone looks at the life of the controversial figure.
A statue commemorating Czechoslovakia’s second president, Edvard Beneš, was unveiled in Brno on Saturday, in front of Masaryk University’s law faculty. The ceremony took place with around 500 people in attendance; Brno’s mayor, Roman Onderka, called Mr Beneš one of the most important figures in Czechoslovak history. The sculpture is a copy of a statue by Karel Dvořák which stands in front of Prague’s Černín Palace, the seat of the Foreign Ministry. The copy cost 1.6 million crowns to produce. The project was long sought by members of the community of Czechoslovak legionaries, as well as the Association of Czechoslovak Aviators 1938-1945.
Last weekend Czechs marked the 160th anniversary of the birth of the co-founder of Czechoslovakia and the country’s first president T.G. Masaryk. Although Czechs fondly refer to him as “tatíček Masaryk” or papa Masaryk, there is no doubt at all that they have enormous respect for the statesman and philosopher who in 1918 laid the founding stone of a new state and gave Czechs and Slovaks their first lessons in democracy.
Czechs have been marking the 160th anniversary of the birth of
Czechoslovakia’s co-founder and first president T.G. Masaryk. After a
commemorative ceremony at his graveside in Lány on Saturday, the focus
on Sunday moved to president Masaryk’s birthplace Hodonín, in south
The celebrations started at the local railway station on Sunday morning
with the arrival of a historic steam-powered train once used by the
country’s first president, complete with his original salon car. Outdoor
celebrations on the town’s main square saw children release dozens of
blue-red-and-white balloons, the Czech Republic’s national colours.
Masaryk’s Museum in Hodonín has planned a special evening devoted to
life and legacy of the most respected Czech politician ever.
Earlier this week an exhibition dedicated to Masaryk’s life and work opened at Prague Castle and people also had a chance to visit the Masaryk Library at Prague Castle which is normally closed to the public.
Czechs are marking the 160th anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia’s co-founder and first president T.G. Masaryk. On Saturday a crowd of several hundred people attended a commemorative ceremony at his graveside in Lany cemetery and later in the day a bronze equestrian statue of the country’s first president was unveiled outside the T.G. Masaryk Museum in Lany. Masaryk’s birthplace Hodonin, in south Moravia, is planning a whole day of events to celebrate the anniversary on Sunday. Earlier this week an exhibition dedicated to Masaryk’s life and work opened at Prague Castle.
This Sunday, March 7, marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of one of the absolute giants of Czech history, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. The founder of Czechoslovakia and the state’s first president was born in Hodonín, and the south Moravian town is currently gearing up to celebrate the anniversary. To find out exactly how Hodonín will be honouring Masaryk on Sunday, I spoke to town hall spokesperson Petra Kotásková.
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