Paris, Lviv and Prague, over a thousand miles apart yet connected by the fact that they all initiated successful uprisings against their German occupiers during World War II. The Czech capital was the last of the three to do so, but the action arguably preserved the city’s beauty and led to a battle the Czech nation, previously starved of an opportunity to fight, needed. On the date famously named by Winston Churchill as Victory in Europe day, we take the opportunity to explore the story behind the Prague Uprising.
Personal items belonging to the second Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš and his wife Hana, including the late president’s shaving kit and walking stick, have become part of the collection of the Czech National Museum in Prague. The items were donated to the museum by Hana Benešová’s relatives, who live in the United States.
100 years ago the Czechoslovak Assembly decided on the name of the new republic’s currency - the koruna. Despite a variety of original proposals, the delegates ended up being rather conservative in their choice, voting for a name that had also been used for the currency of Austria-Hungary. To commemorate the date, the Czech National Bank has issued a rare collection of gold-silver coins.
The first Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was born exactly
169 years ago and Czech politicians as well as the wider public are
remembering the figure through a series of ceremonies. Representatives of
the government and Parliament will lay a wreath by his grave in Lány and a
special relay run will take place from the statue of Masaryk in front of
Prague Castle, which finishes in Lány.
The public can take part in a number of events being organised across Prague and other cities and towns across the country.
Today it is largely forgotten by Czechs, but the Czechoslovak-Polish War of January 1919 was a more significant conflict than its few hundred casualties suggest. Although the freshly emerged and confident Czechoslovak state largely got what it had wanted out of the war, the subsequent border, coupled with memory of the conflict, contributed to an uneasy relationship that prevented much needed cooperation during the rise of their mutual nemesis in the 1930s. I spoke to historian Jiří Friedl, from the Czech Academy of Sciences about the war and its
In a world still ruled by men, Hana Podolská –later dubbed the Czech “Coco Chanel” –fulfilled her childhood dream – she married a man who loved her passionately and built up a family fashion empire. Her clothes and fashion advice was sought after by the film stars of the First Republic, the wives of rich entrepreneurs and the country’s first ladies. But the communist take-over robbed her of everything she had worked hard to achieve and she died abandoned and forgotten in the harsh normalization years following the crushing of the Prague Spring.
Historian Timothy Snyder is a leading expert on Central and Eastern Europe and has written forcefully about the threat posed by Putin’s Russia and how ordinary people can stand up to tyranny. This week Professor Snyder has been giving lectures in Prague that packed auditoriums. During his visit, Czech Radio’s Lenka Kabrhelová discussed aspects of this country’s history – and present – with Professor Snyder.
Public gatherings, masses and commemorative ceremonies are being held
around the Czech Republic over the weekend in remembrance of the ten
million soldiers who fell in WWI.
According to estimates some 1.4 million men from the territory of the former Czechoslovakia fought in the war, either with the Austro-Hungarian army or in the foreign legions. Approximately 140,000 of them died on the battlefield.
Bells will peal around the country on Sunday marking the centenary of the end of the war.
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