Organisers in charge of the Lidice Memorial, a bronze monument to the children of Lidice - war victims from the Czech village razed by the Nazis in WWII as reprisal for the assassination of acting Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich - have been ordered to add the name of sculptor Jiří Hampl to a plaque attributing the work solely to his late wife. The academic sculptor Marie Uchytilová who died in 1989 is credited with the design but her husband contributed to the work's realisation in bronze. František Vyskočil, a representative of the Lidice Memorial organisation, maintains the work was Mrs Uchytilová's alone; he says an expert assessment should determine the nature of the contribution by her husband and has recommended that the matter be taken before the country's Supreme Court.
Gideon Klein has been known mainly as a Czech Jewish composer who was interned in Terezín and later died in Auschwitz. A new international performance, which has its Czech premiere at the Prague Conservatory on Tuesday evening, wants to present Klein in a new perspective: as a fascinating young individual who was very much part of the pre-war vibrant Prague music scene.
ANO leader Andrej Babiš visited the site of the former Roma concentration camp at Lety on Tuesday morning accompanied by Culture Minister Daniel Herman and Justice Minister Robert Pelikán. He bowed to the memory of Roma Holocaust victims, hundreds of whom died in the camp in inhumane conditions and once again stressed that he had not meant to deny the Holocaust in comments made last week. Mr. Babiš has come under fire from all sides after saying that the Lety camp had served as a labour camp for Romanies who did not want to work. Although it was originally established as a work camp after 1942 it served as a concentration camp where over 1,300 Romanies were interned. Over 300 of them died and 500 were transported to Auschwitz.Later in the day Mr. Babiš apologized for his words in the lower house of Parliament where he faced fresh criticism over the incident.
Czech Minister for Human rights Jiří Dienstbier, said Monday that the government would prefer a buyout of a pig farm standing on the site of a camp at which Roma were interned during the second world war before hundreds were sent onto death camps in the east. Many also died at the camp due to illness and poor conditions. The farm owners also indicated their willingness to discuss a sale. Dienstbier’s comments came on the eve of a visit to the site at Lety, South Bohemia, by finance minister, Andrej Babiš. Babiš is due to visit the site on Tuesday to apologise for earlier remarks at which he was quoted as saying that only Roma unwilling to work were sent to the camp. The minister later said he would help in long running moves to buy out the pig farm and create a fitting memorial. The camp at Lety was originally created as a work camp by Czech authorities before being turned into an internment camp for Roma by the Nazis.
This week, Prague is hosting the seventeenth edition of the annual Nine Gates festival of Czech-German-Jewish culture. The event, which got underway on Wednesday, takes place at Prague’s Bubny railway station, where during World War II Czech Jews boarded trains to concentration and death camps. This year, the festival focuses on a lesser-known chapter in the history of WWII: Shanghai’s role in sheltering thousands of European Jews.
This week in our series to mark Radio Prague’s 80th birthday we feature a recording made in the summer of 1946, when Radio Prague was exactly ten years old. A. J. P. Taylor was one of the best known and respected historians of mid-twentieth century Britain, and on a visit to Czechoslovakia he predicted a future for the country that would combine pluralist, parliamentary democracy with communism. David Vaughan has more.
Germany is to pay compensation to remaining elderly victims of the Roma Holocaust who suffered during WWII in concentration camps such as Lety or the death camp Auschwitz. Each will receive a one-off payment of around 2,560 euros in the coming months. The agreement was reached with the help of the Czech Foreign Ministry and former special envoy on Holocaust issues, Jiří Šitler (now the Czech ambassador to Stockholm).
Czech Roma who survived the holocaust during WWII will be entitled to a payment of 2500 euros according to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A spokeswoman for the ministry said that the payment would affect between 10 and 15 people. The payment follows long negotiations between the foreign ministries of the Czech Republic and Germany and has been welcomed by the Czech committee for the compensation of Roma holocaust victims. Roma were subject to persecution by the Nazi regime occupying Bohemia and Moravia. Around 5,000 were taken to concentration camps and forced to work in camps in Bohemia and Moravia. Only around 580 survived the camps and returned home after the war
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
Among the credits in the forthcoming movie Anthropoid is “Man at assassination”. That man is John Martin, a Liverpudlian who was invited to appear as an extra after several years of correspondence on Operation Anthropoid with the film’s director and co-writer Sean Ellis. A stand-up comedian by profession, Martin has for decades had a huge interest in the incredibly daring assassination of Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak parachutists Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík in Prague in 1942. That passion has led him to write a book on subject
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Forgotten Czech net bag makes a comeback
Iconic Czech brands that survived competition from the West after the fall of communism
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Cold War “king of Šumava” story brought to life in new film by Irish director
Unions: Strike Wednesday will hit most Czech schools