The legendary automobile constructor Ferdinand Porsche is not the only world-renowned personality connected with the automotive industry to have been born in what is now the Czech Republic. Alfred Karl Neubauer was a race driver and a racing manager with the Mercedes Grand Prix Team for thirty years. Sources differed as to where exactly he was born in North Moravia. Recently, local historians traced his roots back to the town of Novy Jicin which is now immensely proud of its newly-found great son.
Former communist prime minister of Czechoslovakia, Ladislav Adamec, died at the weekend at the age of 80. A noted pragmatist, Mr Adamec headed the Czechoslovak government from 1988 up until December 1989 when he negotiated the eventual handing over of power with members of the opposition Civic Forum, which included future president Vaclav Havel. Although he tried to retain a place in politics even after the Velvet Revolution, Mr Adamec's later role was ultimately short-lived.
The Czech town of Terezin was the infamous site of a Nazi "show camp" for Jewish detainees during the Second World War. In order to convince the International Red Cross that they were treating Jewish captives well, the Third Reich allowed the people kept there were to enjoy something of a cultural life. As many artists and musicians were sent to Terezin, they managed to produce some stunning art and music such as Hans Krasa's Brundibar opera during their captivity before being eventually transported to Nazi death camps. Now a new international
Among the films premiered at this year's Berlin Film Festival was a German-language picture called Die Falscher - The Counterfeiter. It is based on the remarkable memoirs of Adolf Burger. Along with 140 other Jewish concentration camp prisoners, he survived the war after being enlisted to take part in an ambitious Nazi counterfeiting plot aimed at crashing the economies of the Allies.
Welcome to Prague Airport located just east of the capital. All it takes is a thirty-minute metro and bus ride from the centre of Prague to get to a place which connects the Czech capital with the rest of the world. Where there were fields just a few decades ago, you get off the bus in the middle of a steel and glass airport city. It's hard to believe that the history of the Prague airport goes back seventy years.
Esperanto in the Czech lands goes back more than one hundred years. Individual enthusiasts were already promoting the language at the end of the 19th century, and in the 1920s the first clubs and associations started to emerge. In 1921, a world Esperanto congress was held in Prague and in the 1930s Czechoslovak Radio started airing brodacasts in Esperanto. The Second World War, however, put an end to this development. After a brief renaissance after the war, the movement was once again suppressed and came back to life again in 1969.