Last week the Archive of the Czech Security Forces posted data on the internet compiled by former Czechoslovakia’s military counter-intelligence. The data lists some 140,000 names of people who were either monitored by the military counter-intelligence or were agents, and it hasn’t taken long for the files to stir controversy. Czech TV reported that five of the country’s MPs, including Social Democrat and former Olympic ski jumper Pavel Ploc, were among those listed. He and the other deputies reacted quickly, denying cooperation of any kind with
Lída Baarová was one of the most famous and successful Czech actresses to have ever lived. Her career spanned over 70 years, in the course of which she starred in a whole number of both Czech and German film classics. She even made it into Federico Fellini’s ‘I Vitelloni’ in 1953. But she is perhaps best known for her life off-screen, as one of Czech film’s most unhappy characters. Lída Baarová’s beauty attracted the attention of Joseph Goebbels, and her career - tragically for her - reached its peak in Nazi Germany shortly before World War
In early July, three days after the Czech Republic and the Bush Administration signed a controversial agreement on a future anti-ballistic missile radar base, Russia drastically reduced the supply of oil flowing into the country. The move prompted fears that the Czech Republic had become the latest post-communist country to face what some view as extortion from its former big brother – one strongly opposed to the placement of the US radar base on Czech soil. The crisis soon passed, with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordering a full restoration
Ever heard of pedro, céčka or jarmilky? Apparently, they are some of the most successful products of the socialist regime – at least according to a survey recently carried out among the users of the Novinky website. I myself did not take part in the voting, but I followed the process closely. Just like many other people of my generation, I too enjoy endless debates on what we used to eat or wear or play with in the long-gone communist days.
In last week’s From the Archives we heard about radio’s central role in the Prague Uprising against the German occupation at the end of World War II. Not only did the signal for the uprising to begin come over the air, but the radio also helped to co-ordinate the fighting. It also played a third role. At the time the Red Army was already approaching Prague from the east, and General Patton’s Third Army was in Plzeň just a few dozen kilometres to the west. Many of those fighting in the streets of Prague were untrained and had few weapons, and the
Over half a century later, the Czech police have, for the first time ever, issued charges connected with the forced collectivatisation of farms by the Communist regime in the 1950s. According to press reports on Thursday, officers recently began the prosecution of a former Communist functionary who is now in his late 70s.
“Calling all Czechs! Come quickly to our aid! Calling all Czechs!” It is May 5 1945, and with these words Prague radio appeals to Czechs to join the uprising against the German occupation. This was to be one of the last European battles of World War Two and the greatest moment in the history of Czechoslovak Radio. For some time radio staff had been working secretly with the Czech underground to prepare the ground for the uprising. Their radio appeal marked the beginning of the battle. In the confusion of the following three days with street battles
A replica Czech-made Avia BH 5 aeroplane will next week take to the skies as part of a re-enactment of a 1923 air race between Prague and Brussels. The original race 85 years ago was won by a Czech - Zdenek Lhota - flying in exactly the same model, and this event will commemorate what was a proud moment for Czech aviation history.
South Moravia is a region in the Czech Republic known for many things – a sunny climate, interesting folklore and reasonably good wine. Being the most visited region of the country outside Prague, many people come for historic sights, chateaus and mediaeval castles. But few visitors realize the region along the borders with Austria and Slovakia boats a number of Jewish monuments from times long gone. Most of them now belong to the Jewish Community in Brno which has one man to take care of them – architect Jaroslav Klenovský.