Since 1884, the Zátka Brothers’s plant in Boršov nad Vltavou, just south of České Budějovice in southern Bohemia, has been producing noodles, spaghetti, macaroni and other types of pasta. The small factory on the bank of the Vltava River, survived two world wars as well as totalitarianism, and is one of the few remaining witnesses to efforts by the first wave of Czech industrialists. In this edition of Panorama, we take a tour of the oldest Czech pasta plant.
A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990) was one of the best-known and most influential British historians of the 20th century. He is remembered in particular for his provocative left-wing political views and his conviction that German history made the country uniquely inclined towards aggression and expansionism. This made him an ardent opponent of attempts to rebuild Germany’s economy after the war, and a strong supporter of Czechoslovakia’s growing alliance with the Soviet Union. In July 1946, just after elections which saw the Communists emerge as the strongest single
On Tuesday, the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes announced a new project on its website, posting the biographies of individuals who were brutally sentenced to death by Czechoslovakia’s Communists. Using archive material, the site has so far examined the lives of some 19 individuals, who, like Milada Horákova, were executed on trumped up charges of treason.
On Tuesday, an eighty-seven year-old former prosecutor called Ludmila-Brožová-Polednová lost her appeal against a murder sentence for her role in the trial and execution of democratic politician Milada Horáková in 1950. Mrs Brožová-Polednová served as a so-called "people's prosecutor" in the communist show trial, and was sentenced to spend six years in prison for the crime. It has been a protracted case, with many twists and turns, but this does appear to eb the final chapter.
Today we reveal the identity of August’s mystery Czechs and announce the names of the four listeners who will receive Radio Prague goodies for their correct answers. Listeners quoted: Hans Verner Lollike, Jana Vaculik, Charles Konecny, Imo-Obong Umana, Samina Javed, Helmut Matt, David Eldridge, Colin Law, Roger Tidy.
During World War II, the political left in Britain and the United States had come to identify itself strongly with the fate of the Czech nation. This was partly a reaction to the shame of Munich in 1938, when Czechoslovakia had been abandoned by her allies, and it was reinforced by the role played by the British miners in launching the Lidice Shall Live movement. This had followed the Nazis’ destruction of the Czech mining village of Lidice in June 1942. In this spirit the president of the British Miners’ Federation Will Lawther, came at the end
Wednesday is the 60th anniversary of the death of the second president of Czechoslovakia, Edvard Beneš. Beneš remains a controversial figure: he was one of the architects of the modern Czechoslovak state, but he was also in power during the Munich agreement of 1938 and ten years later he allowed the Communist Party to take over. Probably his most controversial decision was issuing decrees that led to the expulsion of 2.5 million ethnic Germans after the Second World War. What was Edvard Beneš like as a politician, and what is his legacy today?
In From the Archives this week we carry on where we left off at the end of July in our chronological journey through the Czech Radio archives. We had reached the point just after the end of World War Two; after the initial euphoria, the hard work of rebuilding the country began: not least at the Czechoslovak Radio building itself, which had been shot to pieces in the Prague Uprising and received a direct hit from a German aerial torpedo.
This week no topic in the Czech Republic was more dominant than the 40th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. On August 21st, tanks and soldiers moved in, and forever changed the course of the country, crushing reforms that had made life in Czechoslovakia tolerable compared to the Stalinist 1950s. But all too soon, the reforms came to an end. In the weeks which followed, many Czechs and Slovaks opted to escape, among them my parents – only a few years married. They were among the first to leave: that same night of the 21st crossing