During Václav Havel’s first year as Czechoslovak president, Prague Castle saw a string of visitors from around the world. And they did not just include heads of state and other political dignitaries. On January 21 1990, one of the first foreign guests to be received by the new president was none other than the legendary American rock musician, Frank Zappa, who had been one of the inspirations for the Czech underground movement in the ‘70s and ‘80s, including Havel himself.
The usual station announcements boom out of the loudspeakers at London’s Liverpool Street Station on Friday but, if you listen hard enough, you can hear some of the tens of extra policemen drafted on special duty, and the hiss of a steam engine that’s just arrived at platform 10. The Winton Train set out from Prague on September 1, transporting some of the Czech and German Jewish children saved from the Holocaust by Sir Nicholas Winton back along the route they traveled to safety in 1939. On Friday, the train arrived in London, and was greeted
Today in Mailbox we find out the name of the Bohemian-born glass cutter as well as the names of the four lucky winners who will receive Radio Prague goodies for their correct answers. Listeners quoted: Christer Brunström, Vladimir Gudzenko, Hisanobu Ota, Charles Konecny, Ralph Francis, John Cebasek, S. J. Agboola, Don Schumann, Richard Chen, Colin Law, David Eldridge, Ioana Dinu, Jaromír Hauzar, Henrik Klemetz.
Around 20 of the 669 mostly Jewish children saved from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia by Nicholas Winton recreated their 1939 journey by steam train across Europe this week, arriving at Liverpool St on Friday morning. Sir Nicholas – now 100 years old - was there to welcome them. Also there on the platform was Štefan Füle, minister for European Affairs and a former Czech ambassador, and it was there at Liverpool St that he spoke to Radio Prague’s Rosie Johnston.
The Year 1989 through the Eyes of Photographers is the title of a new exhibition that has just got underway at Prague’s Old Town Hall. It brings together around 300 photographs capturing events preceding the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, and the drama of the Velvet Revolution itself. Daniela Mrázková of Czech Press Photo is the exhibition’s curator.
On September 1, the world remembered the outbreak of the worst conflict in history. For Czechs, however, the war started earlier than September 1939. By the time Nazi troops stormed Poland and France and the UK declared war on Germany, thousands of Czechs had already left their country, ready to join the fight against the Nazis. One of them was Karel Kuttelwascher, who became a famous night fighter with the RAF, and the most successful Czech fighter pilot of the war. Recently his daughters came from England and together with the people of his native
Sir Nicholas Winton has been referred to as the ‘British Schindler’. In 1939, as Europe was descending into war, he organised safe passage for hundreds of Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. All in all, Winton saved the lives of 669 children, finding them homes in the United Kingdom. On Tuesday, some of those he saved returned to Prague to take part in a train journey across Europe in his honour. I traveled with them on the first leg of the Winton Train’s journey:
The 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two this week will pass almost unnoticed in the Czech Republic. The reason is simple. For Czechs and Slovaks the tragedy did not begin with the invasion of Poland, but a full year earlier. With the Munich Agreement of September 1938, Britain, France and Italy gave Hitler the green light to annex huge tracts of Czechoslovakia and less than six months later, Nazi troops marched into what was left of the Czech lands unopposed. So how did Hitler get away with bringing a determined and well-defended
Those who have never been to America get their image of the continent from TV, movies, books and other media. It seems that this much has not changed since the New World was discovered and the first news from the continent reached Europe. The National Gallery in Prague has launched an exhibition called “Amerika k sežrání”, or “Savouring America” which presents the New World through 16th to 19th century European prints.