Late 1943. The cold barracks of the Terezin ghetto stand against an autumn sky. Although deportations to the camp had come to a standstill earlier in the year, the overcrowded conditions, disease and hunger still remained. As did the ever present threat of the gas chambers. But on this occasion the usual sounds carried through Terezin's bleak corridors were interrupted by very different strains.
Surrounded by the charming Brdy Forests in Western Bohemia, Zbiroh Chateau really catches the eye of anyone who visits. With its rich history and impressive Neo-Renaissance architecture, the chateau is one of the most curious in the country. The renowned Czech painter Alfons Mucha painted his famous Slav Epic here, along with much of his other oil based works. During World War II, the castle was occupied by a secret SS division which monitored radio communications all over the world. Now even more of the secrets of this intriguing castle have been
In September 1920, the last Czechoslovak legionnaires, who fought alongside the Allies in Russia during the First World War, and then found themselves caught up in the Russian Revolution, left Russian soil for France after months of travelling through harsh Siberian tundra. As the European front had been blocked by the Civil War, the White Czechs, as they were called, were forced to travel via the Pacific port of Vladivostok and the United States.
A new exhibition of photographs opened in the town of Broumov this weekend, depicting the region's unique geography and cultural heritage. Broumov and the surrounding villages were once home to a sizeable German community, almost all of whom were expelled after the war. The pictures, by photographer Hana Jakrlova, record the echoes of a lost community. Rob Cameron was at the opening and has this report.
On Monday the Czech Republic commemorated the 61st anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Over the weekend, ceremonies were held all over the country in honour of those Czechs who lost their lives, and people celebrated the end of over six years of occupation. Amongst the events which took place was the full military burial of wartime Prime Minister Alois Elias in Prague, 64 years after his execution by the Nazis.
The National Archive in Prague recently received new material donated by Jana Kanska, the daughter of Milada Horakova, the Czech resistance movement hero in World War II found guilty on trumped-up charges of treason and plotting to overthrow the government by Czechoslovakia's Communist regime after the war. Famously, she showed tremendous courage and calm during a preposterous show-trial that, in the end saw her sentenced to death. Recent years have seen renewed historic interest in Milada Horakova's life, and with new material donated by her daughter
Anyone acquainted with Czech military history will likely have heard of ace pilot Frantisek Perina - who fought with distinction for Czechoslovakia in both the Battles of France and Britain during the Second World War. Mr Perina - named to the honorary rank of major general in 2000 - turned 95 just last month - and was honoured by the Czech Army and Air Force. On the occasion of the anniversary of the end of the war, we look back at key moments in Mr Perina's military career - ignored by the Communists for forty years.
The Second World War tore communities and whole nations apart. In the Czech Republic centuries of Jewish history were reduced to a few shattered fragments. Nearly 80,000 Czechs were murdered because of their Jewish origin. The scale of this destruction makes the few fragments that survive so much the more important, and in this programme, we look at how a single object, surviving from the pre-war Jewish life of Czechoslovakia, became the catalyst for creating a new and unexpected bond between two places at opposite ends of Europe. We start with
This week in Mailbox we announce the winners of our April listeners' competition and you will also find out the new question for May. Listeners quoted: Donald Schumann, Charles Konecny, Mary Lou Krenek, USA; David Eldridge, UK; Flemming Christensen, Denmark; Henrik Klemetz, Sweden; Hari Madugula, Mukesh Kumar, India; Colin Law, New Zealand.