In a chilling echo of the past, Russian police on Sunday arrested a group of human rights activists commemorating the 45th anniversary of a 1968 protest against the Russian-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. Although the protesters were reportedly detained for taking part in an unsanctioned demonstration and soon released, the move has evoked widespread condemnation in Prague.
This week the 45th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia was commemorated in this country. What some may not realize is that many of the iconic images from the tumultuous August of 1968 appearing in the media belong to one person – Josef Koudelka. A world renowned photographer whose career spans almost six decades and across all of Europe, Mr. Koudelka decided six years ago that he wants his life’s work to have a home in the Czech Republic.
On Wednesday, Czechs marked the 45th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion that crushed the period of reforms known as the Prague Spring. They weren’t alone: reaction also came from Sofia, where artists overnight anonymously sprayed an infamous Soviet-era monument pink. With the words ‘Bulharsko se omlouvá’, they apologised for Bulgaria’s role in the 1968 invasion, a gesture that did not go unnoticed and made world headlines.
Wednesday marks the 45th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the Soviet Union and other communist countries. The invasion shocked the nation, and ushered in a long period of political and moral decline. More than a hundred people died during the invasion, some of whom were killed in defence of Czechoslovak Radio. On Wednesday, several Czech top officials, witnesses and dozens of guests marked the anniversary outside the Czech Radio building in central Prague.
Prague Castle is considered one of the symbols of the Czech state. Once the seat of Bohemian kings, it now houses the Office of the Czech President, and its museums and galleries annually attract millions of visitors. But for over a hundred years, Prague Castle was half-forgotten. With the imperial court residing in Vienna throughout the 19th century, the castle only served as a luxurious hotel for the royal family and their relatives and friends. A recently published book of memoirs entitled A Greeting from the Castle Hill now offers an insider’s
The UN Human Rights’ Committee has asked the Czech government to close down a pig farm located on the site of a former Nazi concentration camp for Romanies. Built in the 1970s, the farm has been a source of embarrassment to all post-1989 governments, but despite bringing the country international disgrace, it is still there and likely to remain so.
In the recent decades, Fanta’s café at Prague’s central railroad station has been more of a mythical place, known mostly to a select few. Visitors to the capital who happened to find out about its existence had quite a bit of trouble finding their way out of the communist station up into its oldest, and arguably most beautiful parts. The search, though, is rewarding. The tall, ornate dome from early twentieth century is breathtaking, especially after the not-so-modern main part of the station with its low ceilings and until recently notoriously
Prague residents and visitors may have noticed during their wanderings small brass plaques set into the pavement in front of apartment blocks and houses. They are ‘Stolpersteine’, literally ‘stumbling stones’, originally the work of a German artist named Gunter Demnig who wanted to remind residents in his city of Cologne of the victims of the Nazis who once lived there. The project has since spread across Europe, and this morning the latest ‘Stolperstein’ was laid in Prague, outside the last home of the Czech writer and journalist Milena
More than a decade ago Derek Sayer, a professor of history at Lancaster University, published an immensely popular book entitle The Coasts of Bohemia, which covers Czech history and culture from the mythical past all the way until early twentieth century. Its readers have been eagerly awaiting a continuation of the accessible and highly detailed work that opened up Czech history to a wider audience. This year, professor Sayer published a new work - ‘Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History’, which focuses in on the Czech capital