People from all over the world will soon have a chance to visit the office of the late Czech president Václav Havel. Although the office won’t open its door to the public, it will be accessible on-line. Next Monday, the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation Vize 97 will launch a virtual tour of the space, where Mr Havel worked for the last eight years of his life.
The Bubny Railway Station in Prague, which saw tens of thousands of Czech Jews leave for the ghettoes and Nazi death camps, is set to become a new Holocaust Memorial. A ceremony at the future Memorial of Silence on Monday was attended by Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman, representatives of the Israeli, US and German embassies as well as Holocaust survivors. I spoke to Tomáš Bouška, coordinator of the Shoah memorial and first asked him about the special “sculpture” being unveiled:
Saturday is the 70th anniversary of one of the blackest days experienced by the Czech lands during WWII, when US planes dropped some 150 bombs over Prague, leaving 700 people dead and levelling around 100 buildings. Foggy conditions had led the American airmen to mistake the city for Germany’s Dresden, over 100 kilometres to the north. I discussed the tragic error – and other aspects of the events of February 14, 1945 – with historian Jan Adamec.
Remembrance events marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, organized by the European Jewish Congress in the Czech Republic have strained relations between Prague and Warsaw and left Czech politicians fending off accusations that the country is pandering to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was not invited to attend the commemorative events in neighbouring Poland.
Public broadcaster Czech Radio has backed in initiative for a Vickers Wellington bomber undergoing restoration work in Great Britain to feature the markings of the Czechoslovak 311th squadron which flew with that type of RAF bomber in World War II. Czech Radio’s correspondent in London, Jiří Hošek, first learned of the reconstruction project last autumn, and came forward with the idea. What are the chances the plane could feature the colours of the 311th? And what is the aircraft’s place in Czechoslovak military history? Find out in today’s