During the Second World War, millions of people lost their homes, family and friends, and were forced to start new lives elsewhere. The book Adventurers Against Their Will traces several such stories, based on wartime correspondence between a Czech Jewish physician who found refuge in China, and his friends and relatives scattered around the world. The award-winning book by Joanie Schirm has just come out in Czech.
The National Museum in Prague has made its biggest acquisition over the past fifty years, acquiring more than 700 000 documents and other items from the Museum of the Workers’ Movement. Among the new possessions are valuable objects of art as well as curiosities, such as figure carved out of bread by Czechoslovak president Antonín Zápotocký. I spoke to the National Museums’ curator Marek Junek about the new acquisitions.
This year the whole of Europe is commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. The Jewish Museum in Prague is marking the anniversary with an exhibition focused on the fate of the Jewish refugees, a chapter in history that has been largely forgotten. The exhibition entitled “The Orient in Bohemia” displays photographs that document the life of refugees but it also explores the response of the local population to the wave of migrants. I visited the Jewish Museum’s Robert Guttman Gallery to see the exhibition and talk to its
The sorry state of hundreds of Czech historical buildings and other registered landmarks has prompted a radical proposal. Deputy Czech ombudsman Stanislav Křeček has suggested that regardless of who owns a monument the authorities should pay for its renovation – and then demand that the owner foots the bill. In the most severe cases, the state should be able to confiscate the properties.
The recent discovery of a 1,000 year-old church at Prague’s historical Vyšehrad fort has excited experts who believe it could shed light on the nation’s early Christian history. Larger than any other known church built in Bohemia at that time, it must have been a prominent structure – and its discovery could help fill some blank spots on the map of early mediaeval Prague.
Thursday is the 46th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia that crushed the Prague Spring reform movement, ushering in two decades of so-called normalisation. That traumatic event was commemorated at a ceremony at Czech Radio, scene of the most brutal repression in August 1968 – and comparisons were drawn with Russia’s actions today.
The Nazi persecution of the Jewish people before and during WWII affected all layers of the society, regardless of the victims’ social status or achievements. Among the estimated 80,000 Jewish people from Bohemia and Moravia murdered in the Holocaust were also many distinguished scientists and scholars from various fields of science. A new book entitled Disappeared Science now profiles several dozen of them.
Three of the most valued archaeological objects ever found on Czech territory have gone on exhibit in Prague‘s National Museum. Among them is the oldest ceramic object in the world, the roughly 30, 000-year-old Venus of Dolní Věstonice. They are part of a country-wide exhibition commemorating the 200th anniversary of the founding of the first Czech museum.
Chris Kelly is the granddaughter of Edina Winkelbauer, nee Clam-Gallas (1889-1970), a member of the old nobility who was a nurse with the Knights of Malta on the Italian front in WW I. On her mother's death Chris Kelly inherited a collection of more than 500 letters – correspondence between members of her family during World War I and World War II. The letters her grandmother sent from the front and others exchanged by family members during World War II are a moving document of the times and reveal how the wars changed her family’s fortunes and