The Czech Medical Chamber says it’s drafted an apology to Jewish doctors struck off its books during the so-called Second Republic - the short period between the end of democratic Czechoslovakia and the beginning of Nazi occupation. Long before the Germans invaded, a number of Czech professional organisations started banning Jews from their ranks, motivated by a combination of Nazi propaganda and economic self-interest.
Last weekend Czechs marked the 160th anniversary of the birth of the co-founder of Czechoslovakia and the country’s first president T.G. Masaryk. Although Czechs fondly refer to him as “tatíček Masaryk” or papa Masaryk, there is no doubt at all that they have enormous respect for the statesman and philosopher who in 1918 laid the founding stone of a new state and gave Czechs and Slovaks their first lessons in democracy.
The philosopher, scientist and mystic, John Dee, was one of the great figures of Elizabethan England. He was a close confidante of the Queen and one of the founders of modern science, at a time of transition from the medieval to the modern age – a time when science and alchemy, magic and mathematics intertwined. In the 1580s John Dee came to Bohemia, along with family and his mysterious friend and assistant, the alchemist Edward Kelley – who supposedly possessed the gift of communicating with spirits. Between them, they left an indelible mark on
The fates of Czech soldiers who died abroad during the first and second world wars are being mapped in a newly created War Graves Record. The internet-based project documents more than 1,800 war graves around the world where Czech soldiers are buried, along with information about how and when they died.
Last month Prague hosted a major international conference on the crimes committed by the communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe. Delegates from both sides of the former Iron Curtain discussed their research into atrocities that in many cases had been swept under the carpet for decades. To give a couple of examples: how many Europeans today remember that up to 130,000 people were executed in the Yugoslav republic of Slovenia in the aftermath World War II, or that in Romania hundreds of opponents to the Stalinist regime were shot by the Securitate
This week in Mailbox we read from your answers to our February listeners' quiz question and announce the name of this month's winner. Listeners quoted: Gerwyn Roberts, Mick Edwards, Jayanta Chakrabarty, Gordon Martindale, Zofia Szuberla, Colin Law, Charles Konecny, Hans Verner Lollike, Kristina Pletková.
This Sunday, March 7, marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of one of the absolute giants of Czech history, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. The founder of Czechoslovakia and the state’s first president was born in Hodonín, and the south Moravian town is currently gearing up to celebrate the anniversary. To find out exactly how Hodonín will be honouring Masaryk on Sunday, I spoke to town hall spokesperson Petra Kotásková.
Much of the tapestry of old Czech history and the fundamental legendry of this country is known to us today thanks to the labours of one wise old man. His name was Cosmas of Prague, he died almost 900 years ago, but today his name is known as well or even better than some of the kings who he immortalised in writing. Cosmas of Prague set the foundation on which Czech historiography was built when he recorded all he knew about his nation in its first annals, the Chronicle of the Bohemians.