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.
Ludmila Brožová-Polednová, a former communist prosecutor who is serving a six year prison sentence for her role in helping to send democratic politician Milada Horáková to the gallows in a notorious 1950s show trial, may soon be released. It has now come to light that three presidential amnesties apply to her case, each lowering her sentence by two years.
The Czech Republic is to obtain an historic tank from Peru that was built specifically for export to the South American country in the 1930s. Prague’s Military History Institute, which falls under the Defence Ministry, and the Peruvian town of Mollendo recently signed an agreement by which Peru will make a gift of the tank to the Czech Republic. In return, it will receive a donation of 50,000 US dollars for the building of a new library.
The acclaimed Czech champion of photography Anna Fárová died in Prague at the age of 81 over the weekend. Ms Fárová catalogued and exhibited the works of some great Czech photographers, including Josef Sudek and František Drtikol. Despite persecution by the communist authorities Anna Fárová also launched the first ever line of books on photography in Europe.