One of the most memorable images of the wartime ghetto in Terezín is of a young girl standing in the middle of a flock of sheep. Taking photographs was strictly forbidden, and it is remarkable that this image and a number of others showing the same incongruously pastoral scene have been preserved. Miraculously, the girl in the pictures also survived, unlike the great majority of the tens of thousands of European Jews who passed through the ghetto between 1942 and 1945. Doris Grozdanovičová went on to have a successful career as a literary editor
Czechs are marking the centenary of the Battle of Zborov, where Czechoslovak legionaries joined the Kerensky Offensive, the last Russian offensive in WW I. From a global point of view this battle was a minor episode in the Great War and one in which the Russian forces were beaten. However it was a crucial moment for the future of the Czechoslovak legionaries, the Czechoslovak resistance and the establishment of independent Czechoslovakia in 1918.
The country’s Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes on Tuesday launched a new project to commemorate victims of former Czechoslovakia’s communist regime. Called “Last Address”, the idea was inspired by similar initiatives in Russia. Within the project, plaques will be installed at victims’ final addresses – recalling their lives and what they stood for, for which they died.
Professor Igor Lukeš teaches at Boston University and has written extensively on modern Czech history, the Cold War and contemporary developments in Central and Eastern Europe. When we spoke recently the conversation took in everything from his increasingly sympathetic view of Neville Chamberlain to his own arrival in New York in the late 1970s. But I first asked the renowned historian about his early life in communist Czechoslovakia.
June 10 is the anniversary of one of the worst atrocities in modern Czech history. On that day, in retaliation for the killing of governor Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazis slaughtered the inhabitants of Lidice and completely demolished the small village, intending to wipe it off the map for eternity. Today the spot where the original Lidice stood is a deeply sombre, open plain with an adjacent museum. Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the notorious act of barbarism, I visited the head of the Lidice Memorial, Martina Lehmannová. She told me what the village
When the Nazis razed the Czech village of Lidice to the ground and murdered its inhabitants in June 1942, it sparked horror and anger across the globe. One place where the atrocity struck a particularly deep cord was Stoke-on-Trent, an industrial city in England’s West Midlands. Within months, the local Labour politician Barnett Stross had founded Lidice Shall Live, an international campaign to raise money to rebuild the Czech village. On the eve of the 75th anniversary of Lidice’s obliteration, I discussed the powerful story of solidarity with