One hundred years ago the new state of Czechoslovakia was already establishing its institutions. While celebrations were still going on in Prague, about 70,000 Czechs and Slovaks were fighting thousands of kilometers from home in Siberia, attempting to gain control over the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Among them was my great-granduncle.
One of the new books out marking the anniversary of the end of WWI is a collection of soldiers´ letters, diaries and memoirs giving a personal account of life in the trenches and on the battlefield. The book’s title Zum Befehl, pane lajtnant (which translates as At your command, lieutenant) is taken from the satirical comedy The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek. I spoke to one of the book’s co-authors, Pavla Horáková, and began by asking how the idea arose to put together such a collection.
Czech scientists are using the latest technology to study the ancient roads of the Bohemian kingdom. Unlike Western Europe, the area of present-day Czechia was not colonized by the Romans, who developed a sophisticated network of paved routes or “via Romana”. This means the road system was developed without any earlier blueprints.
When the Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed in 1918, its primary founder and future president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, had grand plans for using one of the most famous periods in Czech medieval history as inspiration for what he wanted to be a state based on democratic and humanistic values. In many cases the references to Hussitism started during the era of the First Republic remain in some form or another until today. I decided to explore why Hussitism was so important in Masaryk’s First Republic and how its elements were combined into the new
This Saturday marks exactly 100 years since the destruction of one of Prague’s then best-known landmarks, a Marian column on Old Town Square. The monumental Baroque structure was built in 1650 in gratitude for the end of the Thirty Year’s War. But more than 250 years later, it was torn down by an angry mob, which saw it as a symbol of the Habsburg takeover of the Czech lands.
Among the recipients of the state awards handed out by President Miloš Zeman on October 28, was Karel Lánský – a legend of Czech Radio broadcasting. For eight dramatic days after the Soviet led-invasion of Czechoslovakia Lánský and his team kept independent Czechoslovak Radio on the airwaves, broadcasting from secret locations in Prague and running the operation from his flat close to the radio’s Vinohrady headquarters.
The Czech Republic capped of celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s founding on Sunday with display of fireworks – and firepower – after a weekend packed full of parades, memorial acts and speeches, and concerts, as well as a dazzling video mapping on the façade of the newly re-opened National Museum atop Prague’s iconic Wenceslas Square.
Exactly 100 years ago, on October 28th 1918, the new sovereign state of Czechoslovakia declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire the Czech lands and Slovakia had been part of for centuries. Two weeks before the Armistice of Compiègne on November 11th which ended all fighting in WW1, the news of the new-born state spread from Prague to gradually reach Czech soldiers scattered around the world. In today’s programme dedicated to the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia we quote from the journals, memoirs and correspondence of Czech
To commemorate Czechoslovakia’s famous industrial prowess the National Technical Museum in Prague is currently holding an exhibition titled ‘Made in Czechoslovakia - the Industry that Ruled the World’. Tom McEnchroe decided to take a closer look at the exhibition asking director Hynek Stříteský to pick out a series of objects he believes represent the state’s industrial achievements best.
This weekend’s centenary celebrations in the Czech Republic will have particular resonance for Charlotta Kotik, given that her great-grandfather Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk founded Czechoslovakia and served for almost two decades as the country’s first president. I spoke to her at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, where she is a special guest.