Sir Nicholas Winton, who organized the famous kindertransport rescue of hundreds of children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia before the outbreak of World War II, will be honored in Prague at the premiere this Thursday of “Nicky’s Family,” the third and final film by award-winning Slovak director Matej Mináč about the man known as the “British Schindler.”
This Wednesday marks the anniversary of the death of Jan Palach, the Charles University student who set himself on fire in a bid to rouse people from the apathy that had set into Czechoslovak society in the wake of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion. He succeeded, albeit briefly; his funeral was a mass outpouring of grief and anger, and Palach became — for many — an enduring symbol of resistance.
An attempt to kidnap four Czech tourists in Yemen was stopped by security forces on Monday, according to a statement on the website of the Yemeni Ministry of the Interior. The tourists were unharmed, but two soldiers and a child were injured in the clash. The would-be kidnappers were later captured and are being interogated. Tribesman in the area have tried to use hostages in the past to get concessions from the government.
Czech artists Michaela Klakurková and Jan Žaloudek took to the Prague streets in January last year in search of discarded Christmas trees and — without seeking approval — replanted them in Kampa Park along the banks of the Vltava River. Now, their Second Chance/New Stage For Xmas Trees project has the blessing and support of the New Stage of Prague’s National Theater and has even taken root in Romania.
The overall reviews for 2010 are mixed, with a majority of Czechs looking on the year as a success, while one-fifth see it as the worst year they ever experienced, according to a poll by online opinion firm SANEP. The same split carries over into 2011, with about half the population worried for the future. Money and living standards led the list of concerns.
Over the course of its 160-year-long history, many thousands of Bohemian and Moravian immigrants settled in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is now home to America’s National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. In Part I of her series on Czech and Slovak life and history in the United States — ‘Flood, Sweat and Tears’ — Rosie Johnston tours the city’s Czech Village quarter, once best known for its seedy goings-on.
The media has keyed in on just one of the complaints of the Czech Doctors’ Union (LOK) — low salaries — but there are 12 others, centered on the financial (mis)management of hospitals and budget shortfalls. People involved with the “Thank you, we’re leaving” campaign say that improving the health care system is the main impetus for the protest.
The Czech Technical University in Prague (ČVUT) and state investment agency CzechInvest are both compiling databases of top scientists in an effort to spark interest abroad for international cooperation, with the latter concentrating on industry and research institutions. The ČVUT list has already been ordered by the US government and will be more extensive than previous efforts. CzechInvest’s list concentrates on industry and research institutions. But not all Czechs applaud the efforts.
Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda and South Moravian Governor Michal Hašek have found an issue they can belabor for 2011. Rather than take decisive action, they have formed a committee to try to determine what to do with Alfons Mucha’s series of 20 paintings, the Slav Epic. Prague would like to permanently display the series, but the people who currently possess them aren’t eager to give them up.
The ‘The New Renaissance’ report released today by the EC outlines a multitude of issues involved in putting Europe’s cultural heritage online and recommends making the Europeana portal the central site for all publicly-funded digital material. But unlike in ‘Old Europe,’ many EU Member States in the CEE region may be hard pressed to secure resources.