Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) has said the Czech state has no money to buy a pig farm built over the site of a Czech-run camp where hundreds of Roma — mainly children — died from disease, hunger or abuse during the German occupation.
Among the tens of thousands of Jews sent to the Nazi concentration camp Terezín (or Theresienstadt) were 15,000 children, of whom only 132 are known to have survived the war. Pavel Weiner, a studious, erudite Czech boy, who kept a diary of his experiences in the garrison town turned “model ghetto,” was among them.
While modernist music has long been part of the repertoire, there remain many brilliant composers whose work is much less widely known. Czech-born Viktor Ullmann is one of these composers and pianist Jeanne Golan is trying to restore the composer to his rightful place while showing the tremendous bravery and artistic vision he and his fellow inmates of Terezín showed in creating art up to the very end.
It is easy to walk past the ubiquitous plaques in the Czech capital that mark the victims and heroes of World War II and not notice them. But each May, on the anniversary of the Prague Uprising and the end of the war, the city districts that have inherited them — the duty had been in the hands of the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters (ČSBS) — make an effort to bring their memories to life again.
After exhausting the Czech judicial system and being blocked at almost every turn by local administrations, the descendent of a Jewish art patron and collector is seeking the return of some of his great uncle’s art collection through a US court. The collection was confiscated by the Nazis and some of it has ended up in the hands of the Czech National Gallery.
Helen Epstein was not even a year old in the summer of 1948 when her father decided to take his family away from Czechoslovakia for a new life in the US. Having survived the Nazi concentration camps, he was unwilling to endure life under communism. Growing up in New York’s Czech émigré community, Epstein retained close ties to her family’s homeland and is working to get their story told.
A crumbling factory in the eastern Bohemia— immortalized in Steven Speilberg’s 1993 film “Schindler’s List” as the place that led to the ultimate salvation of some 1,200 refugees from the Holocaust – is set to become a Czech cultural heritage site. But time is running short to save it.
The Porrajmos, literally “the Devouring,” is the term the Romani people use to describe the genocidal wave of terror known to most of the world as the Holocaust. Nearly every Romani man, woman and child who survived internment in Czech-run camps later perished at Auschwitz-Birkenau before the notorious Nazi death camp was liberated by the Soviet Army, 67 years ago this Friday.
The Czech Bar Association (ČAK) board is to decide next week how to proceed in the case of Petr Kočí, an attorney representing a member of the far-right Workers' Social Justice Party (DSSS) who is reported to have attacked the impartiality and credibility of an expert witness due to his ‘Jewish origins,’ a move that prompted Constitutional Court chairman Pavel Rychetský to call for Kočí to be disbarred.
Czech judicial expert on extremism Michal Mazel says he is tired of being attacked due to his professional activities and Jewish origin and is calling for special commissions to replace judicial experts to assess cases of racism and political extremism. The last straw for Mazel was the objection of his assessment by a lawyer defending a far-right activist from the Workers’ Party for Social Justice (DSSS).