News Czech town calls for recognition of WWII parachutists

03-05-2014 18:05 updated | Chris Johnstone

Council leaders from the south-east Moravian town of Bystřice pod Hostýnem have called on Czech president Miloš Zeman to give recognition to a group of WWII Czech parachutists on the 70th anniversary of their mission. The three, Antonín Bartoš, Čestmír Šikola and Jiří Štokman, returned to their occupied homeland near Bystřice in the Spring of 1944 to help create an intelligence network. The three survived until Soviet forces reached the region towards the end of the war. The parachutists, none of whom is still living, were later given the freedom of Bystřice in honour of their action but have not been awarded with any national recognition.

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George Brady to arrive in Prague on Sunday night

23-10-2016 14:42 | Daniela Lazarová

Terezin and Auschwitz survivor George Brady, 88, is expected to arrive in the Czech Republic on Sunday evening, according to the ctk news agency. Mr. Brady expressed regret over the developments surrounding his award, but said that even if he was no longer up for a state award, he would visit his homeland as planned. Palacký University in Olomouc has said it would be honoured to give Mr. Brady an academic award in recognition of his life’s work. The visit is expected to spark great media interest. 

Price of flats in Prague rising

23-10-2016 14:23 | Daniela Lazarová

A real estate boom fueled by low mortgage rates has sent up housing prices in Prague, making it one of the costliest cities to live in, Czech Television reported. Czechs with an average salary now have to work eleven years for a flat of approximately seventy square meters. An Austrian would need to work for nine years to acquire a similar flat in Vienna, while a German would only need to work for six years to buy a one in Berlin. London, Paris or Brussels are more expensive. An average flat of seventy square meters in Prague costs approximately 7.5 million crowns. Just a year ago Czechs needed to work less than ten years to acquire it. 

Cardinal Duka to celebrate mass for victims of Hungarian Uprising

23-10-2016 13:04 | Daniela Lazarová

Cardinal Dominik Duka is to celebrate a mass at the Basilica of St Peter and St Paul at Vysehrad on Sunday in memory of the victims of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. The uprising, which lasted from October 23 until November 10, 1956, started as a student protest and quickly grew into was a nationwide revolt against the government and its Soviet-imposed policies. It was brutally crushed by Soviet troops who invaded the country. Over 2,500 Hungarians were killed in the conflict, and 200,000 people fled the country. Mass arrests and denunciations continued for months after. 

Weather forecast

23-10-2016 10:27 | Daniela Lazarová

Monday should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered showers in the north-western parts of the country and day temperatures between 9 and 12 degrees Celsius. 

Homeopathy sceptics to stage "overdose" in number of cities

23-10-2016 10:20 | Daniela Lazarová

Homeopathy sceptics in a number of cities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia will stage a mass "overdose" of homeopathic remedies, in a bid to prove they have no effect. In Prague homeopathy critics, among them doctors, vets and members of the Sysifos club of sceptics will meet on Palacký square where they will demonstrate the production homeopathy medicine on homeo-rum which they will offer the public. We will eat a lot of sugar, have some fun and go home, Jaromír Šrámek the organizer of the event told the media. 

Communist Party leadership survives call for change-of-guard

23-10-2016 10:00 | Daniela Lazarová

The Communist Party leadership has survived a call for a change-of-guard in the wake of the party’s defeat in October’s regional and Senate elections. The call for new party elections came from the Ostrava region, but did not receive majority support. The party analyzed the reasons for its failure, concluding that it would stick with its program but needed to change its approach and rhetoric ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections. 

PM calls on president to honour George Brady

23-10-2016 09:45 | Daniela Lazarová

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has urged President Miloš Zeman to act like a statesman and honour Auschwitz survivor George Brady with an academic award in recognition of his life’s work. On his Twitter account the prime minister warned that otherwise the celebrations marking Czechoslovak Independence Day at Prague Castle would turn into a festival of pettiness and disagreements. A growing number of politicians, academics and cultural figures have announced they will not be attending the event in solidarity with George Brady who was reportedly crossed off the list of nominees because his nephew Culture Minister Daniel Herman met with the Dalai Lama during his visit to Prague. In a private conversation with Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Mr. Zeman admitted having asked the culture minister no to meet with Dalai Lama but denied having threatened him that failure to comply would result in his uncle not receiving a state award.

Prime Minister Sobotka likewise commented on the fact that some politicians are planning a separate celebration on Prague’s Old Town Square. He said he did not consider this a good idea since Czechoslovak Independence Day is an occasion that should unite and not divide the nation. 

Political scene in shock over award scandal

22-10-2016 17:45 updated | Daniela Lazarová

The affair has evoked widespread criticism across the political spectrum. The leaderships of the Christian Democratic party and the opposition Civic Democrats have said they will discuss a possible party boycott of the award giving ceremony at Prague Castle next week and many ministers and high-placed officials have already said they plan to decline the invitation. Speaker of the lower house Jan Hamáček of the Social Democratic Party said that if Mr. Herman’s words were confirmed he would not attend the ceremony. Miroslava Nemcová of the Civic Democrats said that if the allegations were true then the president had committed blackmail and society must respond. ANO leader Andrej Babiš said Prague Castle owed the public an explanation and should issue an official stand clarifying the matter. An alternative celebration marking Czechoslovak Independence Day is already being organized on Prague’s Old Town Square. 

President Zeman confirms asking culture minister not to meet with Dalai Lama, but says he made no threats

22-10-2016 17:21 updated | Daniela Lazarová

President Zeman has confirmed asking Culture Minister Daniel Herman not to meet with the Dalai Lama during his visit to Prague, but has denied having linked the request to an award for Herman’s uncle George Brady. The president did not issue an official stand on the matter, but passed on the information to Finance Minister Andrej Babiš with whom he met on Saturday.

Culture Minister Daniel Herman told Czech Television late on Friday that President Miloš Zeman had threatened him not to meet with Dalai Lama or his uncle, Auschwitz survivor George Brady, would be crossed off the list of nominees for a high state distinction. Mr. Herman claimed the words had been said at an official event in front of several witnesses. He refused to disclose their names for fear of dragging them into the dispute.

According to, Czech-born George Brady, 88,who has devoted his life to writing and lecturing about the Holocaust, was on the list of nominees who are to receive a state award on October 28, Czechoslovak Independence Day, but was crossed off the list on Friday. 

Mass served in memory of those murdered in Nazi backlash after Operation Anthropoid

22-10-2016 14:48 | Daniela Lazarová

Cardinal Dominik Duka celebrated a mass at St. Vitus Cathedral at midday on Saturday in memory of the close to 300 people killed in the Nazi backlash for Operation Anthropoid, a brave act of resistance in which Czechoslovak paratroopers assassinated Acting Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich in 1942. His death caused a furious and brutal reaction from the Nazis, with hundreds of ordinary people, many with no connection to the attack, executed or sent to concentration camps. Among the victims were the close associates and family of the five paratroopers involved in the operation. The names of the two-hundred-and-ninety- four victims were read out and candles were lit in their memory. 


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