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czech president benes and the benes decrees

The Beneš Decrees

The Beneš Decrees As I write this, Ukraine is being invaded by Russia, some towns are being occupied and Russian supporting people are being put in public administrative positions. It made me think of events in Czech in 1945 when the occupying power was kicked out and retribution swiftly followed against those considered, rightly or … Read More

klement gottwald addresses a crowd of people on the old town square in prague

1948 Communist Coup

1948 Communist Coup All over this website on the historical and political posts as well as many of the attractions you’ll see me refer to the “Communist takeover” or the “Communist coup d’etat” which is still referred to historically as “Victorious February” by our local communist party. It’s worth taking some time to see where … Read More

entropa modern art located at techmania in plze

David Cerny – Entropa

Modern Art – Entropa I was reading this month that France had just taken over the rotating Presidency of the European Union Council which means Czech will be next and it reminded me of what happened this week in January 2009 when France was handing over to Czech. It’s a tradition that the country taking … Read More

President Emil Hacha of Czechoslovakia seated at a table speaking into a microphone

Emil Hacha

Czech Presidents, Emil Hacha and the Poison Chalice When you take a look at Czech history especially in the 20th Century you’ll find lots of references to Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (the first President of Czechoslovakia) or Edvard Beneš (longest serving Foreign Minister and second President of Czechoslovakia). Then we have a third President called Emil … Read More

pre-ww2 czech roma id card used during ww2 roma internment

WW2 Roma Internment

WW2 Roma Internment In World War Two a group of people were racially profiled, segregated, interned, transported, tattooed and executed. But this isn’t a story about Jewish people. In England we might know them as travellers, some people call them gypsies but in Czech they are called Roma. As far back as 1933, Adolf Hitler … Read More

two men disguised as chimney sweeps either side of a huge pair of red shorts

A Pair of Red Shorts

A Pair of Red Shorts Every now and again there has to be a line drawn and some consequences dished out. This is a true story about an outlandish protest and an equally outlandish but ultimately petty response. This post will help you understand why sometimes you see a pair of red shorts hanging above … Read More

prague old town square late baroque style kinsky palace, a four floor building with stone archways joined by a first floor balcony and 2 roof level porticos

Kinsky Palace

Prague Kinsky Palace The Kinsky Palace is the largest single building on the Old Town Square. Before you say “that’s not true, what about the churches and the Old Town Hall?”. Well the Old Town Hall is 4 buildings joined together, the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn is set back from the square and … Read More

faces of jan palach and josef toufar on a wall with the dates of their death

Story of a Photograph

Story of a Photograph I never know where I’ll be drawn next when I’m writing about Prague. This was supposed to be a religious persecution post, but it took a few turns and left me with a big surprise at the end. It started with a picture I took years ago of an empty building … Read More

detail showing names and roles of people executed on june 21st 1621 on prague old town square

Prague Old Town Square 1621 Memorial

Prague Old Town Square 1621 Memorial As you wander around the city you’ll pass various memorials to people and events. On the Old Town Square you’ll find the 1621 memorial. Actually you are more likely to walk over it first. It might look old but in reality it only goes back to renovation work done … Read More

map showing dispositions and locations of opposing forces at the battle of white mountain during the thirty years war

Thirty Years War

Thirty Years War Before you read this post take a few minutes to read about the Prague Defenestrations and specifically the third one. This sets the political tone. You might think that this is just history but in fact it has a direct impact on your tourism today. Look in your guidebook and it will … Read More