Josef Čermák: Four Encounters with H. Gordon Skilling

Článek v ČEŠTINĚ dole (Klikněte na “Read the rest …”)

(This article was sent to the organizer of the conference, Professor Vilem Prečan. This is his response: „Many thanks for your excellent contribution. It will be posted on the conference website and distributed in written form to all conference participants.”)

I don’t recall when I met Gordon for the first time. Actually, I feel that I sort of knew him always.

68Publishers

It must have been around the time Zdena and Josef Škvorecky arrived in Canada, because I remember how deeply Gordon was involved in the establishment of 68Publishers (Sixty-Eight Publishers), the institution which started with nothing and was to play such an immense role in the survival of the Czech literature during the 40 years of the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. My main involvement was as a lawyer doing the legal work in connection with the incorporation of the charitable corporation which received its charter in 1972 and during its existence published more than 220 titles, after the manuscripts of many of them were smuggled from Czechoslovakia. Continue reading

The End of a Consulate (Konec jednoho konzulátu)

Článek v ČEŠTINĚ dole (Klikněte na “Read the rest …”)

 

This year’s month of March did not treat our community overly kindly. The row of friends to whom we said good bye this March is longer than other years. Quite a number of us gathered the last day of the month in Montreal to attend a somewhat different funeral: we lost a consulate. And this was not a run-of-the mill consulate. Which is not to suggest that the Czech Republic (and before that Czechoslovakia) ever had in Canada an unusually high number of consular establishments. But the Montreal consulate had much closer ties ties with the Czech (and even more Czechoslovak) history, than is usually the case.

What goes for the Montreal consulate, goes equally for the City of Montreal: it was in Montreal where in 1924 a group of immigrants from Czechoslovakia – mostly Slovaks – established Československý podpůrný spolek (Czechoslovak Mutual Benefit Society); it was in Montreal where in 1929 two newspapers commenced publication: Slovenské Bratrstvo (Slovak Brotherhood) and Kanadské noviny (Canadian Newspaper) – /the first Slovak newspaper in Canada, Slovenské slovo (Slovak Word), was published in Blairmore, Alberta in 1910/. Continue reading

Petition to Reconsider the Decision for Closing the Consulate in Montreal (Petice proti zrušení konzulátu České republiky v Montrealu)

Článek v ČEŠTINĚ dole (Klikněte na “Read the rest …”)

The Government of the Czech Republic has decided to close down our 90 year old Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Montreal on March 31. 2010

For 90 years the Czech Consulate in Montreal, a landmark and relevant member of the diplomatic community in Canada and Montreal in particular, has efficiently provided consular services and placed its substantial cultural, educational, humanitarian and scientific resources, not only for the disposition of Czechs and Canadians, but also for persons and institutions of a wide array of nationalities from the rest of the world.

Furthermore its staff has been awarded various honors, the most recent granted to the present Consul General, The Honorable Ms. Jaroslava Jeslinkova, Woman of the Year 2009 by the Fédération des Caisses Desjardins du Québec. Continue reading

Woodrow Wilson Monument to Return to Prague (Návrat Pomníku Prezidenta Wilsona do Prahy)

Článek v ČEŠTINĚ dole (Klikněte na “Read the rest …”)

Wilson monument in Prague

How many of you know that there was a monument to an American President in Prague? Yes, there was a statue of Woodrow Wilson located at the main train station in the center of Prague. The monument was destroyed by the Nazis in 1941 and was forgotten for more than 60 years. A new project, initiated by American Friends of the Czech Republic (AFoCR), will renew this monument in Prague to remind us of the close ties the Czech Republic and United States share.

Continue reading

Uncertainties about the U.S. Radar Base – Payments for it Expected (Nejasnosti Ohledne Americke Radarove Zakladny – Platby za ni Ocekavane)

Clanek v CESTINE dole (Kliknete na “Read the rest …”)

Public research in the Czech Republic showed that most Czechs do not agree with the American radar base. Many politicians are also upset and are against it. The U.S. financial support is still sent to the Czech Republic for research. Will the U.S. radar base be built then? We have to wait another couple of months.

Roughly two thirds of Czechs are against the U.S. base. Many of them also hope that the future American president Obama will revoke it. Some politicians plan to meet with him in person to talk about the base. The Czech parliament is going to vote on the Czech-American radar treaty in December, but the U.S. government plans to send $600,000 to Czech universities and research institutes in the Czech Republic for research related to anti-radar technologies.

Continue reading

Czech Prime Minister Will Say Goodbye to Bush (Cesky Premier se Rozlouci s Bushem)

Článek v ČEŠTINĚ dole (Klikněte na “Read the rest of the entry”)

The current President of the United States George W. Bush, has been actively involved in the abolition of U.S. visas for Czech and Slovak citizens. In January 2009, he will be replaced by Barack Obama. According to Ceske Noviny article, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, said that he wants to visit the USA and personally say goodbye to him. He will do so either this year or early next year.

 

Last week Topolanek had to cancel his trip to the United States because of political tensions in the Czech Parliament. But now he does not plan to cancel this trip. It will be probably his first time flying to the USA without the visa requirement.

Continue reading

Czech Republic Sent Money to Cedar Rapids (Ceska Republika Poslala Penize do Cedar Rapids)

Clanek v CESTINE dole (Kliknete na “Read the rest of this entry”)

 

In our last article we mentioned that the Czech government has pledged 10 million crowns in the regeneration of the Cedar Rapids Czech Village, Iowa. Last week, Czech Ambassador Petr Kolar visited Cedar Rapids to pass on financial support from the Czech Republic in the value of $ 583,780. That moment was very important for everybody in the city, because it will help in returning the Czech village to its original condition.

Continue reading

Czechs One Step Closer to Visa Waiver (Cesi Jednim Krokem Blize k Bezvizovemu Styku)

Clanek v CESTINE dole (Kliknete na “Read the rest of this entry”)

 

Today, the Czech government approved one of the two agreements needed for abolition of U.S. visa requirements. The Agreement was designed to prevent and combat serious crime. Now, American authorities will have full access to fingerprints and DNA profiles of Czech citizens. While the document must be approved by the Czech Parliament and signed by the president, it is just a formality, since the visa requirement will be lifted on the 17th of November – on the 19th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which is recorded in the world history as the final day of the Communist regime in former Czechoslovakia.

Continue reading

Czech and Slovak Republic Added to the US Visa Waiver Program (Ceska a Slovenska Republika Pridany do US VWP)

Clanek v CESTINE dole.

 

On October 17, 2008 President George W. Bush announced that the Czech Republic would be among seven nations to be added to the Visa Waiver program. Czech citizens will finally be able to travel to the US without a Visa by simply registering online ahead of their planned trip. The waiver should go into effect within a month (towards the end of November 2008).

 

The newly admitted members to the program (which previously was available to 27 nations) are:

Continue reading

Slovaks are Ahead of Czechs – Visa Waiver Requirements Accomplished (Slovaci jsou Popredu pred Cechy – Podminky pro Zruseni Viz Splneny)

Clanek v CESTINE dole.

 

Today, the Slovak republic president, Ivan Gasparovic, and the president of the United States, George Bush, met in Washington in the White House. They discussed the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) as well as the financial crisis and steps that need to be taken in order to overcome it.

 

The major requirement for eligibility for this program is to reach no more than 10 percent of rejected visa applications, which Slovakia achieved. Also, Slovakia provided fingerprints and DNA profiles of all convicted criminals that won’t be allowed to enter the United States. Bush stated that Slovakia made the major step in order to cancel visas to the US and he declared that the official announcement could be as soon as in the middle of November.

Continue reading

Czech Republic Helps US Czech And Slovak Museum (Ceska Republika Pomaha Cesko-Slovenskemu Muzeu v USA)

Clanek v CESTINE dole.

The Czech government has pledged 10 million crowns (~$630,000) in flood recovery for Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In the next month or two, the US Czech and Slovak Museum will be able to use this gift to repair damages to the building and its contents from the floods in June 2008. The total damage to the museum’s five properties in Czech Village is about $9 million but the gift is a wonderful gesture of support and solidarity that proves that Czechs in USA are still connected with their home country.

Continue reading

Hasal’s Family Priceless Gift (Nedocenitelny Dar Hasalovy Rodiny)

Clanek v CESTINE dole.

On September 4th, our Czech Ambassador in Washington, D.C. Petr Kolar, held a ceremony at which Dagmar White, daughter of General Antonin Hasal (1893 – 1960), donated her father’s WWII uniform to the permanent collection of the Military History Institute in Prague. This generous gift showed how much this family is still connected to the Czech Republic, Antonin Hasal’s home country.

 

General Hasal was born in 1893 in the Austro-Hungarian town Nova Hut pod Nizborem. During World War I, he was called to serve in the Austro-Hungarian Army but he decided to volunteer for the Czechoslovak legion in Russia. He returned to Czechoslovakia as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1920 and later he became Lieutenant General.

Continue reading