From Generation to Generation – Agnes Tomašovová

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Author: Josef Čermák

Towards the end of last October, I attended in the North York Centre for the Arts – at the invitation of my friend, Ladislav P. Kozak, the pastor of the Slovak Lutheran Evangelical Church in Toronto, who seems to have friends everywhere – a festive occasion: the inauguration of this year’s “Holocaust Education Week”. There must have been at least one thousand of us, the majority, of course, Jewish. We listened to an outstanding musical program and good speeches, but the evening belonged to seven remarkable people, who witnessed the horrors of the Nazi regime and bore witness of it. The evening was organized by the Azrieli Foundation established in 2005 to collect, preserve and share the memoirs and diaries written by those who survived Nazism and found a new home in Canada, and share their testimony with the largest possible number of people (the books written by the survivors are distributed free of charge to libraries, educational institutions and Holocaust-education programs across Canada and given to everyone who participates in the Foundation’s activities. Continue reading

A Story About the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square (Příběh Pražského orloje)

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If you would like to see a real historical object in Prague, surrounded by mysterious stories and a long history, you would find such a structure on the side wall of the Old Town Hall. Can you guess which one? If you guessed the Prague Astronomical Clock, you were absolutely right. This clock was built in 1410, by Mikulas of Kadan, and recently celebrated its 600th anniversary.

Mikulas of Kadan was not the only person behind this historical clock tower. He collaborated with Jan Ondrejuv, who was a mathematician and astrologist. The clock was then rebuilt by the master Hanus, who was permanently blinded so he could not recreate such a masterpiece anywhere else in the world. Master Hanus, however, damaged the clock and cursed it against those, who would try to repair it again. The clock became silent for more than fifty years. Continue reading

The Velvet Revolution and how the Czech public perceives it today (Sametová revoluce a jak to dnes vidí česká veřejnost)

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Ilustrace pro CzechFolks.com © František FrK KratochvílReaders of CzechFolks.com PLUS have been following a series on what foreign radios broadcasted in last weeks of the totalitarian regime and the early days of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. As the recent surveys have shown, it was the media and especially foreign radio broadcasts that had a major impact on sharing information with the Czech and Slovak population. This was confirmed by 86% of respondents in the research, which was done early in the autumn of this year by the staff from the Center for Public Opinion Research (part of the Institute of Sociology of the Cs. Academy of Sciences). Miroslav Sigl was invited to the final data presentation from the investigation of a large sample of 1046 respondents from the age of 15 and older. Continue reading

Helping To Bring Power to the Powerless (Pomoc, která přinese moc bezmocným)

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While those of us living in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom enjoy basic freedoms and democracy, there are still many people struggling for basic freedoms and human rights in societies which deny them. Their lives, however, can be changed thanks to the commitment of people and organizations to provide them with support and help.

One of the countries where civil liberties used to be deprived was, for example, the former Czechoslovakia. Based on today’s research and surveys, young generations lack a basic understanding of what it was like to live under the totalitarian regimeContinue reading

The Prediction of Princess Libuse is Fulfilling I (Věštba Knežny Libuše se Naplňuje I.)

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Today you can read a great story by Jan Drocár, published today in Pozitivni Noviny. The editors-in-chief kindly asked us to provide English translation of this story to give more people the opportunity to read about the history of the Czech Republic and its significant “players” throughout the history of the country. The article was created in honor of the new U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the Czech Republic.

In the article below, you will learn about famous royal ancestors of today’s eminent and important members of our society. Did you know that the first American President, George Washington, and the British Queen Elizabeth II were descendants of the Přemyslid Dynasty? Surprisingly, even Tom Cruise is related to Czech royal families. Find out more in the article below or read its Czech version HERE.

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How Did We Get There? (Jak Jsme Se Tam Dostali?)

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Would you like to learn about the Czech Republic, its history and paths that lead the country to the European Union that it is presiding over? You may like the following animation that describes just that in the Czech language with English subtitles. The movie is called From Forefather to Union (Od Praotce k Unii) and the author of this cartoon is Pavel Koutsky. Even though the movie is animated, people of all ages can enjoy its simplicity and brilliance that captures all important aspects of Czech history.

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The Origin of Czech Motorways (Puvod Ceskych Dalnic)

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D1 in the 1960s (D1 v 60tych letech)

70 years ago, Karel Chmel, then-employee of Velitelstvi stavby dalkovych silnic (VSDS) “headquarters of building long-distance roads”, invented the word “dalnice” (motorway). He did so after the invitation of the master of VSDS Vaclava Nosek. Motorway plans had already started in 1935. One of the problems was to find a suitable route. Bata’s route from Cheb to the Velky Bockov won in 1938, but the plans were changed during World War II, when Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany. The Czech motorways of today don’t resemble the initial plans, but they are growing in all directions thanks to funding from the EU.
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