He belongs to people who know what they want

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Author: Martina Roe – Václav Židek (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

“Let live our Czech Republic!”       
We all call from our lungs.  
We respect and love Masaryk
But we do not do anything ourselves!

(Karel Hasler 1919) 

Thomas Hasler was born in Prague in 1941, a month before his father was murdered at the Mauthausen concentration camp by the Nazis. He left Czechoslovakia with his mother in 1949, a year after the Communists came to power, and grew up in Australia. He spent his childhood until the age of 16 years in Australia.  He moved with his mother to the U.S. in 1958.  He now lives in Baltimore. He  earned a B.A. from Hobart College and an M.A. from the University of MichiganContinue reading

The Painted Churches of Texas: Echoes of the Homeland (Malované kostely v Texasu: Ozvěny vlasti)

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Praha church

Praha church

Watch this interesting video by KLRU television, a public TV station in Texas that did a story of churches built by 19th century Czech immigrants to this rough but promising territory. These churches transport the visitor back to a different era, a different way of life. The story of these buildings is the story of a people striving to succeed in a new country and still preserve the values and culture of their homelands.
The video, by Tom Spencer, also describes how today’s Czech generations preserve their culture and are proud of their ancestors, heritage and faith. It is almost one hour long but it is worth of watching.

More information about the video can be found HERE.

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Sledujte toto zajímavé video připravené stanicí KLRU, veřejnou televizní stanicí v Texasu, o kostelech postavených v 19. století českýmí přistěhovalci v tomto drsném, ale slibném území. Tyto kostely povedou diváky zpět do jiné éry, jiného způsobu života. Příběhy těchto budov jsou příběh lidí snažích se uspět v nové zemi a přesto si zachovat hodnoty a kulturu jejich domoviny.
Video, od Toma Spencera, také popisuje, jak si dnešní české generace zachovávají jejich kulturu a jsou hrdí na své předky, kulturní dědictví a víru. Video je téměř jednu hodinu dlouhá, ale stojí za sledování.

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WATCH THE VIDEO HERE  

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Czech and Slovak Textile Folk Art (Textil v lidové tvorbě)

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Zástěra Milotice u Kyjova, 1880 (Apron from Milotice, near Kyjov, 1880)Author: Antonin Vaclavik (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

(Translated by Helena Kaczérová)

 

There are not many countries and nations in the world today which can still boast, of such rich folk art as that peculiar to Czechoslovakia and its peoples. Its immense wealth, endless variety of form, colors – sometimes bright, sometimes soft – its remarkablemony and fineness of work, have won for the art of the Czech and Slovak people the admiration of all who have met with it.

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Czechoslovakia: The State that Failed (Československo, stát, který zklamal)

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Czechoslovakia: The State That FailedAuthor: Josef Cermak (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

The author of the book “Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed”, Mary Heinmann, is an American historian teaching at the Strathclyde University in Scotland. Her book was published by the Yale University Press.

According to the review (an example of how reviews should be written) in the Economist (Nov.21, 2009), Ms Heinmann sees the former Czechoslovakia as a political entity which was born out of trickery and died in failure; as an artificial creature, essentially a fraud, and the wily duo responsible for the fraud, Tomas Masaryk and Edward Benes, who duped the victorious Western allies into creation of a new country, which ignored the interests of all ethnic groups (particularly the Germans) except Czechs and Slovaks; its treatment of the Sudeten Germans in the first republic as the ultimate cause of the first Czechoslovak republic’s downfall and (together with reparations imposed on Germany) in large part responsible for the Second World War; following the Munich agreement, it engaged in anti-Semitism, which – in her view – was simply continuation of existing tendencies; and the work of Edward Benes and Jan Masaryk during the Second World War she sees as a story of Czech guile and Western gullibility, while describing the three postwar years before the communist seizure of power as a horrible period of racial revenge, rape, robbery and deportation inflicted on guilty and blameless Germans alike. And the Prague Spring was simply a by-product of a factional fight in the Communist Party. Continue reading

Enjoy the Czech Hospitality of the Past (Vychutnejte si české pohostinství z minulosti)

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Do you still remember going to Czech restaurants and pubs with tacky decorations, dirty walls, sticky tables or dirty tablecloths with set in stains? The food from that era was very simple, maybe too oily or salty, but very cheap. In places like this you could find interesting people and an atmosphere that was much different form the one you may experience today. This week you can find a restaurant like this in Prague 3 called “U dvou Hrabalu” on Chelcickeho 14 Street. The restaurant was re-designed to show what Czech or even Slovak pubs used to look like in the eighties or maybe even earlier times. Until Sunday, the visitors have a chance to go back in time to re-live the past that may have already been forgotten.

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The Lives and Fate of Our Compatriots in the World (Životy a osudy našich krajanů ve světě) (1/3)

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Kniha Kdo byl a kdo je kdoAuthor: Miroslav Sígl (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

I did not realize how much attention the encyclopedia “Who was and who is” (of Melnik, Kralupy and Neratovice, a region with a total of 76 municipalities) would get. The encyclopedia was published in 2008 by Libri Praha. In its 640 pages one can get to know more than two thousand people. As compatriots they lived or still live, worked or still work abroad. It is commendable that one still remembers them and that many of our towns, villages, schools, institutions or businesses continue to be in contact with them and are met with interest when they visit their native places. Our Czech Institute of Foreign Affairs in Prague pays them great attention, but also the press of foreign countrymen. I briefly mention some of the significant among them, their story is generally very interesting and their remarkable life deserves further interest from the public. Some names are missing some biographical data, I shall welcome (as well as the publisher) any further comments or additional information.

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1968 – A Year Without a Summer (1968 – Rok bez léta)

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Today, like every year, Czechs and Slovaks commemorate the infamous anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia. On that day the former liberator put an end to Dubcek’s effort to build “socialism with a human face.” The invasion reflected the disapproval of the rebirth of social and political freedom known as “Prague Spring.” On the night of August 20 to 21, 1968, the country was invaded by five Warsaw Pact countries. On that day the Prague Spring ended and was followed by the cold “Brezhnev’s Doctrine” that brought a new chill to the Cold War. The “Détente” was over. Continue reading

Reminiscing about August 21,1968 – A tribute to the post-invasion refugees (Připomínka invaze 1968)

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Author: Josef Čermák (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

Approximately 110km north of Toronto lies a small town of Edenvale and just a little further, you come to the Edenvale Aerodrome, an airport built by a Czeh refugee, Milan Kroupa. The aerodrome rests in the middle of a fruitful plane, even though possibly not as fruitful as the “fertile Haná”, so worshipfully described by a Czech poet whose name my aged brain refuses to surrender. During the second world war, this place was used by the Canadian air force to train its pilots. After the war, the place kept deteriorating until it was purchased, in 2003, by Milan Kroupa, who hails from a little village not far from a town of Nové Strašecí. Kroupa came to Canada as a political refugee in the middle of the sixties. And because he was an entrepreneurial wizard, he built up in this place (as well as putting together the largest janitorial company in Canada) a modern airport. It is this airport where on August 23rd, 2009 we shall reminiscence about the night of August 21, 1968, when frightened rulers in Moscow tried to stop the march of history and sent their army, with the armies of their vassals, to another brotherly vassal state, Czechoslovakia, to eradicate the potentially infectious decease called “socialisms with a human face”. Continue reading

Curiosities: Luxurious Furniture Made of Czech Pianos (Kuriozity: Luxusní nábytek z českých pian)

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Do not worry; this article is not about destroying delicate instruments to make high class furniture. It explains the recent change in a company’s goal to overcome the current economic crisis. Petrof, a major piano factory in Hradec Kralove switched a portion of its piano production to furniture design and manufacturing. The company has a long history in piano making. It not only survived two world wars, but also 40 years of the communist regime. Today it is dealing with another challenge and it is once again using creative new business models to overcome it. Continue reading

Clashes Between Slovak and Croat Soccer/Football Fans and More (Střety mezi Slovenskými a Chorvatskými fotbalovými fanoušky a více)

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Who would guess that an ordinary soccer (US)/football match in Zilina, Slovakia, would catch our attention? It is probably because it was not that ordinary. Some sources called it the biggest crackdown by security forces in the history of Slovak football. The violent act happened on the last day of July and it involved the local police, but also its residents, neighboring businesses, Foreign Affair Ministers and Slovak tourists vacationing or living in Croatia.

The disturbance took place before the UEFA Europa League third preliminary-round match between home side MSK Zilina and the Croatian team Hajduk Split. The Croat fans were not allowed to enter the stadium because they had been banned from two European away games. They were involved in skirmishes in the town, where they threatened local citizens, attacked police officers and damaged local stores and other businesses on their way to the stadium. Continue reading

Children and Communism – How Much Do They Know? (Děti a Komunismus – Kolik Toho Ví?)

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It has been twenty years since the end of Communism in the former Czechoslovakia. Today, many adults of ages 40 and above still remember what it used to be like to live in a communist country. Some of them even attempted to escape the regime by illegal crossings through a border line with the western countries that was symbolically called the Iron Curtain. Many children today don’t know much about the tough times during the communist regime and even schools don’t teach them about this important part of the Czech and Slovak history. The change is emerging soon, however, since a new history curriculum is being tested at selected schools.  Possibly a new video for small children describing the end of the Iron Curtain by the Czech government will introduce a new way of teaching about the history of former Czechoslovakia after World War II.

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