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Kattullus (3)

"I go with my head held high. One also has to know how to lose."

Milada Horáková, a member of a Czech resistance movement, was arrested by the Gestapo in 1940 and imprisoned until the U.S. Army liberated her in May of 1945. Elected as a member of the Czechoslovak postwar parliament, she resigned after the communist coup in 1948. She remained politically active with groups opposed to the communist regime and was arrested again, this time by the communists, on September 27, 1949. After a televised show trial (she was tried with 12 others), she was executed on June 27, 1950. Translations of Horáková's poignant final letters to her mother-in-law, husband, and daughter are available here. A brief excerpt from her show trial, with english subtitles that can be turned on, is available here. The prosecutor's closing argument is here. Pages from an english-language comic book released in 1950 in the United States about Horáková can be seen here. In addition to being an opponent of both the Nazi and Communist regimes, Horáková was a feminist involved in the Czechoslovakian and International womens' movement. Biographical information is available here and here.
posted by Area Man on May 17, 2013 - 9 comments

VŶCHOD

Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police. Brought to you by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Prague.
posted by timshel on Apr 25, 2012 - 15 comments

Jewish-Freemasonic Yowl

"But maybe the single most remarkable example of 20th-century totalitarian invective against jazz that Skvorecky ever relayed was here in the intro to The Bass Saxophone, where he recalls -- faithfully, he assures us ("they had engraved themselves deeply on my mind") -- a set of regulations, issued by a Gauleiter -- a regional official for the Reich -- as binding on all local dance orchestras during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia." (via)
posted by SpiffyRob on Mar 12, 2012 - 34 comments

I don't care much about personal fame or popularity. I would be satisfied with the feeling that I had a chance to help with something in general, something good.

Václav Havel, who went from being an imprisoned dissident playwright to becoming the president of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic, has died at the age of 75. A coauthor of Charter 77, a leader of the bloodless "Velvet Revolution", and the writer of absurdist theater.
posted by kyrademon on Dec 18, 2011 - 104 comments

The last man to have been imprisoned in a concentration camp for being homosexual under the Nazis has died, his obituary is more interesting than that sounds.

Last gay concentration camp inmate dies.
posted by maiamaia on Aug 9, 2011 - 28 comments

Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen 1912-2011

Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen, son of Charles, last monarch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, died on July 4 at the age of 98. [more inside]
posted by dhens on Jul 5, 2011 - 24 comments

Paul Fierlinger's Still Life with Animated Dogs

Still Life with Animated Dogs is a witty and candid cartoon by Paul Fierlinger, animator of Sesame Street's Teeny Little Super Guy, recounting his life from being a dissident artist in 1960s Czechoslovakia to being a successful animator in the US. He tells his lifestory by talking about the dogs he's owned over the years, Roosevelt, Ike, Johnson and Spinnaker. Warning: Something may get stuck in your eye.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 27, 2010 - 8 comments

Paulina Porizkova on aging

80s supermodel Paulina Porizkova (images may be NSFW) on aging: Beauty, unlike the rest of the gifts handed out at birth, does not require dedication, patience and hard work to pay off. But it's also the only gift that does NOT keep on giving. It usually blossoms at an age where you're least equipped to handle its benefits and rewards and instead take it all for granted, and by the time you start understanding the value of it, it slowly trickles away. How's that for revenge of the ugly ones? (related)
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 21, 2010 - 121 comments

1989, revolution in Eastern Europe

The BBC World Service has put together a special report on the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe (they also have a simpler portal). There is a wealth of material, including TV reports on key events from the BBC archives, interviews, a map timeline, a report on Catholicism's role in the 1989 revolutions, a first-hand report of what it was like to gather news in East Germany during that time and much more.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 27, 2009 - 20 comments

Pat & Mat, lovable Czech puppetmen who have complex solutions to simple problems

The puppets Pat and Mat are beloved everywhere their Rube Goldbergian antics have been shown on TV. A couple of inventive handymen they consistently solve simple problems in outlandish fashion. Pat and Mat traveled far afield from their Czechoslovakian origins thanks to their short running time and silence, which made translation unnecessary. Considered ideologically impure by Czech authorities, creators Lubomír Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek were allowed to make around 30 episodes by the Slovakian arm of the state television corporation. They continued making new episodes after Communist rule ended and production was kept going after they passed away. First, let me present my sentimental favorite, Wallpaper. Below the cut are all the episodes I could find online. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Sep 7, 2009 - 27 comments

"the events in Postoloprty"

"Two hundred and fifty men were taken one day, another 250 the next, and a layer of earth was thrown in between," a policeman told a parliamentary inquiry in 1947. "They weren't all executed in a single night, but rather in stages." Often enough the condemned men were given a pick and shovel, and made to dig their own graves. The perpetrators didn't have many scruples. After all, they were sure they had high-level military backing...."The general told us, 'The fewer of them that remain, the fewer enemies we'll have.'"
Czech Town Divided over How to Commemorate 1945 Massacre [more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Sep 6, 2009 - 33 comments

If anybody could ever put a soundtrack to an epileptic porno, it would be Uz Jsme Doma.

Music in Czech lands in the 20th was tumultuous, to say the least. The artistic freedom of the early 20th century shifted during World War I under Nazi occupation, flourishing again after the war. With the rise of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, arts were "destined to play a great role in the socialist education of the masses," which meant artists were to portray "life as it should be according to Marxist theory." Some bands shifted to more politically acceptable performances, while others went underground. The Velvet Revolution lifted limitations, and artists who had performed illegal shows in private now shared their underground sounds and sights with the world. The Plastic People of the Universe (who some credit with bringing the Revolution) could be considered to embody the Communist repression of the 1970s and 1980s in their gloomy, despair-driven music, with Už Jsme Doma showing a different side of Czech music, representing the exuberance of liberation. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 4, 2009 - 17 comments

Do you know these children?

Do you, or an older relative of yours, recognize any of these children? More than 70 children separated from their families during WWII, now all elderly men and women, are using the Internet to try to find some answers about their pasts, their families, and sometimes even their own names. They are soliciting help and suggestions in the comments sections on each story. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Dec 19, 2008 - 21 comments

Czech animator Karel Zeman

Karel Zeman was a Czech animator probably best known for his movies Journey to the Beginning of Time and The Fabulous World of Jules Verne. He used stop-motion animation, cartoons, puppetry, colorization, and live action to create surreal and otherworldly films of amazing beauty. Sadly (for some), there's not a lot on the internet in English about the man. [more inside]
posted by sleepy pete on Jul 6, 2008 - 4 comments

Commie Kids Telly

One rather strange minor cultural phenomena you experienced as a kid growing up in 60s and 70s Britain was a number of television programs that originated from beyond the Iron Curtain. Most infamous was the downright scary The Singing Ringing Tree from East Germany (Radio4 doc), later spoofed by the Fast Show but there were several others... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 13, 2008 - 25 comments

Flash, bang, wallop.

Sechtl-Vosecek. A collection of photographs taken over the last 150 years are in the process of being digitized. Check out the Sokol costume ball Šibřinky or take a trip from Bechyně to Tábor. Also available is a selection concentrating on Bukhara from the Prokudin-Gorsky Collection. And much, much, more.
posted by tellurian on Apr 17, 2006 - 7 comments

Good-lookin' books.

Czech book covers of the 1920s and '30s. Czechoslovakia was an amazingly creative place between the wars, and this Cooper-Hewitt exhibit showcases some of the book covers it produced. Here's an overview and descrption of styles; you can explore them here. I particularly like Sborník Literární skupiny, Jaroslavu Královi k padesátinám, Nejmenší dum, and the work of Karel Teige. (Via wood s lot.)
posted by languagehat on Dec 18, 2004 - 9 comments

Prague Spring

The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia. Posters, pamphlets, social protest material. 'In the morning hours of August 21, 1968, the Soviet army invaded Czechoslovakia along with troops from four other Warsaw Pact countries. The occupation was the beginning of the end for the Czechoslovak reform movement known as the Prague Spring. This web site contains material from the days immediately following the invasion, and they reflect the atmosphere in Czechoslovakia at the time: tense, chaotic, uncertain, full of pathos, fear, and expectation... '
Related :- the Berlin Wall and East Side Gallery; A Concrete Curtain: The Life and Death of the Berlin Wall; Szoborpark in Budapest, with its gigantic Cold War-era statues.
posted by plep on Aug 12, 2003 - 6 comments

The Prehistoric art of Znedek Burian amidst a motherlode of large scans of Czech art and photography

Chasmosaurus, Giant Stag and Dire Wolf, Diatryma, Albertosaurus and an early Portuguese blogger--allow me to get a little Mesozoic, Creataceous and Pleistocene upon your ass with this cool archive of vintage Czechoslovakian prehistoric art: I found 11 pages of thumbnails for 258 large scan jpegs of Znedek Burian's work on the websites of the Petrs Hejna of Prague, the Czech Republic. Znedek Burian, as you will remember from my previous Vintage Dinosaur Art Archives thread, was state of the art in the 1950s. 258 scans of Znedek Burian is find enough to merit a post--But Wait! There's More! → → →
posted by y2karl on Feb 9, 2003 - 13 comments

Kashmir...Palestine...Sudetenland?? If you've been suspecting that old territorial squabbles never go away, you're probably right.
posted by gimonca on Jun 9, 2002 - 4 comments

"You must be the author of your own life."

"You must be the author of your own life." Milan Hlavsa has passed. I never listened to their (Czecheslovakia's Plastic People of the Universe) music, but I found their strength, authenticity and persistence in the face of oppression inspiring. I found this link on Google, looking for an alternative to the NYT link in Daily Media News (scroll down). It seems a fitting obit. R.I.P. Milan.
posted by aflakete on Jan 13, 2001 - 0 comments

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