Czech the News, April 2001

Contents :

Message from the Ambassador

Czech Republic - Two Years in NATO

Czech Senate Delegation in Washington

Consular Corps Gathered at the Embassy

Czech Jewish Memorial Service Held

Ambassador Vondra to Prepare NATO Summit in Prague

Foreign Minister Kavan in Brussels

Czech Americans Receive Thomas G. Masaryk Medals of Honor

The Czech Government Allocates Funds for Campaign Against Racism

News Digest

Czech Business Breakfast

New Alliance in the Sky

High-tech Seminar in Denver

Government Approves Incentives for IBM

Mitsubishi Electric, Koyo Seiko Plan Czech Plant

Skoda Auto to Launch New Car and Engine Plant

Cabinet Decides on First Toll Road

Real Wage Growth Speeds Up

Business Digest

Kuks -The Jewel of Czech Architecture

Profile : H. Gordon Skilling - A Man Against the Current

Anna Faltus - The Voice That Refused to Be Silenced

Milan Hlavsa Inducted Into the Music Hall of Fame

Books for Czech Kids

Embassy Events

Czech Center New York


Message from the Ambassador

Two years ago, my country joined NATO under the leadership of President Havel. Amidst all of the celebrations, echoes of the debate accompanying the NATO enlargement could still be heard as skeptics questioned its wisdom, identifying the lack of threat in Central Europe.

For any Czech familiar with history, it is not difficult to address these doubts. Now, the Czech Republic is surrounded by friends -- Poland, Hungary, and Germany are our allies. But over the past two generations, we repeatedly fought with our neighbors. Between these conflicts, we heard talk of the "war to end all wars," and "peace in our time." And yet, that peace was followed by the deadliest war in history.

It was this cruel lesson that finally led the Western Democracies to form an organization of mutual defense. Founded in 1949, the Alliance was resilient enough to prevail over yet another deadly opponent in the Cold War. As our recent experience shows, transatlantic ties were crucial for this success. From support given to our emancipation from the Hapsburg Monarchy, to the collapse of the Soviet Empire, our fate depended on US engagement in Europe.

Certainly, our world is different from that of our parents. Yet our past is the best source of guidance for the future. The conclusions are clear: to secure its freedom, the Czech Republic must perform to the best of its ability in alliance with other European nations, the United States, and Canada.

In the past month, a citizen of the conflict area in the Balkans was quoted as saying, "they are always late." Her frustration is understandable, it is always too late once the killing and the destruction has begun. What strikes me most is her expectation that NATO will be there to bring peace and to put things right. I see this as yet another confirmation of the importance of the Alliance's role. I hope that all nations ready to contribute to a common defense, including the Baltic states, will be invited to join at the NATO summit in Prague next year.


Czech Republic - Two Years in NATO

March 12 marked the second anniversary of the day in 1999 when the Foreign Ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary joined Secretary of State Madeleine Albright aboard a special flight bound for Kansas City. Independence, Missouri was their final destination -- the town where the three countries officially became members of the Alliance as their representatives presented their protocols of accession to Secretary Albright.

By joining NATO, the Czech Republic has fulfilled one of its main foreign policy goals, that of guaranteeing its security entering a formal common defense alliance with like-minded democratic nations. As President Havel once mentioned, its membership in NATO gave the Czech Republic both hope and commitment. Since the beginning of its affiliation, the Czech Republic has been a loyal and active member of the Alliance. To this day, the Czech soldiers= performance in SFOR and KFOR missions in Bosnia and Kosovo is appreciated. The Czech Army has succeeded in implementing a large number of measures and has made significant progress in completing the tasks set forth for the new members since March of 1999. However, it remains clear that the integration into NATO structures will be both a long lasting and demanding process and that much still remains to be done.

The Czech Republic rejoined the family of democratic nations in NATO ten years after the "Velvet Revolution of 1989." In a somewhat symbolic gesture, Prague recently became the first Central European city located beyond the former "iron curtain" to be selected to host a NATO summit, scheduled for November 2002. The location for the summit is an endorsement of the trust that the Czech Republic has been enjoying from its Allies. Let us hope that the Prague summit will give the candidate countries the same opportunity to integrate their nations into the Alliance as was given to the three Central European countries in 1999.


Czech Senate Delegation in Washington

Senator Michael Zantovsky and three other members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Security of the Senate of the Czech Republic visited Washington, D.C. on March 24 - 29, 2001. Head of the delegation, Senator Zantovsky, served as the Czech Ambassador to the United States in 1992 - 1997.

The Committee delegation held meetings with their U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives counterparts. On March 28, the delegation met with Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Jesse Helms. The delegation also met with Ambassador Daniel Fried, a Senior Director in the National Security Council, and with the Undersecretary of State for European Affairs, Mr. James Dobbins. The Czech Senators had the opportunity to discuss foreign policy issues with members of the U.S. Committee on NATO.

During their visit, the Senators held meetings with the Consular Corps of the Czech Republic in the United States, as well as with directors and advisory board members of The American Friends of the Czech Republic, an umbrella Czech-American organization dedicated to the promotion of Czech culture and heritage.

Senator Zantovsky visited with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and expressed his gratitude for the great efforts she made to enhance Czech-American relations.


Consular Corps Gathered at the Embassy

The annual meeting of Honorary Consuls and Consul Generals of the Czech Republic in the United States was held at the Czech Embassy in Washington D.C. on March 26, 2001. The consular corps were addressed by Ambassador Alexandr Vondra and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security, Senator Michael Zantovský. Czech officials praised the Honorary Consuls for their work on behalf of the Czech Republic, particularly in consular and political affairs.

In their contributions, the Honorary Consuls informed about their achievements in improving Czech-American economic and cultural relations. Also discussed were issues concerning Czech community in the USA, including the possibility of correpondence vote during the upcoming Parliamentary elections in 2002, an amendment to the Czech Alien Law in connection with student visas for American students in the Czech Republic, the increase of trade between the USA and the Czech Republic, and issues concerning the illegal stay and employment of Czech nationals. The gathering was also informed about the plan to open an Honorary Consulate in San Juan, Puerto Rico later this year.


Czech Jewish Memorial Service Held

The Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews recently conducted the 56th annual memorial service for Czechoslovak Jewish victims of Nazism, held at the Congregational Habonim in New York City and co-sponsored by the Joseph Popper Unit of B´nai Brith and the Holocaust Survivors of Slovakia. The service is annually held around this time of year to mark the anniversary of the death of 3,800 Czech Jews on the eve of the Jewish festival of Purim on March 7, 1944 in Camp BIIb in Birkenau. It offers survivors an opportunity to remember their family members who were deported and murdered during the Holocaust.

Participating at the service were Mr. Petr Gandalovic, the Czech Consul-General in New York, and Ms. Klara Novotna, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations. Hadassah Lieberman, a native of Czechoslovakia and wife of Senator Joseph Lieberman, the recent Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate, sent a letter of greeting which was distributed to those in attendance.

The service was led by the president of the Society, Rabbi Norman Patz and featured songs written by the Czech Jewish poet and writer, Ilse Weber, who perished at Auschwitz at the age of 41. The songs were sung by Cantor Mark Perman and Abigail Katz. The program concluded with a rendition of the largo from the New World Symphony by Antonin Dvorak.

The Society published a memorial booklet containing the names of loved ones remembered and the story of a family memorial stone recently erected by an American relative in the Jewish cemetery of Stribro, a small town south of Pilsen. (Copies of the booklet can be obtained from the Society at 760 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove, New Jersey 07009).

Ambassador Vondra to Coordinate the 2002 NATO Summit in Prague

The Government of the Czech Republic recently appointed the Czech Ambassador to the United States, Alexandr Vondra, as Special Envoy for the 2002 NATO summit in Prague. On Wednesday, March 28, the Czech cabinet unanimously voted on the Ambassador=s appointment as NATO summit coordinator. The cabinet session was attended by Czech President Vaclav Havel, who announced Mr. Vondra´s appointment after the voting. The Prague NATO Summit will take place in November 2002.


Foreign Minister Kavan in Brussels

European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen and Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan agreed in Brussels that they wanted the Czech Republic's negotiations on EU accession to be completed by 2002 so that the country could enter the EU by 2004. Commissioner Verheugen expects a significant progress on the part of the Czech Republic during the ongoing Swedish EU presidency and the following Belgian one.

Minister Kavan also had a speech at the Center for European Policy Studies, in which he supported the ideas of a trans-national and integrated EU.


Czech Americans Receive Thomas G. Masaryk Medals of Honor

The Masaryk Democratic Movement of Prague presented several outstanding individuals and organizations with a "Thomas Garrigue Masaryk Medal of Honor" at the Pyramida Hotel in Prague on March 6, 2001, the eve of Thomas G. Masaryk's 151st anniversary. The medals were given to 20 awardees, including former Secretary of State Madeline K. Albright (represented by U.S. Chargé d' Affaires Mr. Coffey), former Chairwoman of the Czech Senate Libuse Benesova, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Kavan, Cardinal Miroslav Vlk, the Roman Catholic Primate of Bohemia, and others. As a reflection of the Masaryk Democratic Movement's appreciation for Czechs living abroad who maintain continuous support of their homeland, two Czech American organizations, the Fund for Czechoslovak Relief and the Czech and Slovak Solidarity Council, were also honored. The president of the Czech and Slovak Solidarity Council, Professor Mojmir Povolny, participated in the ceremony on behalf of both organizations.

The Masaryk Democratic Movement was established by Dr. Emil Ludvik shortly after the political changes of November 1989 in Czechoslovakia. Before the Communist takeover of 1948, Dr. Ludvik worked in the office of President Edvard Benes. The medals, which are awarded annually for the recipient's "faithfulness to the spiritual legacy of T.G. Masaryk," have previously been presented to President Vaclav Havel and Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies Vaclav Klaus.


The Czech Government Allocates Funds for Campaign Against Racism

The Czech Government released 10 million Czech crowns to be used in the "Project Tolerance," an informational campaign against racism, xenophobia and other forms of hatred. The Government launched a similar campaign last year, making it the first major event of this kind in the Czech Republic. Previously, the main feature was a public awareness campaign with billboards and media ads containing messages against racism. The most important aspect of the new project is a series of educational activities focused on secondary school students and teachers.


News Digest

March 1 - 2: Slovak head-of-state Rudolf Schuster paid his second official visit to the Czech Republic at the invitation of President Vaclav Havel. President Schuster's discussions with high-level Czech officials emphasized Slovakia's efforts to join NATO, EU integration, the situation of the Slovak Roma (Gypsy) minority, and the foreign policy of the four Visegrad countries. The Czech Republic firmly supports Slovakia's bid to join NATO and the EU as soon as possible. During his two-day stay, President Schuster also visited Cesky Krumlov, southern Bohemia, and Brno in southern Moravia.

March 2: President Vaclav Havel and Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of the Russian Parliament) Yegor Stroyev agreed today in Prague that a differing view on NATO enlargement should not hinder Czech-Russian cooperation. After Russian Foreign Minister Igor Uvanov visit to Prague in February this year, Mr. Stroyev's March visit is another sign of the reviving Czech-Russian relations. The Czech Republic's membership in NATO, as well opportunities for a Czech-Russian economic cooperation, were discussed at Stroyev's meeting with Senate Chairman Petr Pithart, who stressed to Stroyev that the NATO enlargement did not signify the militarization of Europe. Chairman Stroyev pointed out the popularity of Czech goods on the Russian market and spoke about incentives to Czech businesses.

March 1 - 2: While in Prague, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis and President Vaclav Havel discussed further NATO enlargement, the security situation in Europe, and the NATO summit to be held in Prague in 2002. President Havel emphasized that he considered NATO enlargement to be a guarantee of security in Europe. According to President Havel, it would be beneficial if the Baltic states were among the countries to be invited to enter the Alliance. After the meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart, Foreign Minister Jan Kavan stressed that NATO should invite several candidates to join the organization after its Prague summit in 2002.

March 4 - 6: Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman traveled to Madrid for an official three-day visit to Spain. According to his counterpart, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, Spain will seek that the Czech Republic be among the first of the newly admitted EU members. Such a statement can be seen as positive, as Spain is to hold the EU presidency in the first half of 2002 when the debate on the acceptance of new members will culminate. While speaking at a business forum in Madrid, Prime Minister Zeman summarized the incentives that the Czech Republic has been offering to foreign investors, including: tax breaks, customs-free imports of modern machinery and technologies, and industrial zones equipped with infrastructure.

March 6: A group of ten U.S. instructors launched a course for Czech students at the Military Medical Academy in Hradec Kralove, teaching them how to provide medical aid in natural disasters. The course, organized in close cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Prague, was also attended by several officers from the Hungarian and Slovak Armies.

March 6: A commemoration for the first mass transport of Romanies taken from the Nazi Germany occupied Czech lands to the Auschwitz concentration camp in March 1943 took place in Brno. The ceremony occurred outside the building of the former stable of the Protectorate police on Masna street, where Romanies were collected before their transport on March 7, 1943. Last May, a plaque commemorating the first mass transport was placed on the building. The ceremony was attended by Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl and representatives of the Roma and Jewish communities.

March 7: The Cabinet appointed Jan Jarab as its Commissioner for Human Rights. He has succeeded Petr Uhl, who resigned from the post to avoid potential conflicts of interest after his wife, Anna Sabatova, was appointed deputy ombudsman.

March 7: President Vaclav Havel, accompanied by representatives of the Masaryk Democratic Movement and the Sokol civic sports association, placed a wreath at the grave of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk in Lany to celebrate the 151st birthday of the first president of the independent Czechoslovak state.

March 8: According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Ales Pospisil, the Czech Republic supports NATO's decision to allow Yugoslav soldiers to enter a part of the demilitarized zone between Kosovo and southern Serbia, in the area where it joins the border of Macedonia. "Today's decision is completely logical and is in accord with efforts to minimize the damage which extremist activists could inflict," said Pospisil. According to the spokesman, the Czech Republic has been advocating a review of security arrangements in the area for some time. The decision was also welcomed by President Vaclav Havel, who discussed the security situation in northern Macedonia with the Macedonian president, Boris Trajkovski.

March 9: After lengthy talks attended by 20 representatives from both parties, the ruling Social Democrats (CSSD) and Civic Democratic Party (ODS) agreed to continue with the power-sharing "opposition agreement," a unique arrangement that keeps the minority CSSD government in power. The pact is to be continued until the next general elections, scheduled for mid-2002. The Social Democrats must, however, fulfill a number of conditions in a wide range of issues, including submitting a proposal to reduce the rising deficits of public budgets.

March 11 -15: Prime Minister Milos Zeman paid a five-day visit to India with the main aim of supporting bilateral economic cooperation. He was accompanied by the Ministers of Finance, Trade and Industry, and Agriculture, as well as a group of businessmen. The energy and transportation sectors represent the traditional areas of Czech-Indian cooperation. Near the city of Bengalore, Mr. Zeman visited the only Czech-Indian joint venture to be established in 1997 between Tatra and Odyog, a producer of large vehicles for the civil sector. In 2000, Skoda Auto began building its assembly hall for Skoda Octavia in the city of Ouran -Gabat. Prime Minister Zeman also discussed long-term projects to help the Indian state of Gudjarat, the site of the recent massive earthquake.

March 12: According to NATO Deputy Secretary General Edgar Buckley, NATO's decision of two years ago to admit Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic into the Alliance has increased regional security. However, he voiced some shortcomings and called for an intensified implementation of the force goals issued for the three countries by NATO.

March 12: The renowned Prague Spring International Music Festival began in the Czech capital of Prague today. As the most prestigious music event in the Czech Republic, the Festival, first held in 1946, brings together famous orchestras and musicians from all over the world. The festival's Artistic Council is headed by Josef Suk, a well-known violinist from an esteemed musical family --he is the grandson of Czech composer Josef Suk and great grandson of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak.

March 14: The Czech government approved the Czech Republic's participation in the EU's new version of sanctions against Yugoslav ex-leader Slobodan Milosevic and his family and collaborators. Last month, the EU decided to narrow its visa restrictions against Milosevic's circle to include only himself, five of his family members, and seven of his collaborators. Like Milosevic, these particular individuals have also been indicted by the Hague-based International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

March 19: Macedonia cannot be left alone to fight against Albanian separatists, Czech President Vaclav Havel said after a meeting with Orthodox bishop of Kosovo Serbs Artemije. President Havel stressed that Macedonia deserves full political and technical help from the international community, also adding that the international community should support the Macedonian armed forces who are fighting against Albanian guerrillas. After his talks with the European Commission (EC) in Brussels, Foreign Minister Jan Kavan emphasized that any notion of changing the Macedonian border was unacceptable to the Czech Republic, and further welcomed any NATO steps leading to better protection of the Macedonian border.

March 19: The 2000 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on nuclear safety, which says that in light of the globally growing amount of energy consumption, nuclear energy production should be preserved, praises the Czech Republic for their cooperation regarding the question of the Temelin nuclear power station. According to IAEA General Director Muhammad Baradej, nuclear power station safety is generally increasing, with 92 percent of member countries having met IAEA safety recommendations last year.


Czech Business Breakfast

The Czech Center and the Consulate General in New York hosted the 2nd Czech Business Breakfast Meeting on March 8, 2001 with Marie Bohata, President of the Czech Republic´s Statistical Office. Ms. Bohata focused on the current state of the Czech economy and important economic indicators, as well as the forecast for the Czech economy in 2001. She cited the increase of the country´s GDP, stating that "the 2.8 percent GDP growth was higher than it was estimated for the year 2000." Other positive indicators were identified in the industrial sector, which exhibited a growth of 6 percent, largely due to successful Czech exports, large construction companies, and household consumption. Finally, the telecommunications sector, namely cellular phones, also recorded rapid growth.

While speaking about the forecast for the Czech economy in 2001, Ms. Bohata suggested that the most rapidly growing industry will be the construction sector, followed by retail trade. GDP growth for 2001 is estimated to be between 3.0 and 3.5 per cent.


New Alliance in the Sky

On March 21, Czech Airlines officially signed an agreement to enter SkyTeam, the global airline alliance formed last year among Aeromexico, Air France, Delta Air Lines, and Korean Air. The pending synergy of the Prague and Paris hubs will enable SkyTeam to offer customers frequent services among Europe's most densely populated regions and the rest of the world, particularly the United States.

In 1999, CSA carried more than 2 million passengers and generated a net profit of $2.8 million. CSA currently serves 62 international destinations with a fleet of 28 modern aircraft. Delta Senior Vice President Paul Matsen said that CSA would bring the SkyTeam's customers an excellent network by serving Central and Eastern Europe from its modern hub in Prague. This hub network offers travelers the option of traveling from virtually anywhere in the world to any other international destination.

The CSA center in Prague, located in the heart of central Europe, will join one of the most efficient systems in the world as SkyTeam customers are enabled to significantly increase their connecting opportunities and flight frequencies. The SkyTeam route system presently covers all major destinations in the Northern Hemisphere, where nearly 80 percent of the world's traffic flies. Currently SkyTeam offers over 6,400 daily flights to 451 destinations in 98 countries. Passengers will be able to find all SkyTeam flight information by logging on to CSA will add 56 locations to the current SkyTeam total.


High-tech Seminar in Denver

A series of seminars focusing on opportunities for U.S. companies in Central Europe and the E.U. enlargement recently took place in Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and Atlanta. Organized by the U.S. Export Assistance Center/U.S. Department of Commerce, the seminar offered presentations by U.S. Senior Commercial Officers from the U.S. Embassies in Warsaw, Budapest, and Prague.

Two seminars were held in Denver, Colorado on March 15th and 16th. The first seminar focused on the leading high-tech environmental technologies in the state of Colorado. The second discussion was organized by the World Trade Center in Denver with an emphasis on E.U. enlargement and the opportunities for U.S. companies abroad.

Participants found the event to be both interesting and productive, while Colorado officials expressed their interest in organizing a future trade mission to the Central European region.


Government Approves Incentives for IBM

The Czech government has agreed to grant incentives to IBM to invest CZK 359 million ($9.6 million) in an information technology service center in the Czech Republic. According to comments made by Industry and Trade Minister Miroslav Gregr at a press conference, the center will be built in Brno, the Czech Republic=s second largest city. Brno is the country=s regional high-tech and information technology hub and is located 125 miles south-east of Prague. The IBM service center will create 200 new jobs.

Minister of Industry and Trade Miroslav Gregr also said that the company will get incentives in the form of tax breaks and training subsidies, but did not place a nominal figure on the extent of the support. The government has developed and recently improved a system of incentives in order to lure foreign direct investments into the Czech Republic, modernize Czech industries and services, and accelerate economic growth.


Mitsubishi Electric, Koyo Seiko Plan Czech Plant

As the Czech Republic strives to become the No. 1 investment destination in Central Europe, another two large Japanese industrial companies have settled into the country. Electronics manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and bearings manufacturer Koyo Seiko Co. will create a joint venture to build power steering parts. According to the Czech government investment agency CzechInvest, the two companies plan to invest one billion crowns ($26 million) into a factory in the Czech town of Slany, located 20 miles northwest of Prague.

This investment will bring yet another car parts manufacturer to the Czech Republic, a country which has already attracted scores of auto industry investors for greenfield projects and acquisitions, including Volkswagen AG's takeover of Skoda Auto. In the first nine months of last year, the Czech Republic attracted $2.9 billion in foreign direct investment. The new venture between Mitsubishi Electric and Koyo Seiko, called AElectronic Power Steering Components Europe,@ will have a basic capital of CZK 500 million ($13 million). Mitsubishi Electric is one of Japan's five big chip-makers. Koyo Seiko produces electric power steering and controls a large portion of the international market for the device.


Skoda Auto to Launch New Car and Engine Plant

Skoda Auto plans to launch a large car model later this year or early next year, as well as open a new engine and transmissions plant. The plant will supply 500,000 engines per year for the Volkswagen group. CEO Vratislav Kulhanek told the press that the new car, which will be an addition to the current small-sized Fabia and mid-sized Octavia lines, will help Skoda achieve its mid-term sales target of 600,000 cars annually. Though the final name for the new car is not yet known, Skoda presented a prototype with the name Montreaux in Geneva, Switzerland.


Cabinet Decides on First Toll Road

The government decided on March 21, 2001 to award to the Israeli company Housing & Construction the right to build and operate a Kc 40 billion section of the superhighway between Brno and Ostrava. The cabinet decided against a tender, which Finance Minister Pavel Mertlik had favored, in the interest of speeding up the process. This will be the first time the private capital has been used to build a highway. The 50 mile section between Lipnik and Ostrava should cut the driving time between Prague and Ostrava by 30 minutes when it is finished in 5 - 6 years.


Real Wage Growth Speeds Up

Czech real wage growth rose 2.9 percent in the last quarter of 2000, accelerating from a 2.0 percent growth in the third quarter. The data showed a 3.8 percent increase in real wages in the private sector, while wages in the public sector were down 0.2 percent yearly, in real terms, according to the Czech Statistical Office.

Analysts say that the wage development appears contained and poses no risk for the internal and external economic balances, adding that the growth in wages was more than compensated for by rising labor productivity. However, some analysts did warn that this could raise pressures by civil employees to close the gap this year, further threatening the state budget deficit. Real wages grew 2.6 percent for the entire year of 2000, as compared to a 6.0 percent growth in 1999. The highest average monthly wage for last year was in the banking sector (25,712 crowns), while the lowest was in the textile industry (10,189 crowns).


Business Digest

March 1: The Czech government outlined plans for the privatization of the steel giant Nova Hut. The privatization advisor should be selected by the end of May, with the tender winner to be announced by the end of the year. The state is selling its 49 percent stake in Nova Hut, along with an 18.25 percent stake temporarily controlled by Credit Suisse First Boston.

March 2: The European Commission approved the planned joint takeover yesterday of power distributors Jihoceska Energetika by German EON Energie and Austrian Energie Oberosterreich.

March 2: Czech companies have been offered a chance to participate in the construction of a prototype space system called Phoenix, which will serve as a rescue vehicle, and Hopper, an orbital transport system. The European aviation and space concern EADS Astrium has been holding talks on the issue with the Czech Association of Aviation Producers.

March 5: Shareholders in the Czech industrial valves manufacturer MSA are preparing to sell a majority stake in the company. MSA indicated that a new owner should be known early in the second half of the year. Reportedly, the U.S. company Zy-Tech Global Industries exhibited an interest in buying a stake in MSA, which showed a turnover of CZK 1.07 billion last year and an after-tax profit of CZK 58 million.

March 6: The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development plans to purchase a stake in Komercni Banka to assist in the bank's privatization. The EBRD already holds minority stakes in Ceska Sporitelna and CSOB.

March 7: The Czech Constitutional Court ended government quotas on sugar production imposed about a year ago. The court declared that the government had overstepped its authority in issuing the order to limit the domestic production of sugar. As the first decision of its kind in the Czech Republic, the verdict increases the likelihood that other government decrees regulating the market might be removed in the future. Agriculture Minister Fencl commented on the decision, saying the government would continue to regulate the sugar market. The government is currently preparing a new law on the State Agricultural Intervention Fund (SZIF) that would grant itself the power to regulate the market.

March 8: Tatra Koprivnice increased truck exports to nearly CZK 4.3 billion last year, an increase of 54 percent, mostly to its traditional markets in Russia, China, and India. Tatra expects to report a total pre-tax profit of almost CZK 239 million, compared to an audited loss of more than CZK 2.6 billion in 1999.

March 8: Czech consumer prices were flat in February due to decreases in food prices, with inflation tamer than forecasts. Meanwhile, Labor Ministry unemployment figures showed a dip in the unemployment rate to 9.0 percent at the end of February, down from 9.1 percent in January, showing further improvement as the country's economic recovery continues.

March 9: Czech engineering group Skoda sold its power generator unit to the British group FKI for an undisclosed amount. Skoda said FKI will take over the unit, which is part of its Skoda Energo division, with 840 employees and annual turnover of CZK 685 million. Skoda Energo activities will continue with the production and maintenance of turbines and turbo-sets.

March 13: Czech telecom group Ceske Radiokomunikace said on Wednesday that their net profit for 2000 increased 24 times, boosted by an exceptional gain of more than half a billion dollars. Consolidated net profit rose to CZK 14.76 billion Czech crowns ($389.1 million) last year from 607 million in 1999. Radiokomunikace, a provider of terrestrial radio and television transmissions, is slated for privatization in the first half of this year. Its consolidated net result was boosted by a $535 million payment from a Deutsche Telekom unit for an option to raise its stake in mobile arm RadioMobil. Binding bids from four short-listed investors for the 51 percent stake data and voice telephone services were due by March 12.

March 14: Growth in Czech import prices slowed in January but remained higher than the rise in export prices, according to the Czech Statistical Office (CSU). Import prices grew 5.6 percent in January, down from 6.8 percent in December. Export prices were up 4.7 percent after a 5.5 percent rise in the previous month. CSU added that the import prices were positively influenced by lower crude oil prices and prices of gas, mineral oils, and oil products. Import prices were mainly lower in the machinery and transport vehicle groups.

March 15: Skoda Auto said it would put five percent of their net profit to an obligatory reserve fund, pay CZK 4.1 million ($107,000) in remuneration to seven board members, and keep the remaining 3.17 billion crowns on the books. The country's largest company and exporter, which has gone through successful restructuring under Volkswagen's ownership since privatization in 1991, had a CZK 3.34 billion after-tax profit last year, up from 2.64 billion in 1999. The company's net profit rose 26.5 percent last year, despite write-offs over investments and a strong Czech currency.

March 16: Czech National Bank (CNB) Vice-Governor Ludek Niedermayer said there was a good argument for leaving interest rates unchanged in coming months, after a cut in February. The Vice-Governor also added that the market rates had already dropped ahead of the cut and the cost of capital is now very low, a good case for leaving interest rates flat, considering there are also risks of inflation revival. In February, CNB cut key interest rates by 25 points to 5.0 percent.

March 17: Czech Premier Milos Zeman promoted South-Korean investments in the Czech Republic while visiting Seoul. Premier Zeman said at an economic seminar that now, as the Czech government provides large investment incentives and the EU is very strict about this sort of treatment, is the right time to invest. After the Czech Republic joins the EU, an event which, as Zeman said, is likely to take place on Jan 1, 2003, it will have to observe the union's strict regulations regarding state assistance to foreign investors. However, incentives to the pre-EU investors will be preserved.

March 19: Czech bail-out bank Konsolidacni Banka said that four investors have shown an interest in buying the state-controlled tractor manufacturer Zetor. The list of bidders could be extended until the tender deadline of April 20. The unprofitable Zetor was one of the first companies to undergo a state-run revitalization program. Konsolidacni, a state-owned bank that assumes the debts of companies the state wants to privatize, also issued guarantees for Zetor's debt. Zetor expects to soon come to an agreement with its main creditors, which would allow a subsequent sale to a foreign investor, likely in the coming months. The company plans to produce around seven thousand tractors in 2001.

March 19: Czech retail sales rose by a real 7.4 percent yearly in January after a 4.1 percent growth in December, fuelled by sales of textiles and cars. Communications services also maintained a high growth rate from the previous month, jumping 19.6 percent. The growth in sales in telecommunications was driven by the expanded activities of mobile phone operators.

March 20: Success in the Czech software development sector has become almost routine. The recently published sales results of Czech-owned Tiny Software from Silicon Valley demonstrate that Czech-made software can sell in the West. Tiny sold $3.5 million in security software last year. However, the figure does not include revenue from its high-profile order to provide the U.S. Air Force with security software. Overall revenue growth last year was up 250%, with 70% of those sales in the United States.

March 21: The Czech Internet bank eBanka reported its intention of expanding by providing service via mobile phones, but also decided to open brick-and-mortar branches in order to convince potential clients of its existence. Formerly Expandia Banka, eBanka launched operations in 1998 and is the oldest purely Internet bank in Central and Eastern Europe. eBanka was acquired by Czech insurance group Ceska Pojistovna in 1999, and has 47,000 clients and assets of around CZK 7 billion ($180 million).


Kuks -The Jewel of Czech Architecture

The fifteen years between 1717 and 1732 saw the creation of one of the most important sculpture projects in Central European Baroque: the Novy les complex near the east Bohemian estate of Kuks. Over time, people began to use the name of its most popular part, "Nativity," for the entire collection of sculptures. The complex was founded and given patronage by Count Frantisek Antonin Spork and sculpted by Matthias Bernard Braun.

Due to certain circumstances, only a fragment of the complex has survived. However, thanks to ample documentation, the original scope of the project is still known to us to this day. Since 1970, the complex has been listed on the National Register of Cultural Monuments. Last year, the World Monuments Fund, an international organization devoted to the preservation of cultural monuments worldwide, declared Kuks one of the top 100 endangered monuments of the world.

On April 27, a Gala presentation and concert of Baroque music will be held in association with the World Monument Fund and under the auspices of Mr. Petr Pithart, Chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic and Mr. Vladimir Galuska, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations.

The program for the gala evening begins at 7 p.m. at the Colony Club Ballroom (564 Park Avenue at 62nd Street, New York City) and will include a visual presentation of Kuks and Betlém by Art Historian and Dean of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague Jiri Kotalík, as well as a concert of Baroque music by the Musica ad Tabulam Trio from the Czech Republic. The program will be followed by a reception.

For tickets (advance tickets are $20, or $25 at the door), please call (212) 288 0830, ext. 109.

All proceeds will go to the Kuks Reconstruction Fund.


Profile : H. Gordon Skilling - A Man Against the Current

In recognition of President Vaclav Havel=s visit to the Library of Congress in 1998, the Library organized a seminar in cooperation with the Czech Embassy on the founding of independent Czechoslovakia. Amongst the several outstanding scholars to be invited to the seminar, it was unanimously agreed that Professor H. Gordon Skilling should play the key role of delivering the concluding remarks. At the time, no one could have known that when the vivid, gentle, and knowledgeable professor came to Washington, it would be for the last time. Professor Emeritus H. Gordon Skilling, a great defender of human rights and a life-long friend of the Czech and Slovak people, died of a heart attack on March 2.

In a curious historical coincidence, Gordon Skilling made his first visit to the country that would soon become his beloved "second homeland" in 1937, the same year that Czechoslovakia=s first President, Tomas G. Masaryk died. While in Prague during his second trip to Czechoslovakia, Gordon Skilling married his wife Sally Bright. Since then, Professor Skilling's life was closely tied to the fate of our country. He witnessed the 1938 Munich agreement that led to the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia during World War II, and then later returned to see the end of 1968´s Prague Spring as the Warsaw Pact armies crushed Czechoslovakian attempts at reforming Communism. Perhaps it was Professor Skilling=s first-hand experience with the Masaryk form of democracy that led him to his extensive study of the first Czechoslovakian president and his family, a subject of which he soon become one of the most internationally recognized experts. Additionally, Professor Skilling's vast knowledge of Czechoslovakia=s past and its potential offer a conceivable explanation for why he never ceased supporting the cause of freedom and democracy in his ancestral country.

Professor Skilling's brave actions often aided the cause of his friend Václav Havel, then a leader of the dissident movement and co-founder of the human rights initiative Charter 77. Professor Skilling smuggled manuscripts in and out of the country and promoted the publication of samizdat material in the West. Additionally, he personally attended several post-Helsinki conferences, where he adamantly pursued the issue of human rights. President Havel has said that without Professor Skilling's efforts, Charter 77 would have been "ruthlessly suppressed". Not surprisingly, in 1992, Havel bestowed the Order of the White Lion, the highest honor to be presented in the Czech Republic, on his friend, Professor Gordon Skilling.

Professor Skilling was born in Toronto in 1912. He received his BA in political science and economics at the University of Toronto. In 1940 he received his Ph.D. at the London School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He held academic positions at several Canadian and US universities. In 1959, Professor Skilling came to the University of Toronto, where he established the Center for Russian and East European Studies, which he directed from 1963 to 1974. After his retirement, Professor Skilling ran a Czech and Slovak studies seminar series. His scientific work has never been separated from his careful examination of world affairs --he studied Masaryk not as a historical person, but as a vivid exponent of democratic ideals that needed to be restored in the contemporary world. In the field of political science, Professor Skilling advanced the interest group theory and emphasized the importance of a comparative approach, thus abandoning the totalitarian model of the 1950s and 1960s. Among his major publications are included: Communism, National and International (1964), The Governments of Communist East Europe (1966), Interest Groups in Soviet Politics (1971) with F. Griffiths, Czechoslovakia=s Interrupted Revolution (1976), Charter 77 and Human Rights in Czechoslovakia (1981), Samizdat and an Independent Society in Central and Eastern Europe (1989), Civic Freedom in Central Europe: Voices from Czechoslovakia (1991) with Paul Wilson, T.G. Masaryk, 1882-1914: Against the Current (1994) and finally, his biography, The Education of a Canadian: My Life as a Scholar and Activist (2000).

With the passing of Professor Emeritus H. Gordon Skilling, the Czech people have lost one of their greatest friends and supporters. He will remain for all of us an eternal example of the great achievements that can be attained by an individual who is not afraid to go against the current, nor against the evil forces of world history.


Milan Hlavsa Inducted Into the Music Hall of Fame

Czech President Vaclav Havel inducted late rock performer Milan Hlavsa into the country´s Music Hall of Fame during the Czech Music Awards on March 17, 2001. Hlavsa, the founder of the legendary APlastic People of the Universe,@ died at the age of 49 on January 5, 2001. During the ceremony, President Havel mentioned that the APlastic People,@ a nonconformist 1960s rock band which was later banned by the Communist regime, symbolized freedom, the greatest enemy of totalitarianism. The President further commented that the band "wanted to live, create and perform freely. And that is what bothered the regime the most."


Anna Faltus - The Voice That Refused to Be Silenced

On April 9, 1919, as if the new Republic was giving life to a fresh generation of sons and daughters meant to dedicate their lives to the new democracy, a girl was born in the town of Mnichovice shortly after the creation of Independent Czechoslovakia. That girl was Anna Faltus.

Anna Faltus was twenty when she left Czechoslovakia for London, a direct result of the Munich agreement and the growing danger of Nazism. Immediately after arriving in London, she became active in the unofficial exile movement. While she waited for the movement to be formally approved by the British authorities, she entered the British Auxiliary Territorial Service. Once the Czechoslovak exile government became official in 1941, Anna worked for the Ministry of Social Affairs. At that time, anyone secretly listening to BBC broadcasts in the occupied Czechoslovakia could hear her voice; she even broadcasted news during the bombing of London. After WW II, Anna joined the Czechoslovak Repatriation Mission in France. Her support of freedom and democracy in Czechoslovakia did not stop after the Communist takeover in 1948 --again forced into exile, Anna worked for Radio Free Europe, and, beginning in 1966, for the Voice of America.

As a member of the Czechoslovak National Council of America in Washington, DC, Anna relentlessly notified the US authorities about the human rights issues in her home country. She played an instrumental role in translating all of the Charter 77 documents into English for the State Department, the Office of the State Secretary, and the Helsinki Committee of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. She gathered some information directly from the Voice of America, while other pieces were sent to her via Vienna by Ivan Medek. Anna Faltus spent nights, days, weekends, and virtually all of her free time making such information immediately available in English and keeping the cause of the Czechoslovak dissident movement on the US authorities' foreign policy agenda. Some of her old friends recalled her discouragement when they did not promptly supply her with any information necessary for the upcoming sessions of the Helsinki Committee or other important meetings. In 1982 and 1988, she published two volumes of documents, the first and, at the time, only source available in English on the brutal methods of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia and the dissident movement. It was Anna Faltus who directed the US Senate's attention to the issue of children being unlawfully kept by the Communist regime from joining their parents in exile. Anna was active in nearly all Czech American organizations, including the Czechoslovak National Council, the Society of Arts and Sciences, and many other cultural societies. Wherever she went, she left behind her such a solid mark of hard, diligent work that her friends knew that in Anna Faltus, they had an excellent envoy in Washington, DC.

In 1999, President Václav Havel awarded Mrs. Anna Faltus the Presidential Commemorative Medal for her lifelong contribution to the cause of democracy and human rights. On March 6, 2001, Anna Faltus, the modest woman who, in the words of former President Ronald Reagan, "devoted her life to helping others and to so many worthy causes," passed away in Florida, where she spent her last days with her daughter.


Books for Czech Kids

As part of a project entitled "Sesquicentennial Celebration," The Federation of Czech Groups in Cedar Rapids, Iowa recently donated a large number of children´s books to libraries and schools in Olomouc, Hradec Kralove and Domazlice. With English now being taught in Czech elementary schools, they are collecting books of literary value for children aged two to twelve. The Federation of Czech Groups appeals to the general public to support this Educational Book Fund for the children of the Czech Republic.

The Federation of Czech Groups is comprised of a total of sixteen organizations of Czech Societies in the Cedar Rapids area. The Federation was formed in 1935 with the aim of protecting and promoting Czech traditions and customs in America and providing moral and financial support for the Czech leaders who were forced to flee their homeland.

The Sesquicentennial Celebration project was begun in 1998. For further information on the Educational Book Project, please contact Federation of Czech Groups, c/o Michael Papich, 1228 2nd Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.

Embassy Events


Saturday and Sunday, May 5 & 6

An award winning filmmaker both at home and abroad, there is little wonder that the name of Karel Zeman (1910-1989) is a fixture among film connoisseurs the world over. With his rare flare for cinematic innovation and elaborate adventure films, Zeman has inspired generations of filmmakers from one end of the world to the other, simultaneously equipping them with access to their own imaginations. For a list of films and their screenings at the National Gallery of Art, please see the back page of the Calendar. At the auditorium of the National Gallery's East building, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. Admission is free of charge.

May 5 1:00

An Invention for Destruction A Jules Verne Spectacular: A triumph of visual imagination based on Verne's Face au drapeau with a unique blend of puppetry, animation and actors (1958, 82 minutes). To be followed by the documentary The Magical World of Karel Zeman (1962, 20 minutes)

May 5 3:30

Karel Zeman Short Films (1946-1955) Including several of the rarely screened Mr. Prokouk films, based Zeman's character who secured his early fame, as well as his first work and various other treasures of animated film (93 minutes total)

May 6 12:00

The Thousand and One Nights Featuring five episodes from a series of shorts directed by Zeman for children about the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor, including "The Magnetic Mountain" and "The Sultan of the Sea" (75 minutes total)

May 6 4:00

Baron Munchausen In what the American Cinematheque describes as a film that is "A nineteenth century magic lantern show brought to life," we experience a series of miraculous adventures in the belly of a whale, a giant bird, on seahorses, facing the sultan's armies, and romancing the exquisite Princess Bianca, all because the Baron mistook a modern astronaut for a lost "moon man." (1961, 90 minutes)


May 15 -September 20

In a fascinating display by one of the most notorious and respected artists of the Czech Republic, Skiers, a selection of sensitively and humorously created images of mature characters on skis in a variety of circumstances, is not an exhibit for ski aficionados only. Artist Martin Velisek, a graduate of the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, primarily concerns himself with glassmaking, painting, drawing, illustrations, graphics and photography. His work has been exhibited in galleries in Prague, Liberec, Vienna, Paris, and Melbourne, among others. Martin Velisek is a member and court artist of the music group Uz jsme doma. His work Skiers will be on display through September 20, weekdays from 9-5 and evenings during events.



Friday, June 1

As any traveller to Prague can attest to, the spirit of Franz Kafka lingers omnipresent and vital throughout the city's streets. Having left behind him much more than a rich literary heritage, Kafka's legacy captured something indescribable about the Bohemian lands. On the occasion of Kafka's upcoming 118th birthday, the Czech Embassy hosts an evening of short stories presented in collaboration with Washington's SCENA Theatre and directed by Robert McNamara. At 7:30 p.m. at the Czech Embassy. Reservations are recommended. Please call 202/274-9100, x. 3413. Tickets are $10 at the door.


Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, June 6,8 + 9

Renowned recipient of the Jindrich Chalupecky Foundation Award and Tvrdohlavi art group member Petr Nikl comes to the Czech Embassy for a three day performance of Solstice, featuring a genre-crossing puppet theater presentation. In a powerful blend of color, feeling, mood, and even aroma, the performance becomes a tangible experience for the audience. With various tempos and rhythms, Nikl's primary means of expression -namely light, shadow, fire and water -will transform, penetrate, infiltrate and influence, while incorporating hand-made puppets reminiscent of familiar childhood objects. The performance will take place in the Embassy garden, weather permitting. We encourage casual and comfortable dress. Reservations are strongly recommended. At 8:30 PM at the Czech Embassy. Please call: 202/274-9100, x. 3413. Tickets are $10 at the door. Please call: 202/274-9100, x. 3413.



Tuesday, June 12

The Embassy of the Czech Republic presents the tenth in a popular series of concerts of Czech chamber music with Washington Musica Viva under the direction of Carl Banner. With a program that includes Dvorak's great Sonata for violin and piano, Op. 57, and the delightful Sonata Semplice by Peter Eben, as well as Martinu's Bergerettes and the Elegie for Piano Trio by Josef Suk, this evening promises to be yet another inspiring evening for music lovers. At 7:30 p.m. at the Czech Embassy. Reservations are recommended. Please call (202) 274-9100, ext. 3413. Tickets are $10 at the door.


Mark your calendar !

May 5 & 6 Zeman films screen at the National Gallery

June 1 Franz Kafka Birthday Celebration

June 6,8+9 Solstice with Petr Nikl

June 12 Washington Musica Viva

Events around the USA

Every Sunday

Czech Voice of Cleveland with Joe Kocab on WRMR AM/850 11AM-12PM

WERE AM/1300 1-2PM

March 29 -April 22

Views from Prague to Budapest, impressions in watercolor and collage by Helen Dilley Barsalou will be shown at Gallery West, 205 South Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

The gallery is open Thursday -Sunday, 11 AM - 6 PM.

Please call 703.549.7359

April 4 -May 1

Friends of Czech Greenways invites you to enjoy a Festival of Czech Music, including works by Janacek, Dvorak, Reicha, Zelenka, Myslivecek and more, presented by the Orchestra of St. Luke=s -St. Luke=s Chamber ensemble with Sir Charles Mackerras, Music Director.

For concert details and ticket information, Call St. Luke=s at 212-594-6100

April 5 -22

The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre presents Prose of the Transsiberian and of Little Joan of France, at La MaMa E.T.C. Annex Theater, 74A East Fourth Street, New York

Not recommended for children under the age of 12, a separate performance will be held simultaneously for children

Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children

April 12 -June 3

Metaphor and Irony: Czech Scenic and Costume Design 1920-1999 celebrates the Czech innovations and avant-garde stage designs of the early 20th century and their exciting manifestations in contemporary set design.

Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas.

For more information, please call 785.864.0137

April 18 -May 2

KU Perspectives on Metaphor and Irony, every Wednesday, including informal presentations by KU professors from various disciplines on the exhibitions from their perspective or expertise.

Spencer Museum of Art Kress Gallery, University of Kansas, 1301 Mississippi Street, Lawrence, KS


For more information, please call 785.864.0137

April 26 -May 27

The International Festival of World Cinema will feature two Czech films, including Jan Svankmajer=s Otesanek and Ondricek=s Loners. The films will be shown in various Center City Cinemas around the Philadelphia area.

For more information on the Festival, please call 215.733.0608

Karlin Wednesday Dances 2001

Czech Food served from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, dancing from 7:30 to 10:30 PM.

Karlin Hall and Club, 5304 Fleet Avenue, Cleveland, OH.

April 18 Ben Landfield

April 25 Johnny Pastirik

May 2 Ed Zalar

May 9 Bob Sabatka

May 16 Button Box Connection

May 23 Ben Landfeld

May 30 Frankie Spetich

For reservations, please call 216.4289.2450

For more information, please call 216.883.4760

American Sokol Activities

April 20

Sokol Greater Cleveland Fish Fry at the Bohemian National Hall


Please call 440.237.4114. Reservations are not required.

April 21 Sokol Ceska Sin Swiss Meet

April 21

Sokol Cedar Rapids hosts the Western District Children=s Competition

April 22 Sokol Minnesota Pancake Breakfast

April 28

United Sokols of the East Gymnastic Competition

April 28

Sokol Ceska Sin 25th Anniversary Dinner and Dance

April 30-May 6

Sokol South Omaha Mini-Slet

April 18

Benefit performance & reception for The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre=s performance of The Prose of the Transsiberian & of the Little Joan of France with Czech Beer, Moravian Food, Slovak Slivovitz, and an Auction of Artwork and Puppets


Tickets are $40

Please call 212.777.3891

April 19

Lecture: From Beauty to Brain: Czech Sculpture in Glass by Suzanne Franz, former curator at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.

SMA Auditorium, University of Kansas, 1301 Mississippi Street, Lawrence, KS


For more information, please call 785.864.0137

April 22

The American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club presents a screening of The Firemen=s Ball, one of the hallmarks of the Czech New Wave, directed by Milos Forman. With English subtitles, (1967), 73 minutes.


For more information, please call 305-891-9130 or visit

April 22

The National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library hosts The Willowind School of Iowa City performs the opera Brundibar, originally composed for children to perform in the Nazi concentration camp of Terezin in Czechoslovakia.

30-16th Avenue, SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

For more information, please call 319.362.8500

April 22

Czech Film Series with moderator Chuck Berg, Theatre and Film Department of the University of Kansas, presents "The Shop on Main Street."

Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium at the University of Kansas


For more information, please call 785.864.0137 or 785.864.3511

April 22

Nebraska Czech festival with entertainment, booths and a puppet show.

Accordion Jamboree 11AM -12:15 PM, Roast Pork Dinner served from 11:30AM -2PM, and Live Czech Music and Dancing from 3PM -6PM.

For more information, please call 402.435.6914

April 25

DRAK Theatre, a leading Czech avant-garde theater mixing live actors and puppets performs The Flying Babies, a fantasy that is a delight to the young and old alike.

At the Lied Center at the University of Kansas.

For more information, please call 785.864.ARTS.

April 29

American virtuoso Lynn Gaubatz performs a recital of "Entartete Musik" in commemoration of the 56th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau with music by Karel Reiner, a Dachau survivor.

At the John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington, DC.


To hear the performance live on the Internet, direct your browser to:

April 29

The Czech Cultural Center of Greater Cleveland sponsors a performance by the Czech brass band Lanzhotcanka from Lanzhot, Moravia at the Bohemian National Hall, 4939 Broadway Avenue, Cleveland, OH

A Czech dinner will be served from 12-2:30, donation $7.50 (dinner only)

Concert and Dance 3-7 PM, donation $15.00

Dinner, Dance and Concert Package $22.50

For reservations, please call 216.883.4760

April 29

Author Pat Martin discusses Prague=s Charles Bridge and the history behind the statues.

WFLA Heritage Hall, National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library


Admission is free

For more information, please call 319.362.8500

May 6

The Nebraska Czechs of Lincoln bring a day of celebration, including the Crowning of the Chapter Queen, entertainment, music, and lunch served by the Ladies of the Moose at the Lincoln Moose Lodge, 4901 N. 56th street.


For more information, please call 402.435.6914 or visit

May 8

Stage Left Theatre presents the Vera Blackwell translation of Vaclav Havel's 1965 work, "The Memorandum."

Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield, Chicago, IL

Opens 7PM, May 8

Runs Thursdays at 7:30PM, Fridays & Saturdays at 8PM, and Sundays at 3PM through June 16.

$15 Thursdays, $18 Fridays and Sundays, $20 Saturdays and Opening Night

For tickets, please call 773.883.8830 or E-mail:

May 10

Performance of Anton Dvorak's "Piano Trio in E Minor, Op. 90."

SMA Central Ct., University of Kansas, 1301 Mississippi Street, Lawrence, KS


For more information, please call 785.864.0137

May 12

The Panocha Sting Quartet performs with a program that includes Haydn=s Quartet in G major, op. 76, No. 1, Schubert=s Quartet in A minor (Rosamunde), Dvorak=s Terzetto in C major, Op. 74, and Smetana=s Quartet No. 1 in e minor (From My Life) at the 92nd Street Y in New York.


For information, tickets, or a free catalogue of 92nd Street Y programs, please call 212.415.5500, or visit the 92nd Street Y Box Office on Lexington Avenue and 92nd Street





Czech Center New York

Series : Czech Baroque Culture

The beauty of Czech Baroque Architecture, Photographs by Vladimir Uher

March 13, 2001 -April 27, 2001, Czech Center

Series of events designed to introduce Czech Baroque Culture. The series opens on March 13 with a lecture by Vit Vlnas entitled the "Historical Heritage of Baroque in Bohemia."



Presentation : Kuks -Endangered Jewel of Czech Baroque

Gala presentation of sculptural monuments on Friday, April 27

Colona Club Ball Room, 564 Park Avenue and 62nd St., New York





"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Series : Czech Baroque Culture

The beauty of Czech Baroque Architecture, Photographs by Vladimir Uher

March 13, 2001 -April 27, 2001, Czech Center

Series of events designed to introduce Czech Baroque Culture. The series opens on March 13 with a lecture by Vit Vlnas entitled the "Historical Heritage of Baroque in Bohemia."



Presentation : Kuks -Endangered Jewel of Czech Baroque

Gala presentation of sculptural monuments on Friday, April 27

Colona Club Ball Room, 564 Park Avenue and 62nd St., New York