CTN January 2001

Contents :

Czechs Welcome Outcome of Nice Summit

Agreement on Temelin Reached

Message from the Ambassador

Government Upbeat on Economy

2002 NATO Summit in Prague

Ambassador Shattuck´s Mission to CR Comes to an End

News Digest

Literary Profile : Karel Capek

Czech Cabinet Lifts Plane Import Duty

CNB Warns About Inflation, Trade Deficit

Czech Telecom Cuts International Tariffs

Business Digest

Artist of the Month : Tono STANO

A Spirited Evening of Dinner with Arts, Absinth & Petr Vasa

Profile : Augustine Herman -The First Czech Immigrant to the United States

Czech and Slovak History Classes

Czech Educational Foundation Annual Meeting

Confidential Status of Communist Archives Cancelled

Embassy Events

Czech Events around the USA

The 2001 Czech Film Retrospective

Ongoing Events

Czech Center New York



Czechs Welcome Outcome of Nice Summit

The results of the EU summit in Nice are positive for the Czech Republic. The Czech Foreign Ministry noted with particular appreciation that new members of the Union will have one representative each until the Union's enlargement is complete with 27 member nations. According to Ales Pospisil, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry , the results of the Nice summit open the door to the European Union.

The Czech Republic should have twelve votes in the Council of Ministers, a number which logically corresponds with the country's size. An equal amount of votes are allocated to similar-sized countries such as Belgium, Greece, Hungary and Portugal.

The outcome of the summit, which is in "complete accord" with Czech ambitions to "access the Union at the earliest possible date" is not surprising, added the spokesman.

Deputy Foreign Minister Pavel Telicka, chief negotiator for the accession, told journalists in Budapest, "I think none of us consider the remaining negotiations to be rosy, but it would be quite unfortunate to interpret some slight delay (at Nice) as a deliberate attempt to impede enlargement. I think what is most important is that the road to enlargement is now clear."



Agreement on Temelin Reached

On December 13, 2000, Austria and the Czech Republic agreed on measures to resolve the dispute over the Temelin nuclear power plant. The agreement, which calls for EU experts to complete a comprehensive safety examination of the plant by June 2001, was announced after seven hours of negotiations between Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel. Guenter Verheugen, EU Commissioner for Enlargement, also participated in the talks. Both sides agreed to the establishment of an information hot-line between Vienna and Prague and an early warning system to detect possible safety problems. In addition, a bilateral agreement on energy partnership is to be negotiated to promote non-nuclear, sustainable power sources. The Austrian Chancellor called the result of the meeting a "reasonable agreement" and regarded it as a step toward easing Austrian concerns. The Czech Prime Minister said that his Cabinet welcomed the EU safety inspection and would respect its results. At their meeting in Prague on December 20, 2000, Czech and Austrian Presidents Vaclav Havel and Thomas Klestil agreed that the Temelin dispute should not interfere with the Czech Republic's talks regarding entry into the EU. President Havel has expressed respect for Austria's concerns regarding the disputed power plant.

Message from the Ambassador

Viewers of the Czech public TV could watch competing broadcasts and dramatic interruptions within the station on January 1, 2001, as their journalists went on strike. The journalists refused to recognize the authority of the newly appointed director, selected by the Public TV Council, claiming that independent public broadcasting is threatened by politically motivated pressure. Perhaps correctly, they argue that most of the members of the Council serve as partisan activists, rather than as guardians of the freedom of information. In the journalists' support, more than 100,000 people crowded the streets of Prague. Some photos taken were reminiscent of the glorious "Velvet Revolution". What is the difference? The Czech Republic is now a parliamentary democracy which guarantees all basic rights and freedoms to its citizens, including the freedom of speech. No longer is there only one or two state TV channels tightly controlled and censored by a single governing party. Instead, there are three private and two public channels, all competing in a free media market. Additionally, there is a new generation of young journalists who are not willing to follow politically motivated orders or to stop their investigative reporting simply because someone does not like it. Here lies the problem, as well as the difference: some politicians, most of whom still remember the past times, do not believe in the complete independence of public media. They are suspicious of any influence from parties except for those they represent. Therefore, they have a tendency to control the media more than is wise or necessary. But the journalists said, "Enough!" Of course, there would be no parliamentary democracy without strong political parties. However, parties must realize that they cannot extend their influence into every sphere of human life. "Public Media for the people, not for political parties" read one banner in Prague. Thus, the current strike was hardly unique --rather it was a common feature of all countries building a stable civil society, having already achieved their main goal of a functioning free market and democracy. The effort to guard the freedom of expression is already well-known to Western democracies everywhere.

Government Upbeat on Economy

The Czech economy grew more forcefully than the markets expected in the third quarter, prompting an upbeat finance minister to say that the country remained on track to achieve a full year growth of 2.5 percent. The Czech Statistical Office CSU said that gross domestic product expanded by 2.2 percent yearly in the third quarter, exceeding market predictions but staying in line with central bank forecasts.

The wave of investment is becoming so significant that it is being projected into the GDP, illustrating that growth in investment is based on a healthy foundation and not merely on increased demand. The GDP data failed to knock the Czech crown out of its current narrow range, though dealers said a slight firming trend was still expected until the end of the year. The crown traded at 39.63 to the U.S. dollar, against the previous 39.70.

Finance Minister Mertlik said that the GDP figures confirmed his ministry's prediction of a 2.5 percent growth for the full year. He then added that next year's economic growth could be even slightly higher than the 3.5 percent forecast in the 2001 budget. The CSU was more optimistic about this year's outlook, saying it was maintaining its full-year GDP growth forecast of 2.7 percent.

The country has seen strong inflows in foreign direct investment in the past two years, reaching $2.85 billion in the first three quarters of 2000. According to the CSU, merchandise trade deficit grew by 17.5 billion crowns yearly in the third quarter, slowing the overall growth. Final demand rose 1.0 percent, household consumption increased by 2.0 percent, and government consumption dropped 1.6 percent.


2002 NATO Summit in Prague

The NATO 2002 Summit to review the enlargement process will be held in Prague, NATO Foreign Ministers decided on December 14, 2000. At a meeting of the State Security Council on December 19, 2000, President Vaclav Havel, Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Chamber of Deputies Chairman Vaclav Klaus agreed that the most suitable time to hold the high-level meeting in Prague would be in the fall of 2002, after parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic. The selection of Prague as the site for the next NATO summit was applauded by U.S. President Bill Clinton, who stressed that "the Czech Republic under President Havel has been a driving force in the continued integration of Europe." According to President Vaclav Havel, this is the first time that the NATO Summit will be held behind the former "Iron Curtain," a move which should demonstrate that the curtain has fallen and that NATO is an entirely different entity than it was during the Cold War.


Ambassador Shattuck´s Mission to CR Comes to an End

US Ambassador John Shattuck left the posting of American envoy to the Czech Republic on December 16th, 2000. For the duration of his term, Mr. Shattuck was a great advocate for strengthening the Czech-American friendship. We would like to thank him for all that he has done to enhance Czech-American relations. We wish Ambassador Shattuck good luck in his new post as director of the J.F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

Following are excerpts from Ambassador Shattuck's last speech as the US envoy to the Czech Republic.

Trans-Atlantic Alliance for Democracy

Institute of International Relations

Prague, December 4, 2000


I am very pleased to be here at the Institute of International Relations for what will be perhaps my last opportunity as Ambassador to discuss a subject of vital importance to both Czechs and Americans. My subject is the Trans-Atlantic Alliance for Democracy.

Today I would like to look back on my two years as ambassador and make some predictions about what lies ahead. First, the trans-Atlantic partnership is as strong as ever. Second, our experience in Kosovo demonstrated the continuing vitality and necessity of this strong partnership. And third, looking ahead, we must work together to develop a framework for adapting the Alliance to new and changing realities. Today NATO faces the need for new capabilities to respond to local crises, the need for greater cooperation on emerging issues such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the need for further NATO enlargement. The Czech Republic is active in all of these areas.

The Czech Republic has also played, and continues to play, an important military role in bringing stability to the Balkans. I have seen for myself the important role Czech soldiers are playing there, travelling with General Sedivy last spring to visit your peacekeeping troops in both Bosnia and Kosovo. And I would add that there is no better advertisement for NATO enlargement than the sight of Czech, Polish and Hungarian soldiers keeping the peace in the Balkans. Your soldiers have reason to be proud of themselves, and the Czech people have reason to be proud of their army.

To sum up, the Czech Republic is on the front lines of the new Europe. This is one of the reasons why the United States strongly supports holding the next NATO

summit, not later than 2002, here in Prague. As a dynamic, transitional society,

you symbolize in many ways Europe's future. This future is based not on

defensive blocs, but on political, military and economic integration. The development of a European security and defense policy is an important aspect of this ongoing process of integration. At the same time, one of the great lessons of the 20th century is that the destinies of Europe and North America are joined. Our combined efforts to bring peace to the former Yugoslavia are proof of the indivisibility of the trans-Atlantic partnership. When Europeans and Americans agree, we are a powerful force for good in the world; and when we are at odds, neither America nor Europe is effective in getting the job done. That is why NATO survived the Cold War and has become, in many ways, more relevant than ever. Indeed, NATO is the linchpin of our trans-Atlantic partnership for democracy.

Before closing, let me just say a few words about transitions, both personal and political. In less than two weeks, I will relinquish my position as Ambassador to the Czech Republic. It will not be easy for me to leave, and a part of me will always remain here in the Czech lands. My deputy, Steve Coffey, will be charge d'affaires until the new administration appoints my successor and the U.S. Senate confirms him or her. But regardless of who the next president is, or whom he picks as his personal representative to the Czech Republic, I think you can be certain of the basic continuity of American policy toward this part of the world. Perhaps the only change you will notice when our next president is inaugurated on January 20 is that our Secretary of State may no longer speak fluent Czech. Republicans and Democrats alike agree on the importance of our enduring links to Europe. This trans-Atlantic alliance for democracy, for which generations of Americans have fought and worked so hard, and for which so many gave their lives, will remain strong regardless of who sits in the White House or which party controls the Congress. The partnership between Europe and the United States transcends politics and personalities, and the same can be said of our partnership with the Czech Republic. The faces at the top levels of our governments will change over time, but our mutual commitment to these values will never change. Thank you.


News Digest

December 6: The Czech Republic and Great Britain offered participants in the NATO Partnership for Peace Program an opportunity to train under British command at the Czech Military Academy in Vyskov, south Moravia. "Once again, we have offered participants the chance to use this training center for future instructors and lower-ranking commanders from countries of central and eastern Europe, as well as from other countries of the Partnership for Peace Program," Czech Defense Minister Vladimir Vetchy said. The British training team's activities at the Military Academy in Vyskov were officially opened at the end of October by Charles, Prince of Wales.

December 7: In an address to leaders of the EU member and candidate countries, Prime Minister Milos Zeman announced that he would like a Charter of Fundamental Rights to be formed as an embryo for a future European Constitution. The head of Czech government thus clearly supported an integration opinion stream in the EU while also expressing unambiguous support for the deepening of EU foreign, security, defense and single currency policies. Zeman noted that it would be less desirable for the EU to become an economic giant than a political gnome. However, this does not mean, the Prime Minister told journalists, that he supported any sort of unitarian European super-state, but rather that he saw the future of Europe as a community of many states in which national and cultural variety is preserved as its main advantage and strength.

December 7: Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan was received by Chilean President Ricardo Lagos on a four-day visit to Chile. The Chilean President showed extensive knowledge of the Czech Republic and the events of 1968's Prague Spring. President Lagos also identified similarities between the recent history of Chile and the Czech Republic --two countries to have returned to democracy after long dictatorships, though on opposite sides of the political spectrum. During his visit, the Czech Foreign Minister held talks with high-level Chilean representatives and leading Chilean entrepreneurs. Additionally, he opened Czech Week in Chile, a festival to boost cultural and trade relations between the two countries.

December 8: In a move to facilitate the restitution of art seized from Czech Jews during WWII, the Czech Ministry of Culture plans to launch a web-site listing the stolen pieces by the end of the year 2000. Such art was seized by the Nazi's and is now in Czech state galleries. The new legislation was passed this year to enable descendants of Holocaust survivors to apply for restitution by 2002. The listings, some of which will include photos, will have descriptions and information in both English and in Czech, describing the institutions in which the works of art are currently located. Under the law, approximately 2,500 works of art originally belonging to Czech Jews will be restituted.

December 8 -10: A festival of plays by Czech President Vaclav Havel was organized in Prague as the culmination of a year-long project entitled Vaclav Havel -Writer and Playwright. The festival was cosponsored by the Prague -the European City of Culture 2000 Society. Theater groups from the Czech Republic and abroad performed eight of Havel's plays. The project was launched last spring with evenings dedicated to documentary films and Havel's plays incorporated into films, while also including other events, such as an exhibition of photographs on Havel's life in the 1970s and 1980s.

December 12: The Chamber of Deputies elected former Justice Minister Otakar Motejl to the position of first Czech ombudsman and human rights protector. Mr. Motejl, 68, a candidate proposed jointly by the Senate and President Vaclav Havel, was supported by 125 deputies in the 200-seat house, leaving his two rival candidates far behind. He was sworn into office on December 18 in the presence of Chamber of Deputies Chairman Vaclav Klaus. According to the law, the ombudsman is based in Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. Mr. Motejl was elected ombudsman for a period of six years. His deputy is to be elected in January.

December 12: Dusan Chmelicek, General Director of the public network Czech Television (CT), was dismissed by the CT Council today. According to the Council, Chmelicek's decisions endangered the position of CT as an independent public medium. However, the CT Council is often accused of favoritism regarding the two strongest Czech political parties, the Social Democrats (CSSD) and the Civic Democrats (ODS).The Council later appointed Jiri Hodac, former CT news department head as the CT General Director. This decision drew criticism and protests from CT staff.

December 12: An agreement between the Czech Republic and Slovakia designed to facilitate the provision of mutual help when disasters occur has taken effect today. Interior Minister of the Czech Republic Stanislav Gross and Slovak Ambassador to the Czech Republic Jozef Stank exchanged ratification documents to the agreement on cooperation and mutual help during extraordinary events.

December 14: The United States managed their difficult situation after the presidential elections in November in a way that was democratic and within constitutional traditions, Czech President Vaclav Havel said in a statement conveyed by his spokesperson Ladislav Spacek. President Havel also praised the positive cooperation between outgoing President Bill Clinton's administration and the Czech Republic.

December 15: Karel Kuehnl, Chairman of the Freedom Union, was elected as the party's candidate for the leader of the Coalition-of-Four. The Coalition is to decide about the post by the end of January. The post will also be contested for by a former Deputy Interior Minister, Jaroslav Kopriva, who was nominated by the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), and Michael Zantovsky, the Deputy Chairman of the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA). According to Mr. Kuehnl, the four-party coalition will enter the next parliamentary elections with a single slate. Its program will be drafted by a shadow cabinet, to be named by the end of June. Earlier this month, the leadership of the KDU-CSL called on their partners in the four-party coalition to commence discussions on a possible integration of the four parties to form a single political entity. The Coalition-of-Four comprises two bigger parties, the KDU-CSL and the Freedom Union, and two small parties -the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) and the Democratic Union (DEU).

December 19: Petr Pithart, a member of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), was confirmed as the new Chairman of the Senate. Jan Ruml (Freedom Union), Premysl Sobotka (ODS) and Zdenek Vojir (CSSD) were elected Deputy Chairmen of the Senate in a secret vote today. The voting result reflects the conclusions of post-election negotiations between senators' groups.

December 22: After undergoing a quadruple bypass operation on December 15, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan was released from the Prague General Teaching Hospital today. The operation lasted four hours and proceeded without any complications. The Minister's convalescence will last from 14 days up to one month, depending on his condition.

December 20: The Senate approved the continued Czech participation in the KFOR and SFOR missions until the end of next year. The Chamber of Deputies agreed to the further participation of Czech troops in the peace-keeping missions in the Balkans on December 7. Defense Minister Vladimir Vetchy stressed in his proposal to the Deputies that the Czech Republic's active participation in the solution of the crisis in the Balkans corresponds with its interest to help create a secure environment in Europe.

December 20: President Vaclav Havel and his wife Dagmar are to spend this Christmas at the Lany chateau in central Bohemia, the Office of the President announced. Vaclav and Dagmar Havel have invited the first lady's mother and sister's family, as well as various friends who would otherwise spend Christmas Eve alone. The menu will include traditional fried carp with potato salad, as prepared by President Havel himself.


December 11: President Vaclav Havel has welcomed the "acceptable compromise" on European Union (EU) reform, an agreement which was reached by politicians at the EU summit that ended in Nice early this morning. Havel believes that the door for EU enlargement in accordance with the set timetable will thus be opened. "President Havel has welcomed the fact that an acceptable compromise was achieved in Nice concerning EU institutional reform. He hopes that it will enable the union to implement its enlargement in the set terms. After years of questions, a clear and binding word has finally been pronounced," Martin Krafl, head of the Presidential Office told CTK today.

December 11: The Czech Foreign Ministry assesses the results of the European Union Nice summit as very positive for the Czech Republic's interests, spokesman Ales Pospisil told CTK today. As an example, he praised the conclusion to allow each new EU member to have a representative in the European Commission until the number of its members reaches 27.

December 14 : While in Strasbourg today, the chairmen of Parliamentary Committees of Association of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania criticized their insufficient future representation in the European Parliament (EP) and the EU Council of Ministers, upon which the EU Nice summit agreed. A joint statement issued by EU-Czech association parliamentary committee chairman Karl Olsson and his colleagues in the related Hungarian and Romanian committees reads that the countries are very concerned that the new agreement from Nice stipulates a sharp imbalance between some countries regarding their representation in the EP and the Council of Ministers. The Czech Republic and Hungary are to have 20 deputies in the EP, while Portugal and Belgium are to have 22. According to the statement, the Czech Republic has more inhabitants than both Belgium and Portugal, while Hungary has more inhabitants than Portugal; thus the distinction creates an unacceptable imbalance that does not correspond to the principles of democratic representation.

December 15 : In a letter sent to EU Council chairman Hubert Vedrine today, Foreign Minister Jan Kavan addressed the fact that the Czech Republic will only have 20 seats in the European Parliament after becoming an EU member, while current EU members of the same size are to have 22 seats. Kavan called for the "solving of this situation," according to a Foreign Ministry statement provided to CTK. Immediately after the closing of the EU Nice summit, Kavan expressed satisfaction over its results which will open doors to EU enlargement. However, he criticized the fact that Belgium, Portugal and Greece are to have two more seats in the EP as reward for defending the interests of small and medium-sized countries.

December 20 : Today in Brussels, representatives of the European Union decided not to change the number of EP mandates already decided in Nice for EU members following planned EU enlargement, despite protests by EU candidates who argue that the distribution is unfairly discriminatory. Today's decision essentially means that two candidates for membership, the Czech Republic and Hungary, will each have only 20 mandates upon becoming EU members, while comparably populated current EU members, such as Belgium, Portugal and Greece, will each continue to have 22 seats in the European Parliament in Brussels. Today's meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) dealt with discrepancies in the agreement from the recent EU summit in Nice. They were uncovered after the presidents and other heads of government finished their continuous five-day negotiations shortly before 4:00 a.m. in certain confusion.




Literary Profile : Karel Capek


"It is time to read Capek again for his insouciant laughter, and the anguish of human blindness that lies beneath it."

-Arthur Miller

Perhaps the greatest Czech author of the first half of the twentieth century, Karel Capek was Czechoslovakia's leading novelist, playwright, story writer, satirist and columnist. His plays appeared in London and on Broadway to wide acclaim soon after their debut in Prague, and his books have been translated worldwide. With a brilliance and simplicity of writing, Capek promoted Czech literature to the world through his accessibility. In him, the personified symbol of a free country and the spirit of the Masaryk democracy thrived.

Very few contemporaries have ever been able to match the literary power of Karel Capek. As Arthur Miller wrote, no author could ever express the deeply philosophical and political matters that Capek alluded to in such simple and un-pretentious terms, and with such an air of humor and causality. Miller said, "There was no one like him --no one who so blithely assumed that the common realities were not as fixed and irrevocable as one imagined. Without adopting any extraordinary tone of voice he projected whole new creatures and environments onto an oddly familiar, non-existent landscape. He made it possible to actually invent words, and with laughter in the bargain."

Though a writer of great prolificacy, Capek is most widely known as the brilliant author of satirical plays, including The Insect Play and R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), which introduced the word "robot" into common international usage. While maintaining his classic humor and irony, Capek conveyed warnings against tyranny and war that were all too appropriate for his time.

By 1936, Capek had already published six novels, six plays, several memoirs of T.G. Masaryk, countless versions of stories, criticism, travel books and children's books, and had become a candidate for a Nobel Prize. During the time preceding the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, Capek used all of the fame and connections he had in vain try and save his country by alarming the Western allies about Nazi Germany. He expressed the feelings of his nation through his art, and thus became one of the greatest contemporary writers to have fully spoken on behalf of his nation. While Hitler's power grew stronger, Capek tried through broadcasts and press to persuade the world to listen to the truth about the Nazis. However, the signing of the Munich agreement had a devastating effect on Capek, who realized that his country would not be protected by England and France. He saw that his prominent position in the cultural and political arena made him vulnerable to the ever-growing fascist threat. Capek's friends urged him to flee the country, but he stayed, taking refuge at his writing desk. For his efforts to save his country, and for his anti-war writings, he was placed second on the Gestapo's list of people to be arrested after the annexation of Czechoslovakia. On March 15, 1939, the Nazi's occupied Czechoslovakia and immediately came looking for Capek. They ransacked the entire house before finally accepting that he was already dead. Illness had killed him before the Nazi's could, but for his heroism he is still regarded as a hero.

What remains the most important facet of Karel Capek will always be what made people take notice of him since the beginning --the art of his writing, his love of the common man, and his genuine faith in democracy and humanity.

Czech Cabinet Lifts Plane Import Duty

The Czech government has decided to cancel import duties on civil aircraft and aircraft parts for 2001. The government erased the tariff differential between imports from the EU, which had already established duty-free trade under the Accession Agreement and other countries including the United States. Although the Accession Agreement is fully compatible with similar WTO preferential arrangements such as NAFTA between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the U.S. administration has long complained that U.S. companies were being discriminated against.

By eliminating the average duty rate of 4.8 percent, the government not only unilaterally opens the Czech market to U.S. aircraft imports, but also hopes to promote further involvement with the U.S. air and space industry in the country. Aircraft and aircraft parts already account for more than 16 percent of the total Czech imports from the U.S.

Czech state-owned airline CSA and travel agents are the country's largest aircraft importers. CSA said earlier this year that it would expand its fleet markedly over the next five years to meet expected traffic growth in central Europe. It also said that it would consider buying two Boeing 737-400's next year, adding to the 24 Boeing airplanes that are already registered in the country.


CNB Warns About Inflation, Trade Deficit

Newly appointed Czech National Bank Governor Tuma acknowledged risks of wage growth, the state's fiscal position, and the trend in trade balances as potential trouble spots for the economy. Although the overall import volumes and the negative trade balance were not alarming of themselves, Tuma expressed concern regarding the increase of consumer goods imports, which could not be explained by high oil and dollar cost fluctuations.

The average nominal wage grew by 6.1 percent yearly in the third quarter, putting real growth at 2.0 percent. Productivity in industry rose by 9.0 percent yearly over the first nine months, while nominal wages in the sector grew 6.1 percent and real wages grew 2.2 percent over the same period.

The Finance Ministry and the central bank will have to monitor the development of the entire structure of the trade balance to see if certain corrections will be necessary in three or four months. Gross capital creation jumped 18.2 percent, helped by a 9.1 percent growth in fixed investments and a 36 billion crown rise in stocks and reserves, a factor that often helps swing the data.


Czech Telecom Cuts International Tariffs

On December 14, Czech fixed-line monopoly Cesky Telecom said that it would lower its tariffs for international calls beginning January 2001. The price of peak calls to neighboring countries would be cut by an average of 12.5 percent, off-peak calls by 10.5 percent, and residential prices by 7.5 percent. Calls to most other countries will be cheaper by more than 20 percent. For peak-time calls to the United States, users will pay CZK 10 per minute instead of the current CZK 12.28, while off-peak calls will cost only CZK 8.80 per minute.

Cesky Telecom operates almost four million fixed lines in a country of 10.2 million people. The company generated 22.5 billion crowns in call revenues in the first nine months, with international calls accounting for slightly above 10 percent. As of 2001, the company will lose the monopoly position previously guaranteed by the state. Most of the incumbents have declared that they would offer much cheaper long-distance and international calls to their clients.


Business Digest

December 4: The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic totalled 8.5 percent in November, the same figure as in October. During the same period in 1999, the unemployment rate stood at 9 percent. As it has been for a some time now, the lowest unemployment rate was in Prague and regions surrounding the capital (around 3 percent), while the largest number of unemployed people remains in the heavily industrialized and coal-mining area in the north. The highest unemployment rate (over 21 percent) is to be found in the Most region. Labor and Social Affairs Minister Vladimir Spidla expects unemployment to remain at approximately the same level until the end of the year, which would mean a nearly 1-percent yearly decrease.

December 5: The lower house of the Czech parliament passed the state budget for the fiscal year 2001. Revenues should reach CZK 636 billion, while expenditures will be 49 billion higher. Minister of Finance Pavel Mertlik has promised to cut the budget deficit to ten billion in 2002. However, he warned that the structure of the budget needs a substantial reform, without which the deficits will grow further and it would be necessary to raise taxes.

December 6: The Czech Veterinary Authority is to implement a wide-scale testing of cattle as of January 1, 2001, amidst the crisis over BSE, or mad cow disease. The plan includes tests that are ten times more preventive than those in the past. So far, there has been no outbreak of BSE registered in cattle herds in the country.

December 8: As supermarkets and hypermarkets expand their opening hours and services, shopping has been elevated to an increasingly widespread and time-consuming hobby that growing numbers of Czechs can now pursue 24 hours a day. In the past two years, foreign retail chains have tightened their grip on the Czech retail market and, with the exception of one Czech company, have secured 10 top positions, according to the Czech Statistical Office. Their total turnover in 1999 amounted to Kc 126 billion (compared to Kc 72 billion in 1998), which accounted for 25 percent of their combined market share.

December 11: Leading Czech mobile phone operator Eurotel has over two million customers, half of which have joined in the past year, according to the company. Eurotel, which is 51 percent owned by Cesky Telecom, with the rest being owned by a consortium of Verizon and AT&T, said it crossed the two million mark at the beginning of this month after hitting one million on December 18 of last year. Eurotel is the market leader with a 50 percent market share, while RadioMobil, a unit of Deutsche Telekom and Ceske Radiokomunikace holds a 44 percent market share. Cesky Mobil, a unit of Canada's TIW that launched services in March of this year, has the other six percent.

December 12: Czech refinery Ceska Rafinerska, a unit of the chemicals group Unipetrol, approved a business plan which expects a rise in oil product exports into the neighboring countries of Austria, Slovakia and Poland. Rafinerska will launch a new fluid crack unit with a daily capacity of 3,800 tons in the first half of next year, which will raise annual production to two million tons (40,000 barrels per day) from the current 1.3 million. Exports account for 30 percent of Rafinerska production. Rafinerska is managed by a consortium of Agip, Royal Dutch/Shell and Conoco, but remains one of the smaller central European refineries, surrounded by high capacities in neighboring countries.

December 14: Czech knitting-machine manufacturer Uniplet estimates that its exports to the United States will increase by 42 percent to CZK 700 million (approx. USD 18 million) in 2000. The U.S. is Uniplet's biggest market, absorbing more than 60 percent of its total production. Uniplet has become one of the three major exporters of small -diameter knitting machines to the U.S., while other major destinations of Uniplet include Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Poland.

December 15: Kiwwi CR, a unit of the privately-held Vienna-based telecoms group Kiwwi, acquired a license for offering public voice services in the Czech Republic. Kiwwi will open negotiations with the Czech fixed-line monopoly Cesky Telecom on a interconnection agreement to launch services in early 2001. While Cesky Telecom's monopoly on public voice services ends this year, more than five operators have already indicated their interest in tapping into the market.

December 18: The amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) coming into the Czech Republic has been growing steadily. It is expected to reach 6 billion USD in 2000, almost tripling the figure for 1998. The total amount of FDI has exceeded 21 billion USD over the past ten years. The so-called greenfield investments are attractive for international companies because of their massive investment incentives, which can include several-year tax breaks and subsidies for job creation. Another important factor, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is the state support for the development of industrial zones.

December 19: U.S. investment group Novus Holding Corp. acquired the Czech aircraft engine manufacturer Walter after approval by company shareholders at an extraordinary meeting. The Czech government approved the privatization in May 2000, giving the Florida-based Novus 96 percent of the shares of the financially troubled Czech company. Walter/Novus has recently signed an agreement with Rolls-Royce to supply components for Airbus' new super-jumbo aircraft A-3XX engine.

December 19: The lower house of parliament has approved a new law that will cut income tax as of next year. It also allows for life insurance to be deducted from pre-tax income. An average family with two small children will now pay over a thousand Czech crowns less per year. Some newspapers noted, however, that the decrease in taxes will be completely offset by price deregulations in the next year.

December 20: Some of Eastern Europe's leading Internet portals, including Poland's Wirtualna Polska, the Czech Republic's Centrum.cz, and Hungary's Index.hu plan to form an alliance to ward off growing competition in a move that could spark consolidation in the sector. The cooperation would involve exchanging technology and combining their marketing and advertising potential. Cross-shareholdings are likely to be the key to the alliance, whose basic goal is to cut development costs and connect all the portals into a large Central European network, giving them a greater chance for long-term survival.

December 21: The Czech Anti-trust Office UOHS has launched a probe against the local unit of Dutch-based United Pan-European Communications on suspicion of excessive hikes in cable television prices. UOHS said that UPC Czech Republic may have abused its dominant position on the cable TV market, as it had not been able to justify price hikes for local customers planned for January 1. UPC risks a fine of up to 10 million crowns and may be ordered to cut prices. After several acquisitions in the Czech Republic, UPC has gained a nearly 50-percent market share with more than 400,000 subscribers.

December 22: The U.S.-based international law offices of Altheimer & Gray became a member of the Czech Capital Market Association and Czech branch of International Chamber of Commerce. The company joined these two associations to take part in the preparations for a new capital markets legislation which is being modified in order to be compatible with the EU. A&G's office in Prague was opened in 1991 and has grown to 27 lawyers.



Artist of the Month : Tono STANO

Introduced by Chad Evans Wyatt´s Project 101 Artists in the Czech republic

Photographer TONO STANO (1960) is the most significant of the core of artists at FAMU in the 80's who brought about the new wave of Slovak photography. For these authors, the typical inclination was towards staged and arranged creations, a heightened visuality, playfulness, eccentricity, citation, within which their attention centered primarily on the human body. This was a specific variation of postmodernism and their new vision introduced Stano and his contemporaries abroad very early, while they were still students. In time, this compact creative group eventually went its separate ways. Stano settled in Prague and still works there today. He has photographed fashion and other commercial themes, but he approaches these assignments with great creative energy. Stano has become an internationally respected artist on both sides of the Atlantic, famous for his richly imagined depictions of the human figure and application of contemporary trends of expression. Tono Stano is one of those few exceptions in Czech photography who make their living from their own free-standing creative work. In 1998, a narrative monograph of Stano's work was published under the title Praha 1980-1996, the first part of a projected trilogy.



A Spirited Evening of Dinner with Arts, Absinth & Petr Vasa

The Second Annual Benefit Dinner With Arts & Absinth was successfully celebrated in the Embassy's Main Hall on December 8 as a sold-out group of art appreciators and Absinth tasters joined together to commemorate the culmination of the fall cultural season, support the future of cultural events held in the Capitol's metropolitan area, and experience the stunning talents of artist and performer Petr Vasa.

After a candle-lit dinner, servers presented each guest with a healthy portion of Hill's Absinth. The Czech Republic is one of the main producers of Absinth, exporting the product to other countries throughout the world where the liqueur has been legalized, including England, and as of December, Canada. Though Absinth has been banned in the United States since 1912, the extra-territorial status of the Embassy made the tasting possible. As the audience sampled the "spirit" of the evening, Brno's Petr Vasa took the stage and energized the room with his most recently adopted art form, something he describes as "physical poetry" --an ambitious unification of poetry, theater, singing, dancing and music.

This year's Dinner with Arts & Absinth was especially important, as it was the first such dinner developed explicitly to benefit Czech cultural events, and made possible with the generous support of The American Friends of the Czech Republic. The Embassy would like to thank all of this year's participants and looks forward to seeing everyone next year at the Third Annual Dinner With Arts & Absinth.

Profile : Augustine Herman -The First Czech Immigrant to the United States

With the beginning of the New Millennium, it seems an appropriate time to reflect upon other "beginnings" in our history, such as the dawn of Czech immigration to the United States. The first Czech to permanently settle on American soil was a Prague-born Protestant named Augustine Herman. Like many other religious Czech refugees, Herman had escaped to Holland during the Thirty Years' War to avoid persecution. While in Holland he joined the West Indies Company, a move which would eventually bring the educated young entrepreneur and "proud descendant of his people" to the American shores around 1633.

From his arrival in America and his original settlement in New Amsterdam (New York), Herman was an influential citizen of the new colonies. After a brief return to Holland, Herman came back to New York as a merchant and representative of the Peter Gabry & Sons Company. He soon gained an esteemed position as one of the "Nine Men," a group of the New Netherlands colony's highest counselors. While serving under Governor Peter Stuyvesant, with whom he started a tobacco export to Europe, Herman was frequently sent on diplomatic missions to settle disputes between settlers and Native Americans. A man of many talents and ideas, Herman claims to have founded the tobacco business in Virginia. As a cartographer and "engineer," he was a rather gifted painter who made one of the very first depictions of New York in 1657 (see figure).

Herman's fame grew after he moved to Maryland in the early 1660's. His experienced eye soon recognized the potential lying in the great wealth of unsettled land along the Chesapeake Bay. Following the examples set by Dutch, Swedish and other European settlers, history indicates that Herman planned to establish a Czech Protestant colony. He additionally intended to build a canal connecting the Chesapeake to the Delaware River to increase the economic potential of Maryland, Delaware and the Northern colonies. Though his dream was not realized until 1829, long after his death, its fruition is a true sign of Herman's exceptional entrepreneurial foresight.

It was with the future "Bohemia Manor" of Maryland in mind that Herman approached Lord Baltimore with an offer to create an accurate map of Maryland and Virginia in exchange for 18,000 acres of land in Cecil County, Maryland. After nine years of laborious cartography, Herman had accomplished a map of extraordinary quality that was unprecedented in 1670. One of the two remaining copies of the original map can be found in the Library of Congress, while a photocopy hangs in George Washington's birthplace. As a reward for his work, Lord Baltimore gave Herman the hereditary title of Lord as well as additional large tracts of land.

A highly respected man, Augustine Herman died around 1686. His creative legacy carried on to his second-born son Caspar Augustine Herman, who built the parish and town hall in Annapolis. Though Augustine Herman's male lineage disappeared after the third generation, his descendants can still be found among many of the oldest American families. Although not all of the dreams of Augustine Herman could be realized during his rich life, he left behind him an outstanding legacy that provided the model for many other entrepreneurial Czech immigrants to follow throughout history.

Czech and Slovak History Classes

The Czech and Slovak Language School sponsored by the Czech and Slovak Heritage Association announces the registration for its spring semester classes Saturday, January 20, 2001 at 8:30 a.m. (for 9:00 a.m. classes) and 11:00 a.m. (for 11.30 a.m. classes), at the Maryland School for the Blind, 3501 Taylor Avenue, in Parkville , Maryland. Classes will meet for eleven Saturdays between January 20 and March 31. call 1-410-435 1317 for detailed information, see www.czslha.org, or e-mail LHybl@bcpl.net.

Language teachers are Dolores Zajickova Gentes, Natalia Karlinsky, and Iva Zichova. Edward Horak teaches Czech and Slovak history. The language school is open to anyone - elementary students to elders - interested in lerning about the Czech and Slovak languages, history and culture. For additional information, please call Dolores Zajickova Gentes at (410) 435 1317.


Czech Educational Foundation Annual Meeting

The Czech Educational Foundation of Texas (CEFT) will hold its annual membership meeting on the campus of Texas A & M University on January, 20, 2001. The meeting, scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m., will be held in Room 110 of the Koldus Building and is open to the public. Visitors as well as members of CEFT are encouraged to attend.

Featured speakers at the meeting will include members of the faculty and staff of Texas A & M who have a special interest in Czech culture.

Members of the CEFT are eager to recruit new members who share their commitment to establishing Czech-related programs in Texas institutions of higher learning. Membership information and additional information about the January 20 meeting may be obtained from President Marvin Marek, 2802 Camelot, Missouri City, TX 77459.

(Tel. 281-499 2249, fax 281-403 9665, e-mail : marvin_marek@msn.com)

Confidential Status of Communist Archives Cancelled

The National Security Agency has cancelled the "classified" status of Communist Party documents. With this decision, documents from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia covering the period between 1945 and 1989 have been made public. The move to make these documents available to the public is in accordance with Law No. 148/1998 On the Protection of Confidential Information. The archives of the communist leadership are now located in the State Central Archives in Prague, and are accessible to the public under the conditions of the Law on Archives.

The decision to release communist documents from various regional and district archives had been made as early as September 1999 after consultations with various state agencies. The only exception in the wide array of Communist documents made public are international agreements. These can only be released with the consent of the third party.

The released documents can be obtained by the general public upon filing a request.




Embassy Events


Through April 25

Discover the creativity and imagination presiding over a presentation of the contemporary world through Surrealism. The collection of work by Jan Svankmajer and Eva Svankmajerova, both active members of the Czech and Slovak Surrealist movement, is complete with paintings, ceramics, marionettes, tactile art, illustrations and props from their films. The exhibit will be on display through April 25, weekdays from 9-5 and evenings during events.


Thursday, January 25

Over the years of its ancient tradition, Czech animation has always held the esteem of a highly respected art form. This evening will introduce Michaela Pavlatova, a forerunner in the art of animation. Since her graduation from the Prague College of Arts and Crafts in 1987, she has been making her own films, including Words, Words, Words (Reci, reci, reci), a film which earned her an Academy Award nomination. Her exquisitely drawn animations are humorous and perceptive, often centering on human relations and particularly the vagaries of male/female interactions. At 7:30 p.m. at the Czech Embassy. Reservations are not required. Admission is free.


Wednesday, January 31

Czech piano prodigy Lukas Vondracek presents another of his Embassy Recitals. At the age of fourteen, Vondracek is already the winner of numerous competitions and awards. 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.


Tuesday, February 6

Pianist Carl Banner and Washington Musica Viva continue their popular exploration of Czech Chamber Music with the ninth concert in the Czech Music Series. Once again, Carl Banner offers audiences a variety of unique and precious jewels selected from the treasury of classical Czech Music. The program includes Bohuslav Martinu's 1927 jazzband experiment, "La Revue de Cuisine," piano trios by Antonin Dvorak and Petr Eben, and Peter Graham's Ave Verum Corpus. 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.


Tuesday, March 13

The founding member and artistic director of the legendary Czech theater group Sklep, as well as a renowned architect, writer and actor, David Vavra is one of the most ingenious Czech artists of contemporary culture. Audiences will have the rare opportunity to experience a variety of talents combined into one never before-seen creature when Vavra presents an evening of his poetry readings. This event will be in its original Czech only. Non-Czech speakers who are interested will enjoy the event on March 15. 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.


Thursday, March 15

As part of the Washington Environmental Film Festival, the Czech Embassy presents some of the most imaginative films ever to be made on modern Czech architecture. Produced by Czech TV and directed by Radovan Lipus, the films from the series Bubbling Cities were written and created by the architect, actor, writer and comedian David Vavra, who will attend the screening in person. Over the last two decades, Vavra has been an outstanding figure of the Czech art scene both physically as well as artistically. The ability to blend his many talents into an original mixture makes him a personality that is beyond imagination. This unique evening will feature three films from the series, introducing the architecture of the Czech towns of Zlín, Opava and Hradec Králové. Discussion to follow. At 7:30 p.m., at the Czech Embassy. Reservations are not required. Admission free.



Monday, March 26

The Martinu String Quartet will present the works of Haydn, Smetana and Schubert. The ensemble, which was founded in 1976 at the Prague Conservatory under the guidance of Viktor Moucka of the legendary Vlach Quartet, has won numerous prizes at major international competitions, including Portsmouth, ARD Radio in Munich, Evian, and the Prague Spring Festival. The group garnered its name from the prolific early 20th-century composer Bohuslav Martinu. At the Czech Embassy, 7:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Please call 202.274.9100 x. 3413. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Mark your calendar

Jan 25 Animated films by Michaela Pavlatova

Jan 31 Lukas Vondracek concert

Feb 6 Musica Viva

March 13 David Vavra´s poetry evening

March 15 Environmental Film Festival Screening

March 26 Martinu String Quartet

Czech Events around the USA

The American Sokol, Washington DC Activities

Adult Volleyball, January 29, February 5 & 12

Wood Acres Elementary School, 5800 Cromwell Drive, Bethesda, MD 20816

8:00 PM -10:00 PM

For more information, please call 301.585.8534

The American Sokol, Washington DC Activities

Gymnastics for Children, January 26, February 2, 9, & 16

Wood Acres Elementary School, 5800 Cromwell Drive, Bethesda, MD 20816

8:15 PM -10:00 PM

For more information, please call 301.424.1658

The American Sokol, Washington DC Activities

Aerobics for Adults, January 26, February 2, 9, & 16

Wood Acres Elementary School, 5800 Cromwell Drive, Bethesda, MD 20816

8:30 PM -9:30 PM

For more information, please call 703.534.3648

January 14

Concordia University at Austin presents Acclaimed Jazz Pianist and Composer Emil Viklicky, with guest artists Ronnie Green, Brian Trittin and Charles Wagner. At the Schroeder Performance Hall in the Peter Center. Sponsored by Concordia University in connection with the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center, Inc. and the Texas Wendish Historical Society.

Admission is free

7:00 PM

For more information, please call 512.486.1192


January 15

The Czech Cultural Center Houston invites you to enjoy the challenge and have some fun with Czech Language Conversation Classes, instructed by Professor Marie Mann and assistants Professors William E. Soucheck and Charlie E. Pavlicek.

The Market Place, Northwest Mall 290 at 610 N+W.

No charge for members, workbook / tape is recommended and available for sale.

For more information, please call 713-682-4608


January 22

The Czech Cultural Center Houston produces an evening of entertainment and a buffet reception at the Texas/Czech Physicians Exchange Program, Museum of Health & Medical Science, 1515 Hermann Drive.

For more information, please call 713-686-6362

February 2 & April 3

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society hosts two quartets from the Czech Republic: The Prazak String Quartet will perform works by Dvorak, Janacek and Smetana. The Skampa Quartet will perform works by Mozart and Beethoven.

At the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Prazak Quartet -Friday, February 2, 8:00 PM

Skampa Quartet -Tuesday, April 3, 8:00 PM

Special Rate for certain Czech groups is $30 per person, single concert tickets are also available

For more information, please call the PCMS Box Office at 215.569.8080

February 3

"Dance the Night Away" with the Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota, at the C.S.P.S. Hall, 383 Michigan, St. Paul, MN.

An evening of musical entertainment including live 6 piece band "Chord Authority," Big Band, Polka and Country & Western. Food and beverages will be sold.

7 PM -11 PM

Admission is $12.50 (includes raffle)

To order tickets, please call Mary Kodada at 763.586.7879

Proceeds go to the SOKOL camp

February 5

The Komensky Club hosts "Czechoslovakia During World War II," a lecture by Paul Hanebrink.

At the Nebraska Union Building, 14 & R Streets

7:00 PM

February 19

The Komensky Club hosts "Dolces Volces," a Nebraska group singing songs from the Baroque Age

Nebraska Union Building, 14 & R Streets

7:00 PM


February 15

Sokol South Omaha hosts the annual VECIREK for members at 2021 "U" Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68107


January 21 -February 25

A Czech Festival, presented by The Florida Grand Opera

January 21

All-Janacek concert featuring the Wind Ensemble and Faculty of the New World School of the Arts conducted by Rodester Brandon, guest violinist Jonathan Weber and Lowe's Concert Series Artistic Director, and pianist Zalia Chueke.

Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables

3:00 PM

Admission is free

January 21

The American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club hosts a special screening of The Enduring Spirit --The Czech-American Experience, portraying Czech immigrants and famous Americans of Czech descent .

The American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club, 13325 Arch Creek Road, North Miami

4:30 PM

Admission is free

January 21

Barbara Weitz of Florida International University's Czech Study Abroad Program delivers a lecture on Bohemian Crystal Through the Ages at the American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club. During all events at the Club on January 21, their restaurant will be open to serve Czech cuisine ($9-$12) and imported Czech beer. Live Czech and Slovak music at 2:00 PM.

For more information, please call 305.651.4394 or 954.749.8857

January 25

Curator's Tour, Dreams & Disillusion: Karel Teige and the Czech Avant-Garde with exhibition curator Eric Dluhosch, professor emeritus, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

6:00 PM

Admission is free, RSVP required: 305.535.2645 or e-mail wharton@fiu.edu

January 25

Furnishing Idealogy: Modern Domestic Design in Cold War Germany, a lecture by Greg Castillo, assistant professor, Department of Architecture at the University of Miami. Examines the sometimes contradictory attempts to use Modernist home furnishing to encourage new patterns of consumption in postwar Central and Eastern Europe.

Admission is free, seating is limited



The 2001 Czech Film Retrospective

Admission is free for members of FIU community with ID (except closing film Otesanek).

Admission is $5 for the general public

For more information, please call 305.348.3294

January 26

Day 1 of the Czech Film Retrospective with presenter Barbara Weitz of the FIU Czech Study Abroad Program.

FIU, Graham Center Room 104, University Park Campus, SW 8th Street & 107th Avenue

12:00 PM The Coward, directed by Jiri Weiss, 1962. Recipient of the Best Director Award at the Cork and at the London International Film Festival.

3:00 PM Alice, directed by Jan Svankmajer, 1988. A declared admirer of Lewis Caroll, Svankmajer firmly tells his own version of the surreal story.

6:00 PM Kolya, directed by Jan Sverak, 1996. Winner of the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

January 26

Sisa Sklovska, a well-known Czech singer in her first American tour performs a recital of classical and crossover selections.

FIU, Graham Center Room 104, University Park Campus, SW 8th Street & 107th Avenue

8:30 PM

Admission is $7

January 27

Day 2 of the Czech Film Retrospective

The Wolfsonian FIU, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

12:00 PM Shop on Main Street, directed by Elmar Klos and Jan Kadar, 1965. The first Czechoslovakian film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture.

2:30 PM Loves of a Blonde, directed by Milos Forman, 1965. Part of the Czech New Wave movement of the 1960's, this is Oscar-winning Milos Forman's directorial debut.

The Mercury Theater, 5580 NE 4th Ct., Morningside

6:00 PM Otesanek, directed by Jan Svankmajer, 2000. The Florida Premiere of a film based on the Czech fairytale with an award winning screenplay

February 1

A Cuban-Czech Counterpoint: Revolution and Reform, a lecture with Marifeli Perez-Stable, professor of sociology and politics at the State University of New York. Co-sponsored by FIU's Latin American and Caribbean Center and Faculty Senate.

The Wolfsonian -FIU, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

7:00 PM

Admission is free

February 2

25,000 Years of Culture in the Czech and Slovak Republics, a lecture sponsored by the American Czech and Slovak Friends in South Florida with Helene Cincebeaux.

Collins Community Center, 3900 NE 3rd Avenue, Oakland Park

11:30 AM

Combined lunch and lecture is $7

For more information, please call 954.749.8857

February 2

Janacek's Nursery Rhymes, as well as a reading from a scene in Ostrovsky's play The Storm. With FIU's School of Music Concert Choir. A panel discussing Katya Kabanova's production will follow.

Wertheim Performing Arts Center at FIU, University Park Campus, SW 8th St. & 107th Avenue

8:00 PM

Admission is free

February 4

The Florida Grand Opera's Art and Music Series features Music Director and Conductor Stewart Robertson and Young Artist Studio Singers Paul Mow and Frankie Hatcher presenting Czech Art songs, along with Janacek's Diary of One Who Vanished, with guest speaker.

The Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

2:00 PM

Admission is $5 for students, $8 for Wolfsonian and FGO members, and $10 for the general public.

For tickets, please call the Florida Grand Opera at 305.854.7890 or 800.741.1010, or visit www.fgo.org

February 4

A Year in the Life of our Czech and Slovak Ancestors, a lecture delivered by Helene Cincebeaux. Restaurant open, serving Czech food and beer. Music starts at 2:00.

The American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club, 13352 Arch Creek Road, North Miami

Lecture at 4:30 PM

For more information, please call 305.651.4394 or 954.749.8857

February 8

Screening of Ecstasy, directed by Gustav Machaty, 1933. Snack's and donation bar available in lobby.

The Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

6:30 PM snack bar, 7:00 PM film

Admission is free for members of FIU community with ID, $5 for general public





February 12

The Last Butterfly and Creativity and the Holocaust with an introduction by David Weintraub, Executive Director of the Dora Teitelboim Center for Yiddish Culture, followed by the Poetry of Terezin and a Discussion of Art at Terezin. Screening of The Last Butterfly.

University of Miami Cosford Cinema, Coral Gables Campus, Memorial Building, Second Floor

7:30 PM

Admission is free

Please RSVP by phone to 305.284.6882, 305.7874.9244, or by fax to 305.284.5274 or e-mail acassinera@miami.edu

February 17

The Miami Children's Chorus will present a concert including Czech Songs for Children's Chorus as well as songs based on poetry written by children imprisoned at Terezin.

Wertheim Performing Arts Center at FIU, University Park Campus, SW 8th St. & 107th Avenue

4:00 PM

Admission is $5 for children, students & seniors, and $10 for the general public

To purchase tickets, please call 305.662.7494

February 21

Czech it Out, a fascinating exploration of the contribution made by Czech authors and personalities both before and after the fall of the Iron Curtain, delivered by Daniela Retkova, Vaclav Havel's former head of the Press Department. Co-sponsored by The American Friends of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Museum and Library.

Miami Beach Branch Library

6:00 PM

Admission is free

February 22

Explore Print, Power and Persuasion in an exhibition tour with a museum guide.

The Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

12:00 PM & 6:00 PM

Admission is free

Ongoing Events

February 7 -24

Florida Grand Opera presents Janacek's Katya Kabanova. Performed in Czech with projected English translations.

At 8:00 PM February 7, 10, 13 & 16 at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 West Flagler Street, Miami; At 2:00 PM on February 22 & 24 at the Au-Rene Theater, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale

Tickets range from $19-$145 and are available through the Florida Grand Opera at 305.854.7890, 800.741.1010, or on-line at www.fgo.org

Through April 1

The Wolfsonian-Florida International University hosts the exhibition of Dreams and Disillusion: Karel Teige and the Czech Avant-Garde

1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 333139

Adults $5, seniors, students and children 6-12 $3.50

Wolfsonian Members, FIU students, faculty, staff with ID and children under 6 are free

For more information, please call 305.531.1001

January 22 -February 25

Czech it Out, and exhibit displaying books from various Czech authors and the video "A Star-Spangled Banner Night: Red, White and Blue Celebration of the Czech-US Partnership."

Miami Beach Branch Library, 2100 Collins Avenue

Admission is free


Czech Center New York

Days of Bohuslav Martinu in New York, December 6, 2000 -January 29, 2001

Exhibition: The Life and Work of Bohuslav Martinu

Collection of photograph reproductions and facsimile of letters, drawings and original scores from the holdings of the Bohuslav Martinu Institute in Prague.

On view Dec. 6th -Jan. 29, 2001

Gallery hours : Tue, Wed, Fri 9 a.m. -5 p.m., Thu 9 a.m. -7 p.m.

Exhibition: Bedrich Grunzweig: Photographs from the 50´s and 60´s

Exhibition of photographs by Czech native Bedrich Grunzweig from 50´s and 60´s

Dec. 7 -January 20, 2001, John Stevenson Gallery, New York

Video screening: Return from Exile

A 1998 documentary on Bohuslav Martinu´s life in Europe -in Bohemia, France, Italy and Switzerland -which uses archival materials and interviews with Martinu's friends and contemporaries. Written by Ales Brezina and directed by Jiri Nekvasil.

January, 9, 2001 at 7 p.m. at the Czech Center New York

Film : "Firemen´s Ball" by Milos Forman

Two video screenings of the film (1967) directed by a famous Czech-born director Milos Forman -a bitter comedy about human weakness.

January, 16, 2001, Czech Center New York

Lecture : Wings of Glory : "Czech Parisians in America" by Dr. Marie Mzykova

This lecture is presented as a follow-up to the "Wings of Glory" exhibition, on view at the Rudolfinum Gallery in Prague from September 14, 2000, until January 14, 2001. The exhibition, highlighting the French influence on Czech art in the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, features works by the Czech Parisians as well as established French artists, drawn from Czech and US private collections.

January, 23, 2001, Czech Center New York











hed French artists, drawn from Czech and US private collections.

January, 23, 2001, Czech Center New York