On 19 November, Prague College students and the public will have the chance to listen to Dr. Jaroslav Šonka on the subject 'Past Without Reflection: the 'Magic' Eights in Czech History'.
This year was marked by numerous important anniversaries in Czech History: the establishment of an independent Czechoslovakia in 1918; the Munich Agreement of 1938; the Communist coup d'état in 1948 and the Warsaw Pact’s military invasion in 1968.
However, what has been left out of the celebratory discourses? Issues of nationalism and local support for the German refugees in the 1930s. Difference between the post-totalitarian transformation of Germany after 1945 with the one in Czechoslovakia following 1989. Issues of defeat versus assumed victory. International context in establishing democratic Germany compared to isolationism labelled as “sovereignty“ of the Czech Republic. Individual stories and contributions of both, locally famous (Karel and Josef Čapeks) and omitted actors of these events (Michael Blumenthal).
Dr. Jaroslav Šonka is an independent journalist, native of Prague. He left his homeland as a student of biology in 1969 and conducted his PhD studies and research practice at universities and research centres in Hamburg, Ulm and Heidelberg. Since the political turnover of 1989 he supported the transformation of former Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic as a journalist for Deutsche Welle, BBC, Czech radio, Czech and German periodicals. During 1995 - 2006 he headed numerous projects (post-totalitarian transformation, development of the European integration, culture of remembrance) at the European Academy Berlin; 2011-2013 he was a director of the European Shoah Legacy Institute.