Author Archive

Vit Smetana

Vit Smetana is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Contemporary History – Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and also teaches modern international history at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague. His professional interest lies primarily in the policies of the great powers towards Czechoslovakia and Central Europe in the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s. His research during his stay at Stanford focuses on the topic “The Czech, Slovak and other Central European exiles in the Second World War and beyond”.

Prague: 23rd December 2011. There are many fuzzy contours to the upcoming year, marred by pessimistic forecasts and feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. These are echoed in the melancholic atmosphere of today’s Prague. Yet, right at the time when one would think that most Czechs are able to care only about things which bring them material profit, the bulk of the people in this country show that such a judgement would be harsh and unfair: thousands and thousands of them, all visibly moved, have been attending designated places (first a church near the Charles Bridge, later the Vladislav Hall in the Prague Castle) to bow down before the coffin of our former President, usually after waiting for hours in long …