Prague, May 5 (CTK) – Speakers at a meeting commemorating the victims of the May 1945 anti-Nazi Prague Uprising outside the Czech Radio building today refused the attempts by some to belittle the uprising’s importance and emphasised the heroism of the radio staff and anti-Nazi fighters.
The radio building was subject to tough fighting at the end of WWII, in which some 170 people fell.
Thousands of people died in clashes with German soldiers across Prague during the uprising that flared up on May 5, 1945.
Addressing the meeting today, Senate chairman Milan Stech opposed the view that the Prague Uprising was overhasty and unnecessary and that it would have been enough to wait for the arrival of the Red Army.
“Such views ignore the plans of the German military, which planned to be defending [Prague] for two weeks at least, in which the city’s whole historical part along the left bank of the Vltava River would have been destroyed,” Stech said.
The Slovak ambassador to Prague, Peter Weiss, too, spoke about the heroism and patriotism of the uprising people and said the uprising saved Prague from the destruction as planned by the German units of General Ferdinand Schorner.
“The Prague Uprising’s role was fundamental also because it showed how many Czech people are capable of and willing to bring a sacrifice and rise up against the enemy in the name of freedom,” Czech Radio director Rene Zavoral said.
Also undisputable is the strategic importance of the uprising as one of the WWII’s biggest battles fought by the Czechoslovaks, he added.
Jaroslav Vodicka, head of the Czech Freedom Fighters association, said in WWII, Prague became the only liberated city whose free radio continued its broadcasts without an interruption even amid the fiercest fightings.
According to Stech, Czech Radio fulfilled its role of a public corporation. Public media must be preserved and protected, Stech (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.
Weiss mentioned Czech Radio as a symbol of resistance and the organiser of the uprising.
The Prague Uprising of May 5-9, 1945 is considered the peaking of the anti-Nazi action of the Czech people, which is considered their biggest armed intervention against fascism, involving over 100,000 people in 300 towns and claiming the lives of some 10,000 participants.
Commemorative meetings are also held elsewhere in Prague today